Author Archives: Chris Helzer

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.

Introducing “The Plant Game”

Last fall, I invented a silly game to play at a staff gathering.  People seemed to enjoy it, so I’ve decided to test it out as a periodic feature here on the blog. Plants, like all organisms, have both a common … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Plants | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Photo of the Week – February 16, 2017

You’ve probably noticed that my favorite photo subjects are insects and flowers.  You’ve probably also noticed that insects and flowers are pretty uncommon during Nebraska winters.  By about this time each year, I start feeling a little desperate for photo subjects. … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

The Life of a Single Mom (Bee)

Most of what we read in the news about declines in bee populations focus on (non-native) honey bees.  Yes, those populations are suffering declines from the combined impacts diseases, habitat loss, pesticide use and other factors.  However, there are nearly … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Photo of the Week – February 9, 2017

Snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) is a showy plant, but not because of its flowers.  In fact, the flowers are tiny and very simple.  It’s the leaves (and some bracts beneath the flowers) that make the plant outstanding in its field. Like … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Compatibility of Cows, Conservation and Climate Change?

I’ve been asked a number of times why I advocate for cattle grazing in prairies when cattle are such strong contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and rapid climate change.  It’s a fair question, but also a complicated one.  I don’t … Continue reading

Posted in General, Prairie Management | Tagged , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Photo of the Week – February 3, 2017

I’ve finally gotten through all the survey responses many of you provided over the last couple weeks, including all of the open-ended comments from the last two questions.  Again, I really appreciate everyone who took the time to take that … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Survey Data is IN – THANK YOU!

This time of week, I am often putting the finishing touches on a new blog post that describes a prairie species or ecological interaction, discusses prairie management, or at least showcases some recent photos.  Today, I’m a little distracted because … Continue reading

Posted in General, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Photo of the Week – January 26, 2017

Ok, I know I just posted a bunch of ice storm photos last week, but as it happens, I took more than 1500 shots that morning (!!) and I didn’t post all the ones I liked last time.  So, with … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Hubbard Fellowship Post – Eric’s Great Plains Tourism Proposal

This post was written by Eric Chien, one of our Hubbard Fellows.  I hope you’ll read and respond to his ideas about a different kind of tourism in the Great Plains.  (Also, please don’t forget to fill out our blog … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Survey Reminder

Just a quick reminder: If you haven’t filled out the brief survey I posted last week, would you please click HERE to do that?  It will just take a few minutes. I’d be toadally grateful…

Posted in Prairie Animals | 7 Comments