Great Plains Graduate Fellow Newsletter

Newsletter Issue: Fall 2016

Grad Fellows canoes

Graduate Fellow canoe trip on the Dismal River

Special events only for Graduate Fellows!

Sept. 30, 9 a.m.: Grad Fellows informal seminar with Michel Hogue, 4th Floor Conference Room. Please RSVP to Lisa

Graduate Fellows Retreat

Graduate Fellows on riverOver Labor Day weekend, for the annual grad fellows retreat, five grad fellows--Daniel Clausen (English, Literature), Jamie Downing (Communications), Maria Nazos (English, Poetry), Caleb Roberts (Agronomy), and Matt Whitaker (English, Composition and Rhetoric) -- canoed two sandhills streams: the Dismal River and the Middle Loup River near Mullen, Neb. They met with local landowners, and immersed themselves (literally) in the land and water of the Great Plains. Highlights included dark sky stargazing, a quicksand spring, bird and other wildlife viewing, and technical canoe instruction from the UNL Outdoor Adventures staff. (photos)


Jessica Burnett published four articles on which she was a co-author:

  • Burnett, J.L., C.R. Allen, M.B. Brown, M.P. Moulton, and C.P. Roberts. Revisions submitted. Range expansion by Passer montanus in North America. Biological Invasions.
  • Burnett, J.L. and M.P Moulton. 2015. Recent trends in House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) distribution and abundance in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida. Florida Field Naturalist 43(4):167–172.
  • Burnett, J.L. and K.E. Sieving. Accepted with minor revisions. Songbird distress call as a detection enhancement method and application to Red–shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus). Florida Field Naturalist.
  • Allen, C.R., H.E. Birgé, S.L. Bartelt–Hunt, R.A. Bevans, J.L. Burnett, B.A. Cosens, X. Cai, A.S. Garmestani, I. Linkov, E.A. Scott, M.D. Solomon, and D.R. Uden. In press. Avoiding decline: Fostering resilience and sustainability in midsize cities. Sustainability.

Last spring, Daniel Clausen (PhD student in English) helped co-author a new digital project called Poetry from the Plains. This website was funded by Humanities Nebraska and involved collaboration with NET, State Poet Twyla Hansen, and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. Daniel provided essays on Nebraska Poet Laureate John G. Neihardt and Nebraska State Poet William Kloefkorn.

Aileen Garcia’s paper titled "Influence of Child Behavioral Problems and Parenting Stress on Parent-Child Conflict among Low-Income Families: The Moderating Role of Maternal Nativity" has finally been accepted for publication in Merrill-Palmer Quarterly! In this study, we examined data on parent-child conflict, parenting stress, and child behavioral problems collected from mothers of preschoolers participating in three Educare sites in the Midwest. The results underscore both the differences and similarities in parent-child conflict among U.S.-born and foreign-born mothers. We suggested that interventions targeted at children's behavioral problems should consider the families’ cultural background, as well as to take into account parents’ beliefs and practices regarding children’s behavioral problems.

Dan Uden co-authored two papers recently published in the journals: Journal of Applied Ecology and Sustainability. He also has a book review in press with Great Plains Research.

  • Allen, C.R., D.G. Angeler, G.S. Cumming, C. Folke, D. Twidwell and D.R. Uden. 2016. Quantifying spatial resilience. Journal of Applied Ecology 53:625–635.
  • Allen, C.R., H.E. Birge, S.L. Bartelt-Hunt, R.A. Bevans, J.L. Burnett, B.A. Cosens, X. Cai, A.S. Garmestani, I. Linkov, E.A. Scott, M.D. Solomon and D.R. Uden. 2016. Avoiding decline: Fostering resilience and sustainability in midsize cities. Sustainability 8(9):844.
  • Uden, D.R. 2016. “As Far as the Eye Could Reach: Accounts of animals along the Santa Fe Trail, 1821-1880. By Phyllis S. Morgan. (review). Great Plains Research. In press.

Travel and Conferences

Jessica Burnett attended the 2016 North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC) in Washington, D.C., in August where she presented preliminary results from her original research titled, “Identifying Broad–Scale Regime Shifts Using the Breeding Bird Survey,” to an international community of ornithologists and data scientists.

This past summer, Aubrey Streit Krug (PhD candidate in English & Great Plains Studies) attended the Dhegiha Language Conference at UNO and the Siouan & Caddoan Languages Conference hosted by the Otoe-Missouria at their Oklahoma casino. At the latter event, she and her colleagues presented on the development of the Omaha language and culture textbook. Aubrey also participated in an interdisciplinary "Ecospheric Studies" conference last June at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. She is headed back to The Land Institute this September to join in their annual Prairie Festival.

Assistant Director Katie Nieland, Grad Captain Daniel Clausen, and 2015-16 grad fellow Rebekka Schlichting traveled through Namibia for two weeks this past May with friend of the Center Viktoria Keding learning about and experiencing different models of ecotourism. All three are working on ongoing projects for the Center to show how the ecotourism models in place in Namibia could benefit conservation on the Great Plains. You can read more about their trip in this Journal Star feature.

Daniel Clausen will be traveling this month to the Western American Literature conference in Big Sky, Montana, where he will present on the poetry of former Nebraska State Poet William Kloefkorn. He will also make a stop at the American Prairie Reserve as part of his ongoing Great Plains ecotourism project.

Other News and Achievements

Jessica Burnet, Hannah Birge, Maggi Sliwinski, and Dr. Mary Bomberger Brown started the student RSO, Natural Resources Diversity Initiative (NRDI). Jessica Burnett and Dr. Bomberger Brown also founded, with Dr. John Carroll, the UNL Affiliate Group of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). For more information about either or both groups, please email