Previous News and Notes entries

2019 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize winner announced

The winner of the 2019 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize is author C.J. Janovy for her book No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas (University Press of Kansas). The Center for Great Plains Studies’ book prize celebrates the most outstanding work about the Great Plains during the past year.

2017 Stubbendieck Book Prize winner announced

The winner is - American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains by Dan Flores

Human Trafficking in the Great Plains: 

Slides from the March 14 Human Trafficking in the Great Plains talk with information about human trafficking, tips for identifying it, and local agencies that are working on the problem by Dr. Rebecca Buller.

New issue of Great Plains Quarterly: 

Great Plains Quarterly 36.4 is now online at Project MUSE. (See table of contents)

Speaker: Robin Kimmerer

On Oct. 25 the Center hosted the University of Nebraska State Museum's annual Claire M. Hubbard First Peoples of the Plains Lecture: "The Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Knowledge for Biodiversity Conservation," with 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.

Paul A. Olson speaker: Michel Hogue

The 2016 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize lecture was held Thursday, Sept. 29. Download the audio here.

Center kicks off new Great Plains book series

The Center for Great Plains Studies in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Press is celebrating the release of the first book in the Discover the Great Plains small book series. David Wishart, professor of geography at the University of Nebraska, is the author of Great Plains Indians, a compelling introduction to Indian life on the Great Plains from 13,000 years ago to the present. Get a copy at the Great Plains Art Museum or at the University of Nebraska Press.

Center and Nebraska Tourism launch a new ecotourism newsletter

The Center's Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition has partnered with the Nebraska Tourism Commission to create a monthly newsletter on ecotourism in the Great Plains. Sign up for the newsletter today!

Audio up: David Jachowski

Listen to the audio from David Jachowski's lecture on the black-footed ferret

Photos: 2017 Mapping Symposium

See photos from our 2017 Great Plains Symposium in March.

Elizabeth Fenn lecture audio up

Elizabeth Fenn spoke at the Center on Oct. 28 as part of the Paul A. Olson Seminars in Great Plains Studies. Her lecture, "Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People" is available for download here. Fenn is the winner of the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize and Pulitzer Prize for History. She is the history department chair at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Walter Echo-Hawk lecture audio up

Walter Echo-Hawk, Native American author and attorney, spoke at the Center on Oct. 7. His talk was titled "Roots: My Journey to Indigenous Nebraska."

Book by Center Director Rick Edwards

Center Director Rick Edwards has a new book out Sept. 25 on the Northern Great Plains and the oil boom. He's written an essay on oil, culture, and what small places have to teach us in Prairie Fire as a preview to the book.

Human trafficking class in the news

"Human trafficking is often hidden, out of view in communities both big and small. But thanks to a new class offering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln students are learning how common this crime is – even in the Great Plains." from UNLToday

Lecture audio: Richard Reading

Director of Field Conservation and grassland conservationist Richard Reading spoke at the Center on May 6. Download the audio from his lecture "Transforming a Mongolian Nature Reserve from Paper Park to Model Protected Area."

Lecture audio: Ken Winkle

UNL History Professor Ken Winkle spoke about cotton and the Civil War at the April Paul A. Olson lecture. Audio is available on the Olson Seminar page.

Lecture audio: Roberto Lenton

Water for Food Institute Executive Director Roberto Lenton discussed how storage is key to enduring adequate water, food, and energy for a growing world population in his lecture, titled "Storage Systems for Drought Management and Food and Water Security." Audio is available on the Olson Seminar page.

Lost Writers of the Plains NET Radio series

The Center teamed up with NET Radio to develop the "Lost Writers of the Plains" series on eight Plains writers who were once poised for greatness but have been lost to contemporary readers. The project features a radio series, free iBook download, and website with lots of extra multimedia content.

Great Plains book prize renamed

Starting this year, the prize's name has been changed to the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize to acknowledge its founder, Jim Stubbendiek, emeritus professor of grassland ecology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and emeritus director of the Center for Great Plains Studies. The prize has also been upped to $10,000. Read the press release.

Photos: 2014 at the Center for Great Plains Studies

It's been a great year - here are the highlights

T. Linday Baker audio

Here's a clip of Professor Baker's talk on the history of wind power in the Great Plains on Thursday. Full audio will be up next week.

Speaker: Stew Magnuson, Sept. 24

Descending 1,885 miles straight down the center of the United States from Westhope, North Dakota, to Brownsville, Texas, is U.S. 83, one of the oldest and longest of the federal highways that hasn’t been replaced by an Interstate. Magnuson takes listeners on a trip down the road and through the history of the Northern Great Plains. The famous and the forgotten are found in stories he discovers.

First Friday Speaker

Melissa Dabakis, an American and Modern European Art History professor at Kenyon College, spoke on contemporary environmental art and site-specific sculpture during the Great Plains Art Museum's First Friday event on Sept. 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Great Plains Art Museum. The title is "Ecoventions: Art on the Farm."

Fulbright Award sends Great Plains professor to Russia

Center professor Dr. Charles Braithwaite is headed to Russia with a Fulbright Specialist Award and traveling to Tyuman State University to build partnerships with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and study educational strategies. Journal Star Coverage

Contemporary Indigeneity awards

On June 6, awarding juror and artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith chose several pieces from the Contemporary Indigeneity juried exhibition for cash prizes. See the full list of winners here.

Great Plains team member passes

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of long-time Center employee, Gretchen Walker. Gretchen was incredibly gifted at her position and kept the Center running smoothly and competently. We will miss her terribly. Our condolences to her family and friends. Journal Star obituary >

Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize winner announced

"Architecture of Saskatchewan: A Visual Journey, 1930-2011" by Bernard Flaman is this year's winner of the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize from the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska. Read the press release

New Center board members chosen

New Board of Governors members starting fall 2014: Maurice Godfrey (UNMC), Katrina Jagodinsky (UNL), Larkin Powell (UNL), and Barbara Robins (UNO)

New issue of Great Plains Research

The Spring issue of GPR (Vol. 24, Issue 1) is now available via Project MUSE. Use this link if you are on campus at UNL, UNO, or UNK:

New issue of Great Plains Quarterly

The Spring issue of GPQ (Vol. 34, Issue 2) is now available via Project MUSE. Use this link if you are on campus at UNL, UNO, or UNK:

Great Plains Book Prize finalists announced

The finalists for the 2014 Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize have been chosen: "Architecture of Saskatchewan: A Visual Journey, 1930-2011," with text by Bernard Flaman (Canadian Plains Research Center Press); "Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930," by Karen V. Hansen (Oxford University Press); and "The Red and the White: A Family Saga of the American West," by Andrew R. Graybill (Liveright/Norton Publishing). News release >

March Olson lecture

The final Paul A. Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies was March 19. Miguel Carranza, Professor of Latina/Latino Studies & Sociology, Director, Latina/Latino Studies Program, University of Missouri-Kansas City, gave a lecture titled "Potholes and Sinkholes on the Road to Immigration Reform" More on the lecture >

Curator/museum administrator hired

Melynda Seaton has been named curator/administrator of the Great Plains Art Museum. Seaton is a doctoral student in art history at the University of Oklahoma where her focus is art of the American West. Read the press release >

New Great Plains course

A new course, Human Trafficking in Nebraska and the Great Plains (GPSP/GEOG/HIST 400: SEMINAR IN GREAT PLAINS STUDIES, 3 CR) was offered during the summer pre-session. The course examined temporal and spatial dimensions of human trafficking in the Great Plains. Interdisciplinary concepts of cultures, demographics, development, economics, politics, power relationships, and urban dimensions were featured. Topics of study included enslavement processes, source regions, transfer locations, and destinations. Common characteristics and patterns of victims, traffickers, and clients were identified.

February Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies

Derek Hoff, from the Kansas State University history department, will give a talk titled "A Prophet without Honor?: Malthus on the Great Plains." Hoff is the author of The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in U.S. History, and, with John Fliter, Fighting Foreclosure: The Blaisdell Case, the Contract Clause, and the Great Depression. More about his talk >

Winter GPQ

The winter issue of GPQ is now available for purchase through the University of Nebraska Press or for viewing online via university library subscriptions to Project MUSE. Instructions on how to view the journal online and a table of contents are at the GPQ main page. Read the press release >

January Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies

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. UNL English professor Timothy Schaffert spoke about the Expo and his book, "The Swan Gondola" at this lecture on Jan. 15 at 3:30 p.m. A digital archive of photos from the Exposition are available here. Read the press release >

Video: Leon Higley Olson lecture

November Paul A. Olson Seminar Speaker and UNL entomologist Leon Higley's lecture >

Molly Murphy Adams piece at Hamilton Hall

Great Plains Art Museum's 2013 Artist-in-Residence Molly Murphy Adams' periodic table (which was displayed during at the GPAM in April) was recently purchased by the Chemistry Department at UNL and is now hanging in Hamilton Hall. See its new home here >

Great Plains Quarterly issue 33.4

The fall issue of Great Plains Quarterly is available to purchase via the University of Nebraska Press. Articles on topics including rainmaking, Native American beads and the Great Sioux Reservation. Check out the table of contents >

Great Plains Research issue 23.2

The fall issue of Great Plains Research is available to purchase via the University of Nebraska Press. This is a special themed issue on school consolidation with content from our 2013 Great Plains Symposium. Check out the contents and abstracts >

Western American Literature comes to the Center

Published by the Western Literature Association, Western American Literature is the leading journal in Western American literary studies. It's editor, Tom Lynch, and the journal operations are now on the 5th floor of the Center. More about the journal here.

Construction notes

The main-floor gallery is open and construction on the mezzanine has been completed. This space has been converted into an office and commons space for our Great Plains Graduate Fellows. See a slideshow of the work and the finished result here.

Center's new Great Plains Focus page

On the Great Plains Focus page, visitors will find continually updating stories on Great Plains topics, news about what our Fellows are doing and features such as photos from our archives. Visitors can also find a list of our Great Plains Fellows, Associate Fellows and Emeritus Fellows sorted by department listings. Fellows, with their contact information, are described by their department, organization and specialties. If you have something to submit to this page or a correction to your listing, email us at

Summer Great Plains Quarterly

The summer issue of Great Plains Quarterly features a Native American family's role in a 1939 farm-development project on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, a newspaper editor who used the publication to boost his town's growth and a Syrian-Lebanese family's entrepreneurial tradition in Kansas. See the issue here. Order a copy here.

Video: Wes Jackson at the Center

The Land Institute President Wes Jackson speaks on ecologically sensitive agriculture and the future of ecosystem-based farming. In this photo, Jackson holds a picture of a perennial strain of a wheat called Kernza with a long and robust root system (bottom) versus typical annual wheat planted by farmers (top).

View the video of his lecture here and visit the Land Institute's website.

Give to Lincoln Day totals

The Center and the Museum received $1,046 in donations on May 16 during the Lincoln Community Foundation's Give to Lincoln Day. Thank you to everyone who donated! If you would like to make a contribution the center's work providing community events, scholarly projects and a world-class art museum, visit our donation page.

Audio up

Priscilla Grew, director of the University of Nebraska State Museum and professor in the department of Earth and atmospheric science gave a presentation at the Center titled "Engaging Lifelong Learners in Natural History: The Land-Grant Mission of the University of Nebraska State Museum." Listen to the talk and view slides from the presentation here.

Announcing the 2015 Great Plains Symposium

The Center for Great Plains Studies is announcing a partnership with the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs for a spring 2015 event centered on Native Americans in the Great Plains. The Center's 41st Annual Great Plains Symposium will be held in the spring of 2015 with the theme of Chief Standing Bear, the Standing Bear Trail and continuing issues for Native Americans in the Great Plains today. The symposium is a two-day, interdisciplinary event attracting scholars, public officials, tribal members and other interested members of the public from across the Great Plains. Read the press release, print a flyer for the event and go to the NCIA's website.

Great Plains Distinguished book prize winner

"Blackfoot Redemption: A Blood Indian's Story of Murder, Confinement and Imperfect Justice" by William E. Farr is this year's winner of the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize. It was published in 2012 by the University of Oklahoma Press. Farr's book reconstructs the events of a Canadian Blackfoot called Spopee who shot and killed a white man in 1879. Through the narrative, he reveals a larger story about race and prejudice as the transition to reservations began.

2013 Great Plains Graduate Fellows chosen

The Center for Great Plains Studies has appointed eight UNL graduate students to its Graduate Fellows Program. The program is a place for selected students to work, meet, obtain support, learn from fellow students, engage with the Center faculty and staff, benefit from the Center's resources and progress in their studies. The students (the second round to be accepted since the program’s beginning last year) are Mikal Brotnov, William England, Joshua Ewalt, Kent Fricke, Nora Greiman, Joe Hamm, Jason Hertz and Kristin Sorensen. Click here for contact info and more about the students' work. Read the press release here.

2013 symposium photos and news coverage

Educators, researchers and interested parties from across the region attended the Center's Annual Symposium this year in Kearney. See photos from the event here. And check out the coverage of the event in the Kearney Hub, 10/11 News, KHAS-TV 5 and the Omaha World Herald.

Journal award winners announced

The 2012 Frederick C. Luebke Award for Great Plains Quarterly has been given to Harvey Markowitz, Department of Anthropology at Washington and Lee University. For Great Plains Research, the Charles E. Bessey Award for the best natural science article in 2012 goes to Sharon N. Kahara, Department of Natural Resource Managment and Steven R. Chipps, U.S. Geological Survey. Leslie Hewes Award for the best social science article in 2012 goes to Robert Pahre, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Read the release here.

Top 50 Ecotourism Sites in the Great Plains

Last year, we surveyed 51 naturalists in nine states to determine the top 50 ecotourism sites in the Great Plains and produced a print map. Now, an interactive map of the sites is available online here. Be an ecotourist! Check out the map and help us fill in the photos. You can request a paper map by contacting

Conservation Jam video

The Center for Great Plains Studies and The Nature Conservancy hosted a Conservation Jam on Friday, February 1. Participants from across the state took turns at the microphone, offering lessons, arguments and calls to action on topics like grassland health, groundwater protection, and what citizens can do to save what remains of native plants and wildlife in our state.

Watch the video