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.

Photo of the Week – March 24, 2017

Below are two photos of a creek and associated wetlands taken by a timelapse camera.  The first photo was taken in early June, 2015 and the second photo was taken about a month later.  Looking just at those two photos, … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – March 17, 2016

We burned a portion of a prairie yesterday.  As the fire was winding down, a small strip of grass near the edge was burning itself out and I walked over to play around (safely) with some photography.  I’ve always found … Continue reading

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Should We Manage for Rare Species or Species Diversity?

Land managers constantly make difficult decisions without really knowing the long-term consequences of their choices. For those of you who aren’t ecologists, here are some important vocabulary terms you’ll need to know for this post.   1. Conservative species – plants or … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – March 9, 2017

I hope I’ve made it clear through the years that I am really grateful to have my job.  During each March, one of the major perks is access to viewing blinds that allow a front row seat to watch migratory … Continue reading

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Spines, Thorns, and the Plant Game

Ok, to be frank, this is kind of a weird post.  For some reason, during the last month or so, my brain has paid attention to spines and thorns as I’ve walked through prairies.  Given the relative scarcity of other … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – March 2, 2017

This week marks the 150th anniversary of Nebraska becoming a state.  Nebraska will be celebrating all year, but there were a number of events this past Wednesday, including one at which the U.S. Postal Service introduced a new postage stamp. … Continue reading

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Hubbard Fellowship Blog – No “Earth” without “Art”

This post was written by Katharine Hogan, one of our Hubbard Fellows.  Katharine is multifaceted and very talented – exactly the kind of person we like having in our Fellowship program.   I used to be a fairly prolific artist. … Continue reading

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Save the Date – Grassland Restoration Network July 11-12, 2017

The Grassland Restoration Network is a loose affiliation of people trying to use prairie restoration (reconstruction) as a way to rebuild, conserve and sustain grassland ecosystems.  Each year, we put on a workshop to share ideas, techniques, research results, and stories with other.  Workshops are hosted by … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – February 23, 2017

The weather has been extraordinarily warm for the last couple weeks, but it’s finally getting colder.  While I’ve enjoyed getting outside to play soccer and other outdoor recreation activities, I’m also looking forward to seeing some ice again.  A little … Continue reading

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Pill Bug Mystery

Last November, we conducted a prescribed burn at a 3-year old restored prairie.  Two weeks later, I was surprised to be able to photograph green regrowth in that area.  Last week, I revisited the same burned area and got yet another … Continue reading

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