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.

That Predator Just Killed My Predator!

I spent last week in the Nebraska Sandhills, possibly the greatest grassland in the world.  Last week’s trip was one of several I’ve gotten to make around that landscape this summer.  It’s been great to see a much wider swath … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – August 18, 2016

There is an unmistakable look to late summer prairies, and that look is YELLOW.  Sunflowers, goldenrods, and Silphiums (compass plant, cup plant, rosinweed) are all front and center this time of year.  The visual dominance of yellow flowers is obvious … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Sand Wasps

I was introduced to sand wasps (Bembix sp) by Mike Arduser when he came to visit the Platte River Prairies back in 2012.  As we stood together in a sand prairie, a bee-like creature was zipping around us with incredible … Continue reading

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Voting Results: Prairie and Bee? or Bee in Prairie?

Back on August 4, I posted a selection of similar images and asked for help selecting the best of four compositions.  As has been the case in the past, there was no clear consensus, but there was a winner.  That … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – August 11, 2016

I made a quick trip up to the Niobrara Valley Preserve this week.  As always, there was a treasure trove of unexpected finds.  Here are some of them. How many of you noticed the small larva in the above photo? … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Hubbard Fellowship Post – Community-Based Stewardship and Long-Term Management

This post is by Eric Chien, one of our 2016-17 Hubbard Fellows.  Eric hails from Minnesota, with an undergraduate education from Bowdoin College in Maine.  He has a strong background in prairie management, and hopefully a bright future in that … Continue reading

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Register Now – 2016 Grassland Restoration Network Workshop

It is time to register for the Grassland Restoration Network’s 2016 workshop.  The Grassland Restoration Network has helped people working on prairie restoration share techniques and conservation strategies since 2003.  You can read my blog post from last year’s workshop in … Continue reading

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Quick Field Day Note

The forecast calls for a 50% chance of rain for our Field Day tomorrow.  We’re not scared. If it rains hard, or if there’s lightning, we’ve got plenty of room in the house and the shop down the hill to … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – August 4, 2016

This Wednesday, I arrived at Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center southwest of Lincoln, Nebraska just as a heavy morning fog was beginning to dissipate.  I had about 10 minutes before a meeting, so I grabbed my camera, threw on some … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , | 65 Comments

The Role of History In Today’s Prairie Management

Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. I’m no expert in financial investing, but I’d like to retire someday, so I muddle along the best I can.  As I skim through various financial statements and investment newsletters, I … Continue reading

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