About the Center
The Center for Great Plains Studies is a interdisciplinary regional research and outreach program established in 1976 at the University of Nebraska. The mission of the Center is to foster the study of and appreciation for the people, cultures, and natural environment of the Great Plains. The region invites inquiry into the relationships between its natural environment and the cultures brought by its inhabitants, as scholars and residents work to preserve healthy eco-systems and build thriving human communities. The Center operates the Great Plains Art Museum, Fellows and Affiliate Fellows program, Graduate Fellows program, various scholarly projects; it publishes Great Plains Quarterly and Great Plains Research; and presents public lectures and symposia.
Museum opens online store
We're excited to launch our new Great Plains Art Museum store on UNL Marketplace. We can now ship shirts anywhere in the U.S.! We're celebrating the launch with a BRAND NEW T-shirt design that features several Great Plains birds. The new shirt along with previous shirts, stickers, pins and more can be purchased via the store.
Great Plains Anywhere: Episode 8
In this lecture, author Pekka Hämäläinen, talks about his book: Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power from the Yale University Press, which won the 2020 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize. Hämäläinen is Rhodes Professor of American History at St. Catherine's College at the University of Oxford. Visit our lecture page for video and podcast options.
Great Plains Anywhere: Episode 7
In this interview, we talk with Linda Black Elk about a renewed connection to indigenous foods, community action, and health during a pandemic. Black Elk is the Food Sovereignty Coordinator at United Tribes Technical College in North Dakota and an ethnobotanist specializing in traditional foods of the Great Plains. Visit our lecture page for video and podcast options.
Great Plains Anywhere: Episode 6
In this interview, we tour the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Bee Lab with Dr. Judy Wu-Smart, Assistant Professor and extension and research entomologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Wu-Smart has been the director of the Bee Lab on East Campus since 2015 and is committed to developing pollinator health programs to help beekeepers, scientists, policy makers, and land managers understand bee health and their interactions with the environment. Wu-Smart has an undergraduate degree from Humboldt State University, a Masters from Washington State University, and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. Visit our lecture page for video and podcast options.
Great Plains Anywhere: Episode 5
In this interview, we speak with Dr. Will Avilés, professor and chair of political science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where his fields are comparative politics and Latin American politics. Dr. Avilés received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida International University and his Ph.D. from the University of California-Riverside. He joined UNK in 2002. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been working with community activists and families from the meatpacking industry, an industry that has recently garnered national headlines related to COVID-19 cases and working conditions. Visit our lecture page for video and podcast options.
Great Plains Anywhere: Episode 4
In this interview, Great Plains Art Museum Director and Curator Ashley Hussman talks with artist Kirsten Furlong about her artwork and exhibition "Over the Edge of the World," which is currently on display at the museum. Visit our lecture page for video and podcast options.
Great Plains Anywhere: Episode 3
Blizzards! Wind! Tornadoes! UNL Professor Emeritus Ken Dewey talks about why the Great Plains has such extreme weather and shares some events that best illustrate this weather. Dewey is the author of "Great Plains Weather," part of the "Discover the Great Plains" series from the Center for Great Plains Studies and University of Nebraska Press. Visit our lecture page for video and podcast options.
Great Plains Anywhere: Episode 2
In this interview, we speak with tour guide Joel Green, author of "Robber's Cave: Truths, Legends, Recollections," which won a 2019 Nebraska Book Award. Green explains the cave's topography, history, and uses in this interview. Visit our lecture page for video and podcast options.
Great Plains Anywhere: Episode 1
"Great Plains Anywhere" is a series of Great Plains talks and interviews in video and podcast form that you can listen to anywhere. It's part of the Paul A. Olson lecture series. The first episode in these mini talks is an interview with the new Director for the Center for Great Plains Studies, Margaret Jacobs, Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Visit our lecture page for video and podcast options.
Great Plains Art Museum reopened Aug. 11
We are pleased to announce that the Great Plains Art Museum reopened to the public on Aug.11. Thank you for your support and engagement during our closure. Our public hours for the fall semester will be Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission is always free! The Center for Great Plains Studies is open by appointment only. Contact our staff for more information.
Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize
Native American history shines in this year’s finalists for the 2020 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize. The 2020 winner is Pekka Hämäläinen for Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power (Yale University Press). The Prize, in its 15th year, celebrates the book published during the previous year, which made the biggest contribution to advancing understanding of and appreciation for the people, cultures, and natural environment of the Great Plains.
Great Plains Birds released
Great Plains Birds, by Larkin Powell, is the newest book in the the Discover the Great Plains series. It's available for pre-order at the University of Nebraska Press.
Great Plains Graduate Fellows
Meet the new and returning graduate students named as Great Plains Graduate Fellows for this academic year.
Great Plains Weather released
Great Plains Weather, by Ken Dewey, is the newest book in the the Discover the Great Plains series. It's available for pre-order at the University of Nebraska Press.
2019 Great Plains conference
See photos, the program, and speaker list for the 2019 Great Plains Symposium - "Wakanyéja: A Conference on American Indian Behavioral Health"
Great Plains Politics released
Great Plains Politics, by Peter Longo, is the newest book in the the Discover the Great Plains series. It's now available at the University of Nebraska Press and at the Great Plains Art Museum.
Black homesteaders project receives additional funding
The National Park Service has awarded a second grant to the Center for Great Plains Studies to advance the project "Black Homesteaders in the Great Plains." In 2017, Center Director Richard Edwards and post-doctoral researchers Jacob Friefeld and Mikal Eckstrom began work under the first grant to create the first database of all identified black homesteaders in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Since race is typically not listed in homestead filings, this research requires comparing homestead records with decennial census records. Read more >
Check out the Washington Post op/ed on the project.
Great Plains Literature released
Platte Basin Timelapse project relocates to Center
Platte Basin Timelapse project has found a new home at the Center for Great Plains Studies through a collaboration between the center and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Under the direction of Michael Farrell and Michael Forsberg, the team is now located on the fifth floor of the center at 1155 Q St. It was formerly housed in the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Center on East Campus.
Great Plains Bison released
Great Plains Bison by Dan O'Brien, wildlife biologist, bison rancher, author of Wild Idea: Buffalo and Family in a Difficult Land (2014), is the newest book in the Discover the Great Plains series. See a bison infographic
Sandhill crane economic impact study released
In partnership with the Center, a team at the University of Nebraska Kearney has released a report on the economic impact of Sandhill crane tourism in Nebraska. Key finding: The economic impact of tourism in central Nebraska during the 2017 sandhill crane migration was $14.3 million. The full report is available for download.
Nebraska Ecotourism Liability report produced
A new report, "Rural Landowner Liability for Recreational Activities in Nebraska" is now available for download. Produced by the Center's Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition and written by UNL Law Professor Anthony Schutz, this guide is intended to give advice to new and operating ecotourism providers in Nebraska.