Great Plains Anywhere

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Great Plains Anywhere is a video and podcast series exploring the Great Plains through interviews, presentations, and conversations with experts from many different disciplines.

John DeLong

John DeLong: Predators

In this episode, we talk with Dr. John DeLong about his work studying climate adaptation and predator-prey interactions, tracking how both adapt and evolve to better fit their surroundings, from the smallest microscopic creatures to large birds of prey. Dr. DeLong is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is also the Director of the university's Cedar Point Biological Station.

Video | Podcast

Stephen Bridenstine

Stephen Bridenstine: The Flint Hills

Stephen Bridenstine, assistant director of the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas, talks about what the Flint Hills are, who cares for the land, and how people can experience this unique landscape. The Discovery Center's mission is to inspire people to celebrate, explore, and care for the Flint Hills with an array of exhibits and programs meant to educate about the geology, ecology, and cultural history of the area.

Video | Podcast

Rosalyn LaPier

Rosalyn LaPier: Ethnobotany

Rosalyn LaPier is an award winning Indigenous writer, environmental historian, ethnobotanist, and professor at the University of Illinois. She works within Indigenous communities to revitalize traditional ecological knowledge, to address the growing climate crisis, and to strengthen public policy around Indigenous languages. LaPier is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and Métis.

Video | Podcast

Quincy Vagell

Quincy Vagell: Storm chasing

Vagell is a meteorologist and storm chaser who travels the country documenting and researching severe weather. Previously he worked as a meteorologist for The Weather Channel and doing on-air broadcasting for TV. Over the last decade, Vagell has visited all but a handful of counties in the Great Plains.

Video | Podcast

Carson Vaughan

Carson Vaughan: Great Plains Journalism

Carson Vaughan is the author of "Zoo Nebraska" and a journalist who covers the Great Plains region. His recent works include covering the October 2022 Bovee Fire at the Nebraska National Forest Bessey Ranger district and writing about author Mari Sandoz.

Video | Podcast

John Wunder

John Wunder: Prose Poetry

John Wunder, Emeritus Professor of History and former Director of the Center for Great Plains Studies, talks about his creative prose poetry and growing up in the region. We talked with Professor Wunder and asked him to share a poem about Great Plains tornadoes.

Video | Podcast

Taylor Brorby

Taylor Brorby: Boys and Oil

Taylor Brorby is the author of Boys and Oil: Growing Up Gay in a Fractured Land (2022) and co-editor of Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America. He regularly speaks around the country on issues related to extractive economies, queerness, disability, and climate change. He is the Annie Tanner Clark Fellow in Environmental Humanities and Environmental Justice at the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah.

Video | Podcast

Ted Hibbeler

Ted Hibbeler: UNL's Indigenous Garden

Ted Hibbeler, Tribal Extension Educator at UNL and a member of the Iron Shell family from the Rosebud Sioux Nation in South Dakota. Through the Native American Coalition, Hibbeler is working with the Nebraska Tribal communities and schools in the areas of food sustainability, economic development, career development, conservation and leadership.

Video | Podcast

Alaina Roberts

Alaina Roberts: Black Freedom on Native Lands

Dr. Roberts is the winner of the 2022 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize for I've Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021). Roberts is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh who studies the intersection of Black and Native American life from the Civil War to the modern day.


John O'Keefe

John O'Keefe: The Last Prairie

O'Keefe is a professor of Theology and Journalism at Creighton University and the documentary filmmaker behind the film The Last Prairie. The film examines Nebraska's Sandhills through the perspectives of ecologists, the people who live and work there, and the Lakota people whose ancestors were driven off the land. The Center screened the film on March 30, 2023.

Video | Podcast

Beth Dotan

Beth Dotan: Nebraska Holocaust Survivors and World War II Veterans

A Ph.D. candidate in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education at UNL, Dotan helps lead a multidisciplinary digital humanities project to document and the tell the stories of Nebraskans during World War II.

Video | Podcast

Kalenda Eaton

Kalenda Eaton and Heidi Dodson: Black Homesteaders in Oklahoma

Dr. Eaton and Dr. Dodson talk about their work to tell the stories of black homesteaders in Oklahoma. Dr. Eaton is the Director of Oklahoma Research for the Black Homesteaders Project and an Associate Professor of African & African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Dodson is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Black Homesteaders Project.


Brian M. Kelly: Missile Silos

Kelly, licensed architect and Associate Professor of Architecture at UNL, talks on his research into underground missile silos in the Great Plains during the 1960s.

Video | Podcast

David Vail: Cold War Agricultural History

In this episode, we talk with Dr. David Vail, associate professor of history at the University of Nebraska at Kearney who specializes in environmental and agricultural history.

Video | Podcast

Deb Echo-Hawk & Ronnie O'Brien: Pawnee Seed Preservation Project

For this episode of Great Plains Anywhere, we're sharing a portion of an interview from the multimedia project Reconciliation Rising.

"Deb Echo-Hawk is the Keeper of the Seeds for the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. Ronnie O’Brien is a passionate gardener and former manager of the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney, Nebraska. In 2003, Ronnie cold-called Deb to see if the Pawnee would grow a garden at the Archway Monument. That momentous hour-long phone call led to the Pawnee Seed Preservation Project, a thriving program in which Pawnees and Nebraska settlers are growing corn together in dozens of gardens throughout Nebraska."


Uncovering the Hidden History of Genoa Indian School

In this panel, team members from the Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project and community members share the lasting impact of the Genoa Indian Boarding School in Nebraska. Panelists: Judi gaiashkibos (Ponca), Executive Director, Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs; Dr. Rudi Mitchell (Omaha Indian Nation of Nebraska and Iowa), professor emeritus, Native American Studies, Creighton University; Dr. Margaret Jacobs, Project Co-Director; Dr. Susana D. Grajales Geliga (Lakota and Taino), Project Co-Director; Dr. Elizabeth Lorang, Project Co-Director

Video | Podcast

Craig Allen and Walt Schacht: Rangeland

In this episode, we spoke with Dr. Craig Allen, Director of the new Center for Resilience in Agricultural Working Landscapes, and Dr. Walt Schacht, Interim Director of the Center for Grassland Studies. Together, the two centers are working with landowners to research and test out the viability of rangeland management techniques, especially in the Sandhills. In this interview, they discuss how they work with landowners, myths about the Sandhills, and the concept of resilience in a landscape.

Video | Podcast

Leo Killsback: 2021 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize winner

Dr. Leo Killsback gave a talk at the Center for Great Plains Studies as the winner of the 2021 book prize. He is an associate professor in the Department of Native American Studies at Montana State University who specializes in indigenous governance, traditional law, sovereignty, and treaty rights.

Video | Podcast

Lucas Bessire: "Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains"

In this episode, we spoke with Dr. Lucas Bessire, an Associate Professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. Before joining the faculty at Oklahoma, Bessire earned a doctorate in anthropology from New York University. His family has been in Kansas for five generations, and his recent work turns toward this home connection with the Great Plains with his new book: Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains, published by Princeton University Press.

Video | Podcast

Melissa Homestead on Willa Cather and Edith Lewis

Dr. Melissa Homestead's new book "The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis" reconstructs the life Cather and Lewis led together through Homestead's in-depth research.

Video | Podcast

Julie Shaffer: Ticks in the Great Plains

Dr. Julie Shaffer is professor and chair in Biology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Shaffer's recent research involves assessing tick-borne diseases in central Nebraska and the recent changes in these disease patterns.

Video | Podcast

A Crane Conversation

A virtual exploration of the exhibition: "The Great Migration: A Celebration of Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska" with Great Plains Art Museum Curator/Director Ashley Wilkinson, artist Jude Martindale, and Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center Sr. Education Manager Jason “the Birdnerd” St. Sauver.


Mid-Americana Podcast

We spoke with Brian Campbell, the Executive Director of the Iowa Environmental Council and Josh Dolezal, professor of English at Central College in Iowa. They're the team behind "MidAmericana: Stories from a Changing Midwest" -- a podcast project that explores the history and identity of the Greater Midwest through the lives and stories of individuals.

Video | Podcast

Danelle Smith: Covid-19 Responses

The Center spoke with Danelle Smith, CEO of the Winnebago Comprehensive Healthcare System. Early on in the Covid-19 pandemic, the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska formed a comprehensive, interdisciplinary task force to respond to the needs of the community.

Video | Podcast

Pekka Hämäläinen: Book Prize winner

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.

Video | Podcast

Linda Black Elk: Indigenous Foods During a Pandemic

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.

Video | Podcast

Judy Wu-Smart: The Bee Lab

In this interview, we tour the UNL Bee Lab with Dr. Judy Wu-Smart, Assistant Professor and extension and research entomologist. Wu-Smart has been the director of the Bee Lab since 2015 and is committed to developing pollinator programs to help beekeepers, scientists, policy makers, and land managers understand bee health and their interactions with the environment.

Video | Podcast

Will Avilés: Meatpacking Activism

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. 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.

Video | Podcast

Ken Dewey: Great Plains Weather

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.

Video | Podcast

Joel Green: Robber's Cave

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.

Video | Podcast

New Center Director Margaret Jacobs

The first entry in the revamped "Great Plains: Anywhere" series 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. For more information on her projects, visit Reconciliation Rising.

Video | Podcast

Panel: Black Homesteaders in the Great Plains

Richard Edwards, Center Director, and Mikal Eckstrom, Post-Doctoral Researcher, will speak on their research about African American homesteaders in the Great Plains. Their project, funded by the National Park Service, seeks to bring to life a history that was nearly forgotten. Dr. Deanda Johnson, National Park Service, and Dr. Jeannette Jones, UNL history department, will comment on their research.

Facebook Live video

Friends of the Missouri National Recreational River: "Befriending the Mighty Mo: Missouri River as Ally"
Nov. 21, 2019

The Missouri River, North America's longest river, is among the most important features of the Great Plains. Portions of this expansive waterway comprise a national park, the Missouri National Recreational River.

The Friends of the Missouri National Recreational River organization advocates for this river, focusing on its scenic and recreational opportunities, its cultural, historical values, and activities that help sustain the river's economic viability. Representatives will share insights on why this valuable river means so much to the Great Plains.

Daniel Peterson, Chief of Interpretation, Education, & Outreach for the National Park Service, Missouri National Recreational River. Over the course of the last decade Dan has worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as a Wildlife Refuge Specialist, Visitor Services Specialist, and Park Ranger at three different areas.

Jarett C. Bies, writer/kayaker. For more than a decade Bies has supported efforts to get more people on the water as a member and past president of the South Dakota Canoe & Kayak Association.

The presentation will also include a short documentary film about conservation efforts being made on the Missouri.

Facebook Live video

Ann Weisgarber: "Discovering Rachel Dupree: Writing Historical Fiction in the Great Plains"
Oct. 24, 2019

Weisgarber will speak about the process of constructing historical fiction in her first book, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree. Her character, Rachel DuPree, an African American woman, left Chicago with her husband to claim homesteads in the Badlands of South Dakota in 1917. The book won the Stephen Turner Award for New Fiction and the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction. In England, the novel garnered nominations for the 2009 Orange Prize and the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers.

Weisgarber’s book, The Promise, was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and a finalist for the Spur Award for Best Western Historical Fiction and the Ohioana Book Award for Fiction. Her latest book, The Glovemaker, set in Utah, was released in 2019. Weisgarber currently lives in Galveston, Texas.

Facebook Live video

Bird Runningwater: "Our Stories Onscreen: Creating a Narrative with Native Filmmakers"
Oct. 10, 2019

Representations of Native Americans in film have a long history of stereotypes and generalizations. Bird Runningwater is the program director for the Native American Indigenous Program at the Sundance Institute, whose goal is to increase Indigenous visibility in American culture. Runningwater supports Indigenous artists from across the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and other countries, helping to bring their stories to the screen. Over the past 25 years, more than 300 Indigenous filmmakers have participated in the Sundance program. Bird Runningwater belongs to the Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache Tribes and grew up on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico. Based in Los Angeles, Calif., he oversees the Native Filmmakers Lab, the Native Producers Fellowship, and the Sundance Film Festival’s Native Forum. Runningwater also serves on the Comcast/NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council and the Boards of Directors of the First Peoples Fund and Illuminative. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

This annual lecture from the University of Nebraska State Museum is possible thanks to generous contributions from Anne M. Hubbard, M.D. and the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation.

C.J. Janovy: "No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas"
Sept. 26, 2019

In the book, Janovy, an editor for public radio in Kansas City, MO, shares the diverse voices and experiences of LGBT community members living on the plains and working for social change. She won the Center's 2019 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize and will also receive a medallion and $10,000 award attached to the book prize during the lecture.

Angela Bates: "Home in the Promised Lands of Kansas: From Slavery to Homesteading"
Feb. 21, 2019

Bates, President/Executive Director of the Nicodemus Historical Society and Museum, will explore the personal and human element of the freedom experienced by Black homesteaders at Nicodemus, Kansas. The residents of this settlement shifted from slavery to land ownership in the free state of Kansas -- and they made Nicodemus their own. By highlighting the personal family stories of the settlers, Bates will examine how the concept of choice is introduced with emancipation. Watch the video

Cody Havard: "Us, Them, and We: Sport Rivalry in the Cornhusker State and Beyond"
March 6, 2019

Havard, associate professor, Sport Commerce at the University of Memphis, will discuss rivalry in sport, including implications drawn from the Cornhusker State and beyond such as conference realignment and responsible promotion of rivalry. The talk will feature what fans, organizations, and researchers can do to better understand rivalry address fan behavior. Discussion will also feature the Adventures with Sport Rivalry Man project that uses comics strips and cartoons to teach about rivalry and appropriate group member behavior.


Megan Black: "The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power"
April 3, 2019

An assistant professor of international history at the London School of Economics, Black's new book, The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power (Harvard University Press, 2018), explores an American project of global extraction spearheaded by the U.S. Department of the Interior in the twentieth century.

Co-sponsored by the UNL History Department, the UNL Political Science Department, and the UNL Faculty Senate Convocations Committee.

2018 One Book One Nebraska Reading and Discussion
Nov. 8, 2018

Join the editors and poets of Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry, the 2018 One Book One Nebraska selection, in the exploration and celebration of Nebraska's history and people through poetry. Anthology poets will read from their work and answer questions about the joys and challenges of writing about our state. Edited by Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell, Nebraska Presence includes poems by more than 80 contemporary Nebraska poets, including Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser, Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen, former State Poet William Kloefkorn, and many others.

Mary Kathryn Nagle: "Sovereignty and Safety for Native Women"
Oct. 10, 2018

Sixth annual First Peoples of the Plains Hubbard Lecture from the University of Nebraska State Museum.

Safety for Native women is directly related to the sovereignty of our Nations. Throughout history, those who wish to strip Tribal Nations of their sovereignty attack Native women, with the understanding that women, as life givers, constitute the foundation of Tribal Nations and ensure the continued existence of tribal citizens. Ensuring the safety for Native women therefore ensures protection and preservation of tribal sovereignty. From Worcester v. Georgia to Dollar General Corp. v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the U.S. Supreme Court has played a pivotal role in upholding—and unfortunately sometimes erasing—the sovereignty of Tribal Nations. The lecture is made possible by contributions from Anne M. Hubbard and the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation.

Ted Genoways: "This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm"
Sept. 20, 2018

The winner of the 2018 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize is author Ted Genoways for his chronicling of the Hammond family farm from harvest to harvest in This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm. Genoways will give a talk on the book and receive the book prize at this event. Genoways is a contributing editor at Mother JonesThe New Republic, and Pacific Standard. His last book, The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food, was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Writing and Literature. His other honors include a National Press Club Award, an Association of Food Journalists Award, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation.

See the video

Walter Echo-Hawk: "The Sea of Grass"
Aug. 26, 2018

Attorney and legal scholar Walter Echo-Hawk will speak about his new book The Sea of Grass: A Family Tale from the American Heartland. Echo-Hawk spent time as a visiting scholar at the Center for Great Plains Studies while doing research to develop this book. The historical fiction novel is inspired by real people and events that were shaped by the land, animals, and plants of the Central Plains and by the long sweep of Indigenous history in the grasslands. Major events are presented from a Pawnee perspective. The oral tradition from 10 generations of Echo-Hawk’s family tell the stories of the spiritual side of Native life, and give voice to the rich culture of the Pawnee Nation. This event is part of the Nebraska Book Festival.

Elizabeth Rubendall Artist in Residence Henry Payer: March 2018

Henry Payer is a Ho-Chunk multidisciplinary artist who works primarily with collage and mixed media in a bold and contemporary way. His works reference the altered landscape through Indigenous cartographic methods of "picture-writing" with traditional aspects of spatial representation and symbolism combined with European modernist models of cubism, spatial distortion and collage. Each work offers a visual narrative of symbols and appropriated voices from American consumer society that reconfigures history, the landscape or the identity of a portrait. Henry represents the work of a new generation of artists seeking to expand the range and voice of their visual and cultural representation, while attending to forms of tradition.

Watch the video

Richard Sutton: Reading the Nebraska Landscape: Feb. 2018

What is there we like (or don't) about the Nebraska landscape? Dr. Richard K. Sutton has been thinking and interacting with the Nebraska landscape for nearly 70-years and has crafted his own enviro-aesthetic approach to that question. His book manuscript of 16 chapters and 323 pages takes the reader place by place and step by step through the process of reading Nebraska's landscape. He connects scenery, exploration of our shared history and description of our community of people and plants, suggests an understanding of the impacts of natural and cultural places, and projects the future of a shared landscape.

Watch the video

Lance Morgan: Claire M. Hubbard First Peoples of the Plains lecture, "Tribal Economics: A Dark Past and Promising Future" - Oct. 24, 2017

University of Nebraska State Museum's annual lecture series.

Lance Morgan, CEO and President of Ho-Chunk Inc. and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, shared how new economic initiatives are dramatically improving the future for Nebraska Tribes. Morgan launched Ho-Chunk, Inc. in 1994 as the economic development corporation of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Part of the University of Nebraska State Muesum's Hubbard lecture series.

Karen Hansen: "An Encounter on the Great Plains: Spirit Lake Dakota and Scandinavian Settlers" - Oct. 4, 2017

As part of this event, we launched the new book, "Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History," produced by Center Director Rick Edwards and former Great Plains Graduate Fellows Rebecca Wingo and Jake Friefeld.

Two epic processes in U.S. history—immigration and dispossession—collide on a remote Indian reservation in the early 20th Century. Using oral histories with elders and land records, Hansen explores life on the Spirit Lake Dakota Indian Reservation where Scandinavians began homesteading, with the sanction of the U.S. government. In effect, as land takers and land purchasers, they dispossessed Dakota Sioux while living as their neighbors on the reservation. The coexistence of these two profoundly different peoples reveals conflict over the meaning of land and their mutuality as they both sought to maintain their language, practice their culture, and honor loyalties to more than one nation. Hansen, Professor at Brandeis University, has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her most recent book, "Encounter on the Great Plains," won the 2016 Chaudhuri Book Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians.

Dan Flores: "Losing and Recovering the American Serengeti" - Sept. 14, 2017

At one time, the American Great Plains functioned as a North American version of the Serengeti or Masai Mara in Africa. Flores will talk about this time period and describe how, in one of the greatest destructions of wildlife in world history, we unthinkingly destroyed the American Serengeti in the 19th and 20th centuries. Flores delves into the remaining possibilities to restore at least some places on the Great Plains to their former glory as a world-class wildlife reserves. Flores is the 2017 Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize Winner for American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains. He is a writer and historian who specializes in environmental and cultural history of the American West. Before his retirement, Flores held the A.B. Hammond Chair in Western History at the University of Montana. He is also the author of Coyote America, winner of the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award.

Watch the lecture

"Could the People of the Great Plains Have Distinctive Character Traits?" - April 20, 2017

Is it possible that just by residing in the Great Plains, we have our own set of deep and distinct identities, values, philosophies, creeds, and personalities? Based on a recent journal article in Great Plains Research, John Hibbing explores how we might answer these questions and what it says about the Great Plains as a region. Hibbing studies how biological variations change the way people respond to politics and the environment. Hibbing is a Foundation Regent University Professor in Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

"Human Trafficking in the Great Plains" - March 14, 2017

Becky Buller, Geographer, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Many people—including some victims, survivors, service providers, and law officials—have recognized that human trafficking regularly takes place within the contemporary Great Plains.  Yet, for the most part, the general public is still largely unaware of the phenomenon.  This talk, with special emphasis on Nebraska, will briefly introduce the basics of human trafficking in the Great Plains, its impact on the region, and practical ways in which individuals can realize, recognize, and respond.

"Radical Presence: Black Faces, White Spaces & Other Stories of Possibility" - Feb. 2, 2017

Carolyn Finney, Professor in Geography at the University of Kentucky.

In her recently published book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors (UNC Press), Finney explores the complexities and contradictions of the African American environmental relationship. Drawing on “green” conversations with black people from around the country, Finney considers the power of resistance and resilience in the emergence of creative responses to environmental and social challenges in our cities and beyond. Using imagination and a little true grit, these individuals challenge us to see differently and do differently in our changing world.

Watch the lecture video.

Contemporary Indigeneity: Spiritual Borderlands Juror Panel Discussion - Nov. 3, 2016

The jurors for this year’s iteration of the exhibition were selected for their knowledge of and connections to the contemporary Native American art community and include Netha Cloeter, Director of Education and Social Engagement, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND; heather ahtone, James T. Bialac Associate Curator of Native American & Non-Western Art, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma; and Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Ph.D., Assistant Curator of Native American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art. An informal panel talk with the guest jurors will provide insight on the selection process and address topics regarding the contemporary Native American art.

The Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Knowledge for Biodiversity Conservation - Oct. 25, 2016

Robin Kimmerer, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. This talk examines traditional indigenous approaches to the environment and the valuable lessons they teach.

The Center is hosting the University of Nebraska State Museum's annual Claire M. Hubbard First Peoples of the Plains Lecture | Watch the lecture

Metis and the Medicine Line - Sept. 29, 2016

Michel Hogue, 2016 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize winner for Metis and the Medicine Line: Creating a Border and Dividing a People, Assistant Professor in History at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.

This talk examines the role Indigenous peoples played in the formation of modern political boundaries in North America. It focuses on the experiences of the Plains Metis and explores how these communities of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry were at the center of the efforts by nation-states to divide and absorb the North American West.
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Panel: Our Grass Earth: Conserving the Great Plains - April 20, 2016

Art and ecology panel with artists Robin Walter, Sebastian Tsocanos, Kate Schneider, and Prairie Plains Resource Institute Executive Director William Whitney
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Anthony Schutz and Peter Longo - March 16, 2016

The Nebraska Constitution has been the social contract for Nebraskans since 1875. The Constitution's persistence continues to shape Nebraska's political landscapes and constitutional changes reflect evolving beliefs.
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David Jachowski - March 2, 2016

Jachowski is an assistant professor at Clemson University and author of Wild Again: The Struggle to Save the Black-Footed Ferret. From 2002 to 2012, was a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a team that helped coordinate the black-footed ferret’s recovery.

Elizabeth Fenn - Oct. 28, 2015

Elizabeth Fenn, Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize winner for Encounters at the Heart of the World, history chair, Univ. of Colorado Boulder, "Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People"
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Viktoria Keding - Sept. 9, 2015

Viktoria Keding, Founder and Director, NaDEET (Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust), "Teaching Sustainability in Namibia"
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John Anderson and Eric Thompson - Feb.18, 2015

UNL professors John Anderson and Eric Thompson discussed "State Taxes in the Great Plains"
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Roberto Lenton - March 18, 2015

Water for Food Institute Founding Executive Director Roberto Lenton discussed how storage is key to enduring adequate water, food, and energy for a growing world population in this lecture, titled "Storage Systems for Drought Management and Food and Water Security." 

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Ken Winkle - April 15, 2015

UNL professor and award-winning Lincoln biographer Ken Winkle will deliver a lecture on "The Civil War in the Great Plains"
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Panel: Local Food on the Great Plains - Nov. 12, 2014

A panel of experts in the local food scene spoke about where the movement is going and what challenges the Great Plains faces as the movement continues to grow. Journal Star story | Audio | Slideshow

 William Powers, Executive Director, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society; Billene Nemec, State Coordinator, Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska; Renee Cornett, Prairie Plate restaurant; Bob Bernt, Clear Creek Farm; Ruth Chantry, Common Good Farms. Speakers were accompanied by several local food producers sampling food items after the lecture. Sponsored by the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society.

Samplers include: Common Good FarmDarby Springs FarmClear Creek FarmBranched Oak Farm.

Bernard Flaman - Oct. 22, 2014

Conservation architect, member of the Saskatchewan Association of Architects and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

"Architecture at a Crossroads" -- "Architecture of Saskatchewan, A Visual Journey" was conceived as an informational and educational document to engage a public audience rather than as a highly critical text on the state of architecture in the northern reaches of the Great Plains. Flaman will expand on projects illustrated in the book and share thoughts on a possible future for Great Plains architecture and the small and medium sized cities that populate the region. Flaman is the winner of the 2014 Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize for his work, "Architecture of Saskatchewan, 1930-2011." Audio download: Bernard Flaman >

T. Lindsay Baker - Sept. 18, 2014

Professor, W.K. Gordon Endowed Chair of Southwestern History, Director, W.K. Gordon Center for the Industrial History of Texas Coordinator, Public History Graduate Program, Tarleton State University

"How the Wind Did Human Work on the Farm" -- Green energy has become a popular topic among Great Plains people as fuel prices have risen, but for decades people in the region used the renewable power of the wind to do part of their physical work. Baker will speak about how Plains residents pumped water, ground grain, sawed firewood, ran machine shops, and generated their own electricity using the free power of the wind. Audio from Baker's talk >

Miguel Carranza - March 19, 2014

Potholes and Sinkholes on the Road to Immigration Reform
Professor of Latina/Latino Studies & Sociology, Director, Latina/Latino Studies Program, University of Missouri-Kansas City

"The arrival of 'newcomers' from other countries has happened since the earliest days of settling the United States. These newcomers – immigrants – have come to flee persecution and poverty in their own countries in hopes of making something of themselves and something for their families. Immigrants have frequently had the challenge of entering the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder and having to prove their worth in order to achieve the 'American Dream' and become an integral part of our society. 

My presentation focuses on how the climate has changed over time for immigrants and their perceived value to our society. This climate has an impact, not only on our national borders and shores but throughout the U.S., including the Midwest and Great Plains regions. Furthermore, the factors that influence this environmental shift have a great deal to do with any success in achieving immigration reform."

Derek Hoff - Feb. 26, 2014

A Prophet without Honor?: Malthus on the Great Plains
History department, Kansas State University, author of The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in U.S. History (University of Chicago Press, 2012), and, with John Fliter, Fighting Foreclosure: The Blaisdell Case, the Contract Clause, and the Great Depression (University Press of Kansas, 2012).

From late nineteenth-century Bonanza farming to President Roosevelt's assurances to Great Plains farmers that they could "Maintain Themselves on the Land" (despite his administration's other efforts to retire "submarginal" farmland and relocate farmers) to the uproar over the Buffalo Commons proposal, Great Plains residents and boosters have often welcomed and promoted population growth in particular locales. And yet the pessimistic ideas of British pastor Thomas Malthus -- who famously argued at the turn of the nineteenth century that population growth would eventually overwhelm natural resources -- have resonated to a surprising degree on the Great Plains. This lecture offers a first draft of the history of population thought in the region. 

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Timothy Schaffert - Jan. 15, 2014

Summer Souvenirs and "The Swan Gondola": Reinventing the World's Fair 
UNL English

The Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition of 1898 (Omaha's World's Fair) consisted of palaces and gardens and also a midway of dirt roads and collapsible shacks, reflecting the split personality of Omaha. Schaffert will speak about the Expo and his book at this lecture.

Leon Higley - Nov. 20, 2013

Climate Change and the Insects of the Great Plains
Insect ecologist, professor, School of Natural Resources, UNL

Prof. Higley spoke on the effects of climate change on native insects and how those changes can change the landscape.

Recording of the talk

William Farr - Oct. 16, 2013

Blackfoot Redemption
Emeritus Professor, History, University of Montana, senior fellow and founding director of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West

As winner of the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize for his book "Blackfoot Redemption: A Blood Indian's Story of Murder, Confinement, and Imperfect Justice," Farr spoke about his task writing it and how the themes translate to modern day Native American issues.

Allan McCutcheon - March 6, 2013

Welcome to the Elections from the Inside: Exit Polls and Election Projections for the Great Plains
UNL professor, Survey Research & Methodology/Gallup, Statistics, Sociology, Mathematics

Priscilla Grew - Feb. 20, 2013

Engaging Lifelong Learners in Natural History: The Land-Grant Mission of the University of Nebraska State Museum
Director, University of Nebraska State Museum

Tom Lynch and Susan Maher - Jan. 16, 2013

Artifacts and Illuminations: Critical Essays on Loren Eiseley
Associate professor of English at UNL and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth