Great Plains Graduate Fellow Newsletter

Newsletter Issue: Fall 2017

Emily Rau

Emily Rau (above) is collaborating with Tom Lynch and Ariana Brocious on a digital humanities project entitled "Loren Eiseley's Nebraska," funded by both the Loren Eiseley Society and Humanities Nebraska. Tom and Emily traveled to western Nebraska in mid-October to film and photograph various sites that Eiseley wrote about, visited, worked within, and found meaningful. These videos and photographs will become part of an interactive digital map of various sites throughout Lincoln and the state of Nebraska that have significance to Loren Eiseley, which will be free and available to the public in 2018.

Shivani Jadeja and her advisor Dr. Brigitte Tenhumberg from the School of Biological Sciences published a research article titled "Phytophagous insect oviposition shifts in response to probability of flower abortion owing to the presence of basal fruits" in Ecology and Evolution. This study showed for the first time that the presence of fruits in sequentially flowering plants reduces the probability of yucca moth females laying eggs in flowers.

Daniel Clausen presented at two conferences this past summer. In June he presented at Association for the Study of Literature and Environment conference in Detroit, where his paper compared the agrarian ethics of the 1870s writings of John Burroughs and Frederick Douglass. In July he presented on the agrarianism of Henry David Thoreau at the Thoreau Society Bicentennial Thoreau Celebration in Concord, MA. He will be presenting on “The Homestead Georgic: Genre and Settler Colonialism” at the Western Literature Association conference Oct. 26th. His article on ecotourism collaborations between Namibia and Nebraska will be published in the January issue of The New Territory.

Grad Fellows Alumni Updates

Belinda Acosta received her PhD and took a congratulatory trip to Mexico City in September and is now working and freelance writing in Lincoln. She has work forthcoming in Poets & Writers.

Nathan Rossman writes:  I am a consulting hydrogeologist within the Water Resources group at HDR Engineering, working out of the Omaha, NE, office. I work on a variety of projects for a diverse set of clients around the country, including state and local agencies, municipalities, public utilities, non-profit and for-profit companies in Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, North Carolina, New York, California, Texas, and the Kwajalein Atoll. My daily work includes identifying and collecting appropriate well data, calculating aquifer hydraulic properties, generating 3D models of contaminant plumes in groundwater, performing groundwater flow and contaminant transport simulations, calculating recharge and water budgets, preparing figures, tables and reports, and attending meetings with co-workers and clients. My resume now includes work on over 30 projects. I just celebrated my 2-year work anniversary at the end of August, and am I excited to see what is in store for me next. Additionally, I recently had two full-length scientific articles from my dissertation work accepted for publication in upcoming issues of the Journal of Hydrology and Hydrogeology Journal.

Aubrey Streit Krug is a postdoctoral fellow in Ecosphere Studies at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. Since graduating from UNL, she has continued to be part of a team of learners, educators, and elder speakers collaborating on an Omaha language and culture textbook that is forthcoming in 2018 with the University of Nebraska Press. Aubrey's recent publications include "Grounded," an essay on the website of the Center for Humans & Nature.

Aileen Garcia is currently analyzing her dissertation data on parental involvement among low-income Filipinos. She recently published an article titled "Filipino Parenting in the USA: The Experiences of Filipino Mothers in Northern Nevada" in the September issue of Psychology and Developing Societies.

Joyce Bingeman

Joyce Bingeman writes: It has been a busy past year for me since graduation in May of 2016 with my Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking! In July of 2016 I gave birth to my first child, Maple Joy Bingeman and I have had the privilege of staying at home with her. In the Spring of 2017 I taught a Color Theory class as an adjunct professor at Union College in Lincoln, NE with a wonderful group of students, expanding my own knowledge of color in the process. This past summer marked my third year of being a small business owner of a T-shirt printing company called The Squeegee Bee. It has been a third successful season selling at the Haymarket Farmers' Market and this upcoming winter season I will be expanding into online sales for the first time. I also continue to teach weekly screen printing classes through South East Community College's continuing education program at Mākit Tākit: Lincoln’s Craft Studio, where I manage the screen printing.
Alicia Harris
Alicia Harris writes: I am in my third year of the Native American Art History PhD program at the University of Oklahoma. I am studying for and taking my comprehensive exams this semester, and preparing to enter candidacy in the spring for my PhD. Over the summer, I worked as an intern in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, funded by the Mellon Foundation. I am working on a dissertation that critically examines the common discourse around the Land Art Movement in the 1960-70s, which has largely ignored indigenous place-based histories and relationships to land. I will be focusing on contemporary Indigenous artists whose work considers and engages relationships to place, and the complexities and diversity of Indigenous North America in relation to the land. My time at UNL and my affiliations with the Center for Great Plains Studies have been very influential in my subsequent work. Focused attention to the Great Plains region continues to be a model for my scholarship. Currently I am working as the Robert S. and Grayce B. Kerr Fellow at the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of the Art of the America West under Director Byron Price.

Louise Lynch writes: In December 2016 I graduated from my doctoral program and, for a short time, worked as a post doc for the Departments of Chemistry and Entomology studying technology integration in undergraduate science courses. Last August, I very happily began a new position with Carson + Co Global here in Lincoln. As their Director of Research and Outreach, I get to support their marketing, education and outreach efforts for sustainability/environmental science issues. The first project on my plate has been supporting the new City-wide recycling education campaign. My husband and I were very pleased to be able to remain in Lincoln. With a one and a half year old, it’s a great city to be in!

Maggi Sliwinski writes: I have moved to southwestern Saskatchewan, just north of Grasslands National Park's east block, helping to run my husband's family farm and ranch. I also have two contract jobs currently. One is with Simply Agriculture Solutions, where I work with beef producers to implement management practices on their property that supports species at risk (the Canadian equivalent of threatened and endangered species). The producers in this program can apply for funding to cover their costs. The other job is with Food Alliance as an auditor, where I get to visit ranchers around the Northern Great Plains who have applied to be in Audubon's new Conservation Ranching Program, which focuses on creating and maintaining bird habitat. The goal is to have a label for "Bird Friendly Beef" that will then secure the ranchers a premium for their beef, giving them a monetary incentive to produce their beef in a bird-friendly way.

Rob Shepard writes:

  • I graduated in August with my Ph.D. in geography.
  • I've been working at the University of Iowa Libraries since January 2015 as the Geographic Information Systems Specialist for the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio (our digital humanities center at Iowa, basically). (I plan to stay on - for now).
  • In December, I had co-authored (with UNL Professor Will Thomas and CDRH research associate Kaci Nash) an article called "Places of Exchange: An Analysis of Human and Materiél Flows in Civil War Alexandria," and it recently won the John T. Hubbell Prize for best article in Civil War History in 2016.
  • I recently (soft)-launched a digital project called "Placing Segregation," which geolocates residents in major American cities in 1860 and 1870, and I plan to continue expanding that in the future. I presented the work to the 2017 Digital Humanities Conference in Montréal, Quebec. It's still in the nascent phase, really -
  • I'm also working with another Great Plains Fellow, J Clark Archer, (and a fellow "Affiliate Fellow," [I believe they used to call us 'Associate Fellows' until recently] Fred Shelley) on a book called "Historical Atlas of Iowa," which is currently under contract with University of Iowa Press.
Former Center graduate fellow Amanda Breitbach (2014-16) is teaching as an Assistant Professor of Art in Photography at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. Some of her photographs are currently on display at the Cole Art Center in Nacogdoches and at the Art Center of Waco. Recently, she presented her work at the Society for Photographic Education South Central conference as part of a panel on landscape photography titled "Shifting Grounds."