Great Plains Research

Published by University of Nebraska Press
Online ISSN: 1052-5165
Publications
Marginal Willingness to Pay for Non-Powwow Tourists Significant Attribute Levels MWTP Standard Error 
Article
Despite favorable locations and the potential for economic development, Native American tribes have not developed their ecotourism markets substantially. This paper presents a choice experiment analysis of potential tourist and local resident preferences for alternative ecotourism development scenarios for the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. The choice experiments’ elicitation featured attributes of both cultural and nature-based tourist attractions. Survey results demonstrated that visitors interviewed at powwows had significantly different preferences from those interviewed at local tourist attractions. Results from all samples showed positive preferences towards an amphitheater, a nature trail, and a bison meal, and no preference toward an ATV trail. Non-powwow tourists had significant willingness to pay for a number of potential attractions, including nature trails, a road through the bison pasture, and an interpretive center with amphitheatre show.
 
Article
Ecosystem, species and genetic dimensions of biodiversity have eroded since widespread settlement of the Great Plains. Conversion of native vegetation in the region followed the precipitation gradient, with the greatest conversion in the eastern tallgrass prairie and eastern mixed-grass types. Areas now dominated by intensive land uses are "hot spots" for exotic birds. However, species of all taxa listed as threatened or endangered are well-distributed across the Great Plains. These species are often associated with special landscape features, such as wetlands, rivers, caves, sandhills and prairie dog towns. In the long run, sustaining biodiversity in the Great Plains, and the goods and services we derive from the plains, will depend on how successfully we can manage to maintain and restore habitat variation and revitalize ecosystem functioning. Public policy and legislation played a significant role in the degradation of native habitats in the region. Both policy and legislation wi...
 
Projected water use in western Kansas from the High Plains Study, VS. actual use from 1990 to 2000. (Sources: Kansas Water Office 1982b; Kansas Division of Water Resources)
Composition of irrigation-system types, western Kansas, 1991-2000. (Source: Kansas Division of Water Resources)  
Article
The most comprehensive water policy analysis conducted on the High Plains region to date was the High Plains Ogallala Regional Aquifer Study completed in 1982. Twenty years later, we had a unique opportunity to compare the projections from this study with the changes that actually occurred over the past two decades. Specific comparisons were made for the area of western Kansas overlying the High Plains Aquifer. These comparisons revealed some significant differences in the status of the aquifer and in the region's economic development, relative to the predictions of the study. Most notably, contrary to the study's predictions, irrigated area did not decline precipitously, but rather continued to increase during the period. Despite large increases in irrigated area and production of more water-intensive crops, such as corn and alfalfa, both per-unit area and total water use declined over the 20 years. Differences in observed and projected results can be attributed to a variety of factors, including large differences in crop prices, yield trends, energy prices, farm commodity programs, and irrigation technologies relative to those assumed in the study. Future research will need to better account for these factors to offer useful guidance in setting water management policies.
 
Article
We examined the sustainability of the livestock grazing industry in the Great Plains of North America relative to ecological processes, economic viability, and social acceptance. We conclude from the review that livestock grazing is an appropriate use of Great Plains grasslands and, when properly managed, ecologically sustainable. However, we also present evidence that the Great Plains grazing industry is not always economically sustainable or socially acceptable. We attribute this anomaly in large part to the consuming public's general lack of understanding and appreciation for the ecological linkages between current livestock grazing tactics and the evolutionary history of the Great Plains. A contributing factor to this problem is the scientific community's interjection of personal biases and value systems when interpreting ecological response patterns to varying forms of land use. We present evidence in support of this hypothesis by comparing statements and supporting literature citations from three recently published literature reviews addressing the ecological impacts of livestock grazing on North American rangelands.
 
NONPARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF THE PROPORTION OF AVAILABLE TWIGS BROWSED AND THE RELATIVE USE OF TWIGS BY WHITE-TAILED DEER
Article
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations have in the past, and continue today, to increase in the Great Plains and North America. However, their impact on native plant species and endangered ecosystems such as the tallgrass prairie is poorly documented. To better understand the consequences of increasing deer numbers for native shrubs in grasslands, we assessed the extent of their summer browsing activity on six shrub species (wild plum, rough-leaved dogwood, smooth sumac, fragrant sumac, and coralberry) along transects that spanned riparian margins to upland tallgrass prairie. The proportion of terminal shoots browsed was quantified along established white-tail deer trails and in parallel transects off trails in watersheds that varied in fire history at the Konza Prairie Biological Station (Kansas). Proximity to deer trails was a strong determinant of deer browsing activity. Along trails, 20% of the twigs surveyed (N = 60,032) were browsed, whereas off trails less than 1% of twigs (N = 14,785) were browsed. Coralberry and rough-leaved dogwood comprised 80% of the shrub cover along trails, whereas wild plum, prickly ash, smooth sumac, and fragrant sumac had less cover, in that order. However, browsing was greatest on wild plum and rough-leaved dogwood (between 40% and 50% of available twigs), and the proportion of twigs browsed out of the total twigs used was highest for rough-leaved dogwood. Based on preference ratios (use/abundance), white-tail deer are likely to have the greatest impact on the less common wild plum and smooth sumac as well as rough-leaved dogwood. Interestingly, white-tail deer avoided the most common shrub, coralberry, at this time of year. Our results suggest that even in summer, when deer tend also to forage on herbaceous species in grasslands, deer browsing may have significant local impacts on woody species of tallgrass prairies in the Great Plains. Concurrent increases in woody plant cover and abundance in grasslands throughout the Great Plains suggest that deer browsing is not yet intense enough to prevent shrub expansion into tallgrass prairie.
 
Article
Grazing management on the Great Plains has been criticized for not more closely matching the presumed grazing patterns of bison. The critics assume that bison "flash grazed," that is, grazed heavily for a short time, then moved on, and did not return for months or even years. This assumption complements the traditional view of an annual north-south migration of the herds. However, evidence from explorers' and other travelers' journals contradict both flash grazing and annual north-south migration. In a few cases where prolonged continuous observations were made in the same favorable habitat, bison were seldom absent. In Canada, bison sometimes moved from the plains into the bordering aspen parklands during severe winter weather, but not regularly and not north-south. Throughout the Great Plains, bison numbers were so great and so thoroughly spread over the country that if a herd moved on, they were quickly replaced by another, giving little opportunity for rest or regrowth of the plant communities. Bison appeared to move in response to local conditions of forage availability, as influenced by weather, fire, and previous grazing. In at least one case, bison remained on a depleted watershed until they starved, rather than moving to an adjacent watershed with adequate forage.
 
Article
Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L., one of the three dominant grasses of the North American tall grass prairie, is a genetically and morphologically diverse species with an array of ploidy levels, or set of chromosomes, and ecotypes. The relationship between DNA content and ploidy level has been controversial. The objectives of this study were to provide clear photodocumentation of switchgrass chromosome numbers and to clarify the relationship between nuclear DNA content and chromosome number. Defining the relationship between ploidy level and nuclear DNA content will facilitate the use of molecular biology techniques, such as flow cytometry, in plant breeding and evolutionary biology. The switchgrass tetraploids examined, which contain 4 sets of chromosomes, had 36 chromosomes with a nuclear DNA content of 3.1 pg/nuclei, while octaploids (8 sets of chromosomes) had 72 chromosomes with 6.1 pg/nuclei. Tetraploid plants from lowland ecotypes had the same nuclear DNA content as tetraploid plants from upland ecotypes. Normal diploid chromosome pairing occurred at meiosis for all tetraploid and octaploid plants examined. Our results indicate that the lowland and upland ecotypes have the same basic genome, and that the octaploids most likely evolved from the tetraploids by a natural doubling of chromosomes, and did so long enough ago for meiosis to be stabilized. Further research is needed to explore the evolutionary origins of switchgrass.
 
Average daily gain (kg/hd/day) and spring, fall, and total beef production (kg/ha) responses of yearling Hereford heifers stocked at light and moderate rates on “Bozoisky” Russian wildrye and “Hycrest” crested wheatgrass pastures in shortgrass steppe, 1996–1999, at the USDA–Agricultural Research Service, Central Plains Experimental Range, Nunn, CO. 
SUMMARY OF PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS FOR HEREFORD HEIFERS ON COMPLEMENTARY PAS- TURES IN SHORTGRASS STEPPE, 1996-1999, CENTRAL PLAINS EXPERIMENTAL RANGE, NUNN, COLORADO
Article
Livestock gains of yearling Hereford heifers were evaluated during 1996–1999 on two complementary forage grasses, “Bozoisky-Select” Russian wildrye (Psathyrostachys juncea [Fisch.] Nevski) or “Hycrest” crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn. ssp. desertorum [Fisch. ex Link] A. Love). Average daily gains were similar between light and moderate stocking rates for both Bozoisky and Hycrest, and gains trended higher for Hycrest than for Bozoisky at light stocking rates. Total annual (spring + fall) beef production (kg/ ha) was consistently greater for moderate (29%–46%) than for light stocking of both complementary forages. Spring gains represented >75% of the total annual beef production across forages. Average daily gains on these complementary forages were similar to those on native shortgrass steppe for the summer grazing season, but total annual beef production was two to four times greater with the complementary forages, suggesting that both Hycrest and Bozoisky can fill forage gaps and provide significant contributions to beef production.
 
PHENOLOGICAL STAGES OF THE WESTERN PRAIRIE FRINGED ORCHID 
PREDICTED AND COUNTED NUMBERS OF FLOWERING WESTERN PRAIRIE FRINGED ORCHID PLANTS, PIPESTONE NATIONAL MONUMENT, 1995-2004
NUMBERS OF FLOWERING, VEGETATIVE, AND ABSENT PLANTS FOR PROTECTED AND BURN TREATMENTS, PIPESTONE NATIONAL MONUMENT, 2002
Article
A small, isolated population of the threatened western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara Sheviak & Bowles) occurs at Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota, in a mesic prairie that is periodically burned to control invasive cool-season grasses. During 1995-2004, monitoring counts of flowering orchids in the monument varied considerably for different years. Similar precipitation amounts in the spring and histories of burning suggest that fire and precipitation in the spring were not the causes of the variation. For the eight non-burn years in the monitoring record, we compared the number of flowering plants and the precipitation amounts during six growth stages of the orchid and found a 2-variab1e model (precipitation during senescence/bud development and precipitation in the dormant period) explained 77% of the annual variation in number of flowering plants. We also conducted a fire experiment in early May 2002, the typical prescribed burn period for the monument, and found that the frequency of flowering, vegetative, and absent plants observed in July did not differ between burned and protected locations of orchids. We used the model and forecasts of precipitation in the spring to develop provisional burn decision scenarios. We discussed management implications of the scenarios.
 
DATES OF EXPEDITIONS
Article
Historic accounts from the 19th-century western Great Plains contain significant information on Plains ungulates and other animals, particularly as they relate to provisioning the Euro-American travelers. Using data derived from these accounts, a quantitative assessment of the hunting success of the Pike, Long, Glenn, and Dodge expeditions of the early 19th century is presented to ascertain the conditions of these species in the region. These data are then used to assess historiographic models of bison overhunting. This analysis indicates that the western Southern Plains and western Central Plains had differing trajectories of overhunting explained by temporally variable human and environmental impacts. © 2011 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
Aerial photographs of the Engineer Cantonment area taken in July-August 2003. The location of Engineer Cantonment is marked with a star. The modern course of the Missouri River lies to the east. The town of Fort Calhoun, Washington County, NE, is in the upper left of the image. Council Bluff, the site of Fort Atkinson, is just to the east of the town on top of the bluff above the old course of the Missouri River.  
Article
It is our thesis that members of the Stephen Long Expedition of 1819-20 completed the first biodiversity inventory undertaken in the United States at their winter quarters, Engineer Cantonment, Missouri Territory, in the modern state of Nebraska. This accomplishment has been overlooked both by biologists and historians, but it should rank among the most significant accomplishments of the expedition. The results of this inventory allow us to evaluate the environmental, faunal, and floral changes along the Missouri River in the intervening nearly 190 years. The historical records form a visual image of a dynamic riverine system in which a highly meandering river flows through a wide valley filled with oxbows, palustrine wetlands, and scattered groves of trees. This system has now been modified to a channelized river with the surrounding wetlands drained and converted to agricultural and municipal purposes. The suppression of prairie fires and the adoption of irrigation practices have promoted the growth of trees and other woody vegetation. The city of Omaha and its suburbs are expanding and encroaching on the site from the south and west. At least three taxa recorded at the site have become extinct-Ectopistes migratorius (passenger pigeon), Conuropsis carolinensis (Carolina parakeet), and Canis lupus nubilus (plains subspecies of the gray wolf)-and several more have been extirpated from the region. For mammals, the data indicate that nine species of the 1819-20 fauna have been lost, and two species have been added, thus resulting in a net loss of seven species. These changes represent a net loss of 15% of the mammalian biodiversity originally present in the Engineer Cantonment area. The species richness estimator for Engineer Cantonment in 1819-20 is 403 for vertebrates, insects, snails, and plants, but it is clear that this number is extremely low, because plants were not thoroughly surveyed by the expedition and only a small fraction of the insects were collected.
 
Article
The purpose of this study was to utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and spatial analysis coupled with the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) alumni data from 1930 to 2004 in order to compare and contrast the changing distribution patterns of five-year alumni cohorts. Mean centers, location quotients, and cluster analysis were used to assess the degree to which UNK alumni cohorts have migrated over the 75-year period, the extent to which any regionalization or lack thereof occurs, and the proportion of UNK alumni per county compared to college graduates as a whole. These spatial patterns were then compared to migration trends throughout the United States for the same period. © 2010 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoin.
 
Article
The religious heritage of the Great Plains is illustrated in distinct denominational regions. Mapping county-level data on major denominations reveals that Catholics and Lutherans are strongest in the Northern Plains, Methodists in the Central Plains, and Baptists in the Southern Plains. Counties that are increasing in population and closest to metropolitan and interstate areas experience the most diversity. During the last fifty years, Lutherans and Methodists have lost members, while Catholics and Baptists gained. The Central Plains is experiencing the most dynamism.
 
Article
This article addresses a current gap in the inequality literature by identifying demographic and economic factors that best explain persistent income inequality across N= 817 nonmetropolitan block groups in Nebraska between 1979 and 2009. Over one-half of rural places in Nebraska have average levels of income inequality, one-quarter have persistently low inequality, and one-fifth of places have persistently high levels of income inequality. Results of multinomial logistic regression suggest that persistently high-inequality places in rural Nebraska tend to be smaller, more urbanized, more ethnically diverse, more wealthy, more specialized in high-skill and low-skill industries, and have experienced fast growth in urbanization, incomes, and professional services. By contrast, low-inequality places tend to be larger, less urban, less diverse, less well educated, less wealthy, less engaged in the labor force, and have experienced population declines and slower growth in urbanization, educational attainment, and incomes. © 2011 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
Article
Unlike most of the Great Plains, Texas's Edwards Plateau lies near large, rapidly growing metropolitan centers. County-to-county migration data for the period 1985-1990 were used to examine migration patterns in Edwards Plateau counties. Weighted standard distance and stream efficiency values were used to analyze county inmigration fields of 28 nonmetropolitan counties. A key finding was that net in-migration to counties closest to metropolitan areas was not mere "urban spillover." There were also indications that counterurban migration extended beyond metropolitan-adjacent counties to more sparsely populated destinations. Counterurbanization was occurring from central counties of the nation's largest metropolitan areas and some Texas metropolitan areas. In-migration from the Gulf Coast of Texas played an important role in the Edwards Plateau. The migration system of the Edwards Plateau appears to have functioned differently than non-metropolitan counties in the High Plains. Continued change is supported by data from the 2000 census.
 
Article
In several areas of the United States previously not known for foreign populations, the number of Hispanics and Asians have increased in the past two decades. I examined the percentage change for Hispanics and for Asians for 41 cities in the states of Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota between 1990 and 2000. Hispanics and Asians are then disaggregated by ethnic subgroup, and regression analysis is used to determine the characteristics of cities that attract or repel different subgroups for both 1990 and 2000. In 2000 Mexicans, Other Hispanics, and Vietnamese were attracted to cities with low income levels and cities with a flourishing meat-processing industry. Chinese, Koreans, and Indians were attracted to cities with a public university and high levels of income. Clearly, Hispanics and Vietnamese were attracted to different cities than were the other Asian groups. This most likely reflects the educational differences between the two groups.
 
Article
The depopulation of the Great Plains continues to draw the attention of rural scholars. However, a number of aspects of migration in the region remain poorly understood. For example, what differences exist among migrants in terms of their economic characteristics? Recent research shows that there is tremendous variability in the amount of income each migrant brings to or takes from a region. Using county-level Internal Revenue Service data for migration flows between 1995 and 1998, we explore the spatial patterns of income and population migration, while contrasting the income flows of in-migrants versus out-migrants. The results show that income flows out of the Great Plains exceed what might be expected given the pattern of net out-migration, and that many of the migration flows into the region may be reinforcing pockets of poverty. These findings should concern local officials worried about preserving public and private services in rural areas in the face of a declining population and tax base.
 
Article
Sera samples were collected from 21 free-ranging, captured female elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) in 1995-96, and tissue and sera samples were collected from 415 hunter-harvested elk from 1995 to 2006 and tested for selected diseases. Titers for Anaplasma marginale were detected in 81 of 436 (19%) elk. Occurrence of antibodies to anaplasmosis increased from 4 to 40 elk from 2002 to 2006. Titers for bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) were detected in 18 of 346 (5%) samples. Titers for Leptospira interrogans serovars were detected in 21 of 289 (7%) of samples from 1995 to 2004. Titers for bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) were detected in 65 of 370 (18%) sampled elk during 1995-2006. Biologists collected obex tissues from 566 elk from 1997 to 2009 and found evidence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in one elk in 2009. No brucellosis was detected. Due to the prevalence of several diseases in elk in Nebraska, we recommend that surveillance efforts continue. © 2011 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
Aquatic invertebrate and water quality monitoring sites on the Niobrara River, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska.
Mean taxa richness, EPT richness, Shannon's index, taxa evenness, and biotic index of invertebrate samples collected from the Niobrara River, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska. N = 45 for all years except 1989 (5), 1996 (13), N 1998 (34), 2002 (44), 2003 (44), 2008 (15), and 2009 (15).
Mean percent Amphipoda, percent Chironomidae, percent EPT, percent Cheumatopsyche, percent Heptageniidae, and percent Leptophlebiidae of invertebrates samples collected from the Niobrara River, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska. N = 45 for all years except 1989 (5), 1996 (13), 1998 (34), 2002 (44), 2003 (44), 2008 (15), and 2009 (15). N
Article
Aquatic invertebrates were sampled annually in the Niobrara River, Nebraska, during the period 1996-2009 using Hester-Dendy multiplate samplers. Collections indicated the invertebrate community in the river has shifted from one dominated by Ephemeroptcra, Plccoptcra, and Trichoptera (EPT) taxa to one dominated by Chironomidae and Amphipoda. Generally, EPT richness and percentage abundance of EPT of"the total community, as well as percentage abundance of Hep-tageniidae and Leptophlcbiidae, has declined across the years. During that same period, percentage abundance of Amphi-poda and Chironomidae, taxa evenness, Shannon's Index, and the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index have increased. Stream discharge decreased significantly during the 15-year period when invertebrates were collected (Mann-Kendall trend test, P = 0.04). Water-surface elevation of the river measured with staff gages also gradually increased over time, although the trends were not significant (P ≥ 0.15). Although not analyzed statistically, water temperature (°C), conductivity (u,S/cm). and pH gradu-ally increased over time while dissolved oxygen concentration (mg/litcr) decreased over time. Although other factors cannot be ruled out, a proposed reason for the observed changes in invertebrate community structure may be related to changes in the physical habitat condition in the Niobrara River associated with encroachment of the nonnative and invasive emergent aquatic plant, yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus L.). This weed has expanded into the stream channel, where it blocks streamflow. © 2013 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska Lincoln.
 
Article
Prescribed burning is commonly used to prevent succession of tallgrass prairie to woody vegetation, which preserves the prairie's value to ranching and native wildlife. However, burning has negative effects as well, including potentially harming wildlife and releasing pollutants into the atmosphere. Research concerning the effects of fire on vegetation dynamics, wildlife, and air quality would benefit greatly from maps of burned areas in the Flint Hills, as no reliable quantification of burned areas currently exists. We used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery to map burned areas in the Flint Hills for each year from 2000 to 2010. Our maps revealed the total amount and spatial pattern of burning for each year. They also revealed the frequency with which different parts of the study area were burned during the 11-year study period. Finally, our maps showed that nearly all burning took place during the month of April.
 
Area-weighted percentage of normal precipitation in Nebraska, January 2000 to January 2005.
Article
Recent decreases in rainfall and the accompanying decreases in groundwater levels since 1999 indicate heightened vulnerability to drought in Nebraska and the surrounding Great Plains. Precipitation across Nebraska during 2000-2005 ranged from 72% to 108% of the 30-year normal value, with fully 90% of 150 stations reporting below-normal precipitation. Simultaneously, groundwater levels declined more than 9 m in the most heavily impacted areas, most of which were already experiencing declines due to extensive irrigation development and low recharge rates. Thus, recovery from the drought and long-term intensive land use will be particularly challenging in densely irrigated areas of Nebraska. In contrast, contemporaneous groundwater-level changes in areas with little groundwater irrigation were comparatively modest. These observations demonstrate that drought mitigation efforts in the central and northern Great Plains must consider the combined effects of area-specific reduced recharge, local geohydrology (especially as it affects recharge), and increased groundwater withdrawals. © Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
Article
Land-cover and land-use change usually results from a combination of anthropogenic drivers and biophysical conditions found across multiple scales, ranging from parcel to regional levels. A group of four Level 111 ecoregions located in the U.S. northern Great Plains is used to demonstrate the similarities and differences in land change during nearly a 30-year period (1973-2000) using results from the U.S. Geological Survey's Land Cover Trends project. There were changes to major suites of land-cover; the transitions between agriculture and grassland/shrubland and the transitions among wetland, water, agriculture, and grassland/ shrubland were affected by different factors. Anthropogenic drivers affected the land-use tension (or land-use competition) between agriculture and grassland/shrubland land-covers, whereas changes between wetland and water land-covers, and their relationship to agriculture and grassland/shrubland land-covers, were mostly affected by regional weather cycles. More land-use tension between agriculture and grassland/shrubland landcovers occurred in ecoregions with greater amounts of economically marginal cropland. Land-cover change associated with weather variability occurred in ecoregions that had large concentrations of wetlands and water impoundments, such as the Missouri River reservoirs. The Northwestern Glaciated Plains ecoregion had the highest overall estimated percentage of change because it had both land-use tension between agriculture and grassland/shrubland land-covers and wetland-water changes. © 2011 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
Article
The relationship between monthly midtropospheric circulation variations, occurring in the North American sector, and surface temperature and precipitation across the Great Plains is evaluated for the middle month of each season (January, April, July, and October). The results demonstrate that monthly Great Plains temperature variability is strongly associated with the major pattems of midtropospheric circulation variation during all months considered. Temporally, the strongest associations are observed during October. However, January, July, and April also exhibit spatially coherent regions of strong association. Spatially, the relationship tends to be strongest in the northern Plains, with decreasing association to the south. Precipitation-midtroposphere relationships are weaker than those for temperature during all months. The association between the midtroposphere and precipitation is relatively strong from late fall through late spring. However, the convective nature of precipitation in the region during the summer months limits any strong relationships in July. In a spatial sense, no preferred regions of precipitation explanation were indicated in the analysis.
 
Article
Geomorphological and archeological evidence indicates potential linkages between Plains aboriginal occupation and dune activity in the Elbow Sand Hills of southern Saskatchewan, Canada. Vegetation encroachment has rapidly outpaced migration of an active dune complex over the last 65 years. Optical ages of stabilized dune remnants indicate that dune activity predates Euro-Canadian settlement (ca. AD 1900). Early Euro-Canadian explorers observed local occupation and exploitation of the sand hills by aboriginal groups for herding and impounding bison. Mapping of archeological sites in relation to physiography reveals that sand dunes, in close proximity to permanent water resources, were preferred areas of occupation. Collectively, these results support the hypothesis that aboriginal occupation disturbance may have perpetuated dune activity in the Elbow Sand Hills until the late 19th century, and that Euro-Canadian settlement and land use emphasizing conservation may have encouraged recent stabilization. We propose that similar aboriginal occupation disturbances may have been responsible for perpetuating dune activity in other dune fields in the Great Plains. To this end, climatic variability should not be considered exclusive of other drivers of dune activity in semivegetated inland dune fields of the Great Plains. © 2007 Copyright by the Queen in Right of Canada; Published by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
Article
The abundance and habitat associations of overwintering birds in Platte River Valley of central Nebraska may influence their long-term survival. I observed a total of 51 species over a three-year period in shrub-grassland, forest, grassland, and cropland habitats during the winter. Grassland habitats had the lowest abundance of wintering birds, while abundances in shrub-grassland, forest, and cropland habitats were higher and similar. Species richness was highest in forests (xmacr; = 2.97 species) and lowest in grasslands (xamcr; = 0.73 species) and croplands (xamcr; = 0.57 species). Overall, horned larks (Eremophila alpestris), American tree sparrows (Spizella arborea), black-capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus), dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), western meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta), and red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) were the most abundant wintering birds in the Platte River Valley. American tree sparrows (34%) accounted for most of the birds in shrub-grasslands, while black-capped chickadees (18%), dark-eyed juncos (11%), and American tree sparrows (10%) accounted for most of the birds in forests. Grasslands were dominated by American tree sparrows (39%) and western meadowlarks (27%), and croplands were dominated by horned larks (43%), red-winged blackbirds (25%), and western meadowlarks (16%). The winter bird community in the Platte River Valley is dominated by woodland-associated species. Many of the woodland-associated species that overwinter in the Platte River Valley have likely benefited from the development of woodlands in the region.
 
Article
Northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) and red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) in the Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) of South Dakota represent isolated populations. Because data on both species in the region are limited, and because the northern flying squirrel in South Dakota and the Black Hills National Forest has species of concern status, we trapped throughout BHNF to determine relative abundance in different forest types for both populations. For northern flying squirrels, capture rate was higher in the northern and western hills compared to the southern and eastern hills, whereas for red squirrels, capture rate was higher in the western hills, followed by the southern and eastern hills. The northern hills are classified as mesic coniferous forest transitioning to a dry coniferous forest in the southern hills. In addition, the northern hills is characterized by a mixed coniferous-deciduous forest, whereas the southern and eastern hills are characterized by even-aged managed coniferous stands. Understanding the abundance of these two isolated squirrel populations in the different forest types of the BHNF is important in intensively managed forests, because management decisions can impact isolated populations. © 2013 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska Lincoln.
 
Article
Recorded presettlement observations of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are not adequate to fully determine their abundance and distribution. Early naturalists and explorers made only casual reports of prairie dogs on an opportunistic basis; their written records do not represent systematic surveys. Cumulative accounts of prairie dog control efforts, together with the known current prairie dog distribution in North Dakota and Montana, clearly show that most journalists failed to record prairie dog colonies. Also, they restricted their travels to a few common routes, and as a result only a very small and select portion of the landscape was surveyed. The hypothesis that prairie dogs dramatically increased in abundance following settlement is highly speculative. It ignores the fact that the Great Plains were once populated by large numbers of native ungulates, and that prairie dog control efforts began as early as the 1880s. Many lines of evidence suggest that the black-tailed prairie dog was common prior to European-American settlement and occupied 2%-15% of large landscapes (400,000 ha or more). There are systematic accounts of prairie dogs at the time of settlement, government records concerning poisoning efforts, physical evidence of abandoned historic colonies, and contemporary information on prairie dog ecology, dispersal, distribution, and abundance, as well as presettlement accounts of large colonies measured in miles. The association of an obligate predator (the black-footed ferret [Mustela nigripes]) and a commensal bird species (e.g., mountain plover [Charadrius montanus] and burrowing owl [Athene cunicularia]) with the prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) is considered additional evidence that prairie dogs were abundant and widespread for an extended period. The presence of black-tailed prairie dogs throughout the short- and mixed-grass regions of the Great Plains from southern Canada to northern Mexico provided an important and unique habitat to a variety of wildlife species. We conclude that the black-tailed prairie dog was more abundant than suggested by tallies of observations in the journals of early European travelers.
 
Article
Anthropogenic modification of native woodlands and grasslands in the Great Plains has altered the abundance and distribution of many species of mammals. To study habitat effects on the eastern woodrat (Neotoma fioridana), we surveyed nests of the eastern woodrat in woodlands, grasslands, and croplands along 77 km of secondary roads in three counties in north-central Kansas. All nests were located in woodlands (<2% of habitat), although grasslands and croplands constituted 36% and 62% of habitat surveyed, respectively. In our survey, nests were associated positively with shelterbelts (3.6 nests per 100 m of road edge) but not with shrub patches (1.1 nests per 100 m of road edge) or riparian woodlands (0.3 nests per 100 m of road edge). Consequently, we specifically censused nests in an additional 12 riparian woodlands and 12 shelterbelts. Nests of eastern Woodrats were less dense in riparian woodlands (9.4 nests/ha) than in shelterbelts (55.5 nests/ha). Density of woodrat nests decreased as width of a wooded area increased. Further, nests per 100 m of length of woodland did not increase as the width of woodland increased. These patterns suggest that woodland edge, not woodland interior, is the primary factor in abundance of eastern woodrats in this region. Although the eastern woodrat has previously been considered a woodland species, our results suggest that this assessment is incorrect. Our observations demonstrate that anthropogenic modification of the Great Plains, in the form of planted shelterbelts and expanded riparian woodland, likely has increased the distribution and abundance of eastern woodrats, compared to the mid-1800s.
 
Article
The number of lesser snow geese (Chen caerulescens) and Ross's geese (C. Rossii), hereinafter called "light geese," staging during spring in the Rainwater Basin and Central Platte River Valley of southcentral Nebraska has dramatically increased since the late 1980s. However, there has been no documentation of the abundance or distribution of light geese across the Rainwater Basin and Central Platte River Valley and the relationship of distribution to conservation-order activities. We used aerial transect surveys and distance sampling methodology to estimate abundance and distribution of light geese in the Rainwater Basin and Central Platte River Valley in the spring of 2001, 2002, and 2003. In 2001 at peak migration, we estimated approximately 7.3 million light geese in the Rainwater Basin and Central Platte River Valley. In 2002 and 2003 there were approximately 1.2 million and 1.6 million light geese at peak migration, respectively. Distribution did not appear to change in relation to light goose conservation-order activities. However, there was an increased use of the Central Platte River Valley during 2002 and 2003 due to dry conditions. The Rainwater Basin and Central Platte River Valley have become a major spring staging area for light geese. Abundance and distribution appear to be related to water conditions and migration chronology. © 2009 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
SURVEYED COLORADO GRASSHOPPER DENSITIES
Representative posted grasshopper densities (number per m 2 ) for 1996, showing the general pattern of occurrence. Some sites have been moved or omitted for legibility.
Cumulative values of Moran's I statistic plotted against distance.
Article
Although rangeland grasshopper populations have been studied for more than 120 years, little is known of the spatial patterns in grasshopper numbers between outbreak cycles. This information is necessary to understand how grasshopper outbreaks develop and to correctly design research, monitoring, and modeling projects. We used exploratory data analysis and geostatistics to identify the spatial patterns in grasshopper numbers for 1993 through 1997 in Colorado. The same family of models (spherical) provided the best fit to the sample data for all years, which implies that similar processes influenced grasshopper densities over these years. The parameters of the models differed among years, however, which suggests that the scale of spatial patterning changed over time. Since Colorado grasshopper densities were patterned at scales larger than those reported for other areas of the Great Plains, our results suggest that survey methods for Colorado are not adequate to identify small-scale "hot spots" of high grasshopper numbers, inhibiting prediction of potential outbreak foci in this region.
 
DIFFERENTIATING YEARLING WIDTE-TAILED DEER FROM THOSE~.5 YEARS OLD IN SOUTH-CENTRAL NEBRASKA FOR EACH ANTLER METRIC USING CUTOFF VALUES, 2009-11
Article
Electronic deer check systems offer state natural resource agencies alternatives to mandatory in-person check stations, resulting in potential savings in money and personnel. However, a reliable means for hunters to classify the age of harvested antlercd deer must be established so that important management indices such as antlered yearling harvest can continue to be used to set future management goals. Therefore, we evaluated the use of six different antler metrics to predict age class of white-tailed and mule deer (1.5 and ≥2.5 years). We used discriminant analysis to determine the number of deer correctly classified into each age class based on the antler metric with the greatest degree of separation for each species. Of those evaluated, main beam length and inside spread were the two most accurate measurements for both species. For white-tailed deer, 93% (114 of 123) of the 1.5-year age class and 93% (251 of 271) of the ≥2.5-year age class were correctly classified using main beam length with a cutoff of 364 mm. For mule deer, 100% (12 of 12) of the 1.5-year age class and 97% (35 of 36) of the ≥2.5-year age class were correctly classified using main beam length with a cutoff of 352 mm. Antler metrics of both deer species can be used to accurately classify age class while likely saving funds and personnel hours. © 2013 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska Lincoln.
 
Article
The Northern Plains is a region in central North America where the more humid and fertile prairies of the Midwest transition to the arid and mountainous American West. The point “where the West begins” has captured the imagination of many writers, artists, and sociologists, who have noted that cultural attributes of the residents change along with important divisions in soil composition, flora, fauna, precipitation, and air moisture. However, the degree to which cultural attributes change along with these biophysical characteristics has not received close empirical scrutiny. Agricultural producers are uniquely tied to the landscape, and identifying the values and practices employed by these producers sheds light on how various climatic and physical features shape attitudes toward the environment, the community, and land-use practices. A mail survey (N = 517) to agricultural producers across three Northern Plains states analyzes how environmental attitudes, place attachment, and supplementary land-use preferences to agricultural activity are related to geographic, biophysical, and sociodemographic characteristics associated with the transition zone. Additionally, this study contributes to the literature regarding sociocultural differences between the American West and Midwest, acknowledges weaknesses in this approach, and offer suggestions for future research.
 
Variables Selected by the Discriminant Analysis Model as Effective in Discriminating between BULs 
Functional Traits and Community Measures That Vary Signifcantly between BULs Based on a General Linear Method ANOVA. 
Article
Loss of prairie habitat has led to declines in biodiversity of prairie streams necessitating conservation of these freshwater ecosystems. The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project developed the State Wildlife Action Plan to conserve the state's biologically unique landscapes (BUL). We examine a common group of aquatic flies, the non- biting midges, or Chironomidae, collected from streams located in four BULs to answer these questions: (1) Are the BULs distinct based solely on stream/landscape features?; (2) If distinct, what is the taxonomic and functional diversity of chironomids in the study BULs?; and (3) Are the chironomid communities within each BUL unique when compared to the communities in the other study BULs? Chironomidae were collected using the "surface floating pupal exuviae" method. The four BULs were unique, clearly separated based on the stream and landscape variables in a discriminant analysis. Overall diversity of the study was 62 chironomid taxa. Taxonomic and functional trait diversity varied significantly between the four BULs, and, based on an analysis of similarity, chironomid communities showed little overlap between the BULs. Our results support the original landscape designations developed by the NNLP indicating that the BULs can function as a framework to conserve macroinvertebrate biodiversity in BUL streams. © 2018 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska- Lincoln. All rights reserved.
 
(A) Stanton Dunes and other previously studied dune fields in the Great Plains: AD = Abilene Dunes; ARVD = Arkansas River Volley Dunes; CVD = Cimarron River Volley Dunes; DD = Duncan Dunes; FMD = Fort Morgan Dunes; GBSP = Great Bend Sand Prairie; GD = Greeley Dunes; HD = Hutchinson Dunes; NSH = Nebraska Sandhills; WD = Wray Dunes. (B) Stanton Dunes and the other previously studied dune fields in Nebraska : Nebraska Sandhills and Duncan Dunes.  
(A) A shaded-relief digital elevation model showing the Stanton Dunes study area and the loess-covered uplands. (B) Digital elevation model of the Stanton Dunes study area showing sediment sampling sites 1-13.
(A) Left: Part of the 1.5-2 m section of the Stanton 8 core, showing typical eolian sand and lamellae-like features found in the area. Right: Part of the 3.6-3.9 m section of the Stanton 8 core, featuring alluvium found in this area. (8) A view of the grassland vegetation currently stabilizing the Stanton Dunes, to the north-northwest from the Stanton 11 study site.
Plots of OSL age estimates with 10 error from three eastern-lying dune fields in the Great Plains, including data from this study. Gray bars represent megadroughts identified in the Nebraska Sandhills (Miao et aI., 2007).
Figure S. Particle size distribution plots depicting changes in sand-size particles and overall sand content in the three different types of sediment cores from the Stanton Dunes study area.  
Article
The Nebraska Sandhills have been an important resource for better understanding dune activation and the nature of/prehistoric Great Plains drought events. However, until recently, few studies have focused on documenting the activation histories of smaller dune fields found along the Great Plains' eastern margin. This study focuses on the Stanton dune field, which lies about 145 km east of the Nebraska Sandhills on an alluvial terrace of the Elkhorn River in northeastern Nebraska. Sediments in the Stanton Dunes were dated with optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) to determine when these dunes were active. The ages indicate three activation periods that cluster into the following time periods: -5,800-3,800, 960-630, and 510-410 years ago. The ages that fell into our two older clusters closely agree with dune activation records from the Nebraska Sandhills and other major central Great Plains dune fields, suggesting that these large-scale droughts also impacted eastern Nebraska. However, our youngest cluster of ages occurs at a time when the Nebraska Sandhills were thought to be largely inactive, suggesting that the Stanton Dunes may have been activated by a locally important drought event that had a more limited impact on dunes found to the west. © 2013 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska Lincoln.
 
Article
The purpose of our project was to investigate well-functioning adolescents to identify familial influences that may account for their positive developmental outcomes and healthy life choices. A family systems perspective was used to conceptualize this project. More than 300 teenagers were surveyed about family influences on adolescent outcomes. Results indicated that teen religiosity, parental warmth, parental monitoring, and a low occurrence of stressful life events were related to teen depression, participation in risky behaviors, and parental-teen conflict. General conclusions were drawn about the importance of the family environment on teen behavior and the usefulness of a systems point of view when studying individual behavior. © Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Link to article: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1790&context=greatplainsresearch
 
Article
Tiger beetles are common predators in open habitats throughout the Great Plains, including the eastern salt marshes. Adult tiger beetles are active searchers that attack and eat small insects. By contrast, their larvae are sit-and-wait predators that form permanent burrows and depend on prey moving within striking distance. We hypothesized that adults and larvae of the tiger beetle, Cicindela togata globicollis Casey, would differ in their utilization of lipid (fat) energy reserves, such as fatty acids, based on differences in the likelihood of starvation. To investigate this, we determined the fatty acid profiles from larvae and adult tiger beetles. We found that normally-feeding adults and larvae did not differ substantially in their fatty acid profiles. But, after fasting for a two-week period, larvae selectively used their lipid reserves while adults did not. Moreover, in contrast to all other insect species studied, we found that larval tiger beetles were not able to biosynthesize fatty acids from acetate. Our findings suggest that larvae optimize the use of fatty acids to allow for a lengthy larval developmental period in environments, such as the Great Plains, that provide unreliable and unpredictable food resources.
 
Precipitation isoclines in the Great Plains and adjacent areas. Numbers from left to right: the isoclines of the Great Plains according to average annual precipitation (mm, modified from Schimel et al. 1990), the predicted increase in water yields after the complete (100%) removal of conifer trees (mm yr-1 ), and the predicted increase in water yield after the complete (100%) removal of deciduous trees (mm yr-1, after Brown et al. 2005).  
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WOODY VEGETATION TYPE AND LOCATION, TREATMENT, AND COST 
Article
Political and socioeconomic pressures on riparian areas in semiarid regions of the Great Plains are growing as water resources become more limited. Management along waterways has altered stream ecology and hydrology in ways that encourage the invasion and expansion of native (e.g., Juniperus virginiana) and non-native (e.g., Tamarix sp. and Elaeagnus angustifolia) woody species. One management tool currently implemented to restore the hydrology or increase water yields along waterways in semiarid areas is the removal of vegetation or invasive species. How managers should respond to invasive woody plants to optimize hydrological functions without compromising other riparian ecosystem functions is still debatable. In this manuscript, we provide an overview of the ecological status and hydrological role of riparian vegetation in the northern Great Plains, with examples drawn from the region and other semiarid areas. Additionally, we present information compiled from published studies on water consumption of native and non-native species at both tree and stand levels, and we evaluate the ecohydrological outcomes from removal of invasive woody vegetation. Lastly, we consider the economic costs and benefits of woody species removal, and suggest considerations to help managers make decisions regarding woody species removal.
 
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF PARTICIPATING CHILDREN (N = 84) 
Article
A cross-sectional design was used to assess the language skills and prevalence of language disorders among 84 randomly selected public school children (K-5) receiving special education services for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The mean receptive language standard score fell in the nonclinical range, whereas the mean total and expressive standard scores fell in the clinical range. The prevalence rates of total, expressive, and receptive disorders among children with EBD were 54%, 55%, and 42%, respectively. Approximately two-thirds of children experienced a language disorder (i.e., total, expressive, and/or receptive). Half of those experiencing a language disorder met clinical criteria in all language areas (i.e., total, receptive, and expressive). Approximately 86% of children meeting clinical criteria for total, receptive, and/or expressive language disorder were not receiving formal language services (i.e., false negatives). The findings and future research needs are discussed. © Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
Article
Employment data for women living on farms/ranches in six Wyoming counties were gathered in 1985 and 1986 as part of a farm/ranch households survey. This paper focuses on female employment and its contribution to the economic viability of farm operations, by considering the importance of women's as well as men's employment in maintaining the economic viability of farming/ranching operations during a farm crisis and a wage boom. Although an equal percentage of females and males work off-farm, the data show gender-defined patterns. While size of farm operation was a major predictor of the likelihood of engaging in off-farm employment for men, age and education level proved important predictors of women's employment off the farm. Both men and women recognized that the need for off-farm income conflicted with the perceived negative consequences for the farming operation as a result of off-farm work, but comments on the questionnaire suggest that husbands were more comfortable having their wives get a job than taking one themselves.
 
Article
Corn production in the United States provides an example of the agricultural changes that have occurred in recent times. Because all such agricultural activity potentially can affect the environment to some degree, the challenge is now to quantify and understand those effects. Although monitoring of the environment for such effects is not new, the procedures often fall short of providing reliable quantitative data. One example is the inconsistent, incomplete, and unreliable information currently available to assess US surface water quality and trends in that quality. The utilization of probability-based sampling designs could play a vital role in the improvement of information on the interface between agricultural activity and environmental quality.
 
Article
Several counties of south-central and southeast Kansas experienced floods in the first week of November 1998. The communities of Arkansas City and Augusta were among those most severely affected by these floods. This study is based primarily on a mail questionnaire survey of residents of these two communities, and it examines respondents' satisfaction with four emergency response measures employed by local officials and emergency management agencies before and during the flood event. The extent of external support victims received and the level of their satisfaction with that support were also investigated. The analysis of the survey data shows that the emergency response efforts and the support victims received were rated poorly. Furthermore, the satisfaction scores differed significantly between respondents from Arkansas City and those from Augusta. The findings suggest that the extent of damage and preparedness are directly associated with victims' satisfaction with emergency measures undertaken by emergency management agencies. The study further suggests that the respondents of Arkansas City were relatively more satisfied with emergency measures than their counterparts in Augusta. Unlike in Arkansas City, city officials in Augusta had little time to prepare for the flooding. Hazard preparedness appears to be an important determinant of victims' satisfaction with emergency measures.
 
Article
Reisner (1986) coined the term "Cadillac Desert" to describe the high costs associated with irrigated agriculture in the American west. This concept can logically be extended to the northern-most reaches of the Great Plains in Canada to perform a critical analysis of irrigated agriculture in southern Alberta. Today irrigation technology, which arrived with the Mormon immigration of the 1880s, keeps over a million acres of former shortgrass prairie green. Costs of one of the world's largest snow melt irrigation systems are examined on several dimensions: the massive infusion of state funds necessary to build and maintain the system, environmental degradation in the form of salinization, expansion of low or no food value crops, and intensification of the domination of the farmer-to-consumer chain by transnational corporations. Possible water regimes under global warming conditions are discussed, along with the implications of Free Trade.
 
Article
Cattle ranching in Latin America supports wildlife conservation. Ranching probably represents one of the few land uses in which we can advance conservation goals. The approximately 950.000 km2 of Bolivian. Brazilian. Paraguayan. Colombian, and Venezuelan savannas that are privately owned and dedicated to meat production provide a model for conservation programs. We present a geographic and historical description that covers several centuries and ends with descriptions of seven successful cattle ranches (three in the Venezuelan Llanos and four in the Brazilian Pantanal) where cattle ranching, eeotourisni. and wildlife conservation coexist. These three activities support each other: tourism creates additional income for cattle ranchers while promoting protection of natural heritage and wildlife research. © 2010 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
 
Article
The High Plains of North America extends from Canada to northern Mexico. This grassland region is subject to prolonged drought, herbivory, and wildfire. Organisms that are indigenous to the High Plains are adapted to these environmental factors. Periodic droughts occur at inexact, but few year, intervals. The grazing by free ranging bison, the indigenous large herbivore, has been replaced by grazing of fenced domestic stock. Fire regimes throughout human occupation of the region have been greatly influenced by human activities. Cultivation of wheat and corn also is carried out in the region. Predicted climate changes in this region are increased temperature and reduced effective precipitation. Paleontological records document past climate changes from which certain predictions may be made about the effects of current models of Global Change. Ecological studies at the ecosystem, community, species, and population levels are defensible. Land use modifications should be undertaken immediately to minimize deleterious effects of Global Warming.
 
Article
This article reports partial findings from a five-year study that examined the attitudes, perceptions, and expectations regarding higher education among a sample of American Indian students attending a predominantly non-Indian university. Most notably, this article examines some of the factors associated with two specific personal assessments of the college experience: (1) the impact of college upon their appreciation of Native American heritage and (2) the level of satisfaction with the college experience.
 
Conference Paper
The federally endangered American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanus Olivier, currently occurs in Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Texas. Surveys in Nebraska for carrion beetles between 2001 and 2010 resulted in 11 new county records for this endangered species and 465 new county records for 14 other silphid species. Over 5,000 American burying beetles (ABB) were captured in over 1,500 different locations in either the eastern Sandhills region or the south-central Loess Canyons. Using mark-recapture data from 2003, 2009, and 2010 surveys, we estimated the ABB population size ( S.D.) for six counties in the Sandhills. Data were grouped by June or August activity periods to account for the presence of only mature adults that overwintered (June) or mostly teneral adults preparing to overwinter (August). Blaine County (2003) had the largest August population estimated at 1,338 272 ABB in a 24 km2 area. In June 2010, Cherry County was estimated to have 498 124 ABB in a southeastern survey area and 374 65 ABB in a northeastern survey area. All other counties had estimates between 99 62 ABB and 451 97 ABB. We calculated movement distances using recapture data with some ABB moving as far as 7.24 km in a single night. This new information contributes to American burying beetle conservation efforts in the Great Plains and provides knowledge about other silphid species distributions, which may play a role in American burying beetle recovery.
 
Article
How do women from patriarchal cultures adapt to gender equality and feminism in the Great Plains? How do women from Eastern Europe change as a result of living in a gender-neutral environment? The study (1) identifies the major cultural differences that Eastern European women perceive between gender-related norms in Eastern Europe and the American Midwest, (2) examines the strategies that women use to cope with these differences, and (3) investigates when encounters with American feminists help and when they hinder immigrants' adaptation. Eastern European culture is characterized by a greater separation of gender roles and little concern about sexism. Women from this region perceive male and female behavior in American culture as ambiguous and gender-neutral. They observe egalitarian gender relations in the US, but do not prefer the forms of male-female interaction that this involves. They adapt to US culture behaviorally but do not significantly change their values about gender relations. The negative attitude of feminist activists toward gender roles in Eastern Europe often creates resistance toward American ways and slows immigrants' adaptation.
 
Article
Much of the research on Mexican Americans and earnings has focused on either national samples or on states such as California and Texas. Even though Mexican Americans have become more visible in the Midwest, we know very little about their earnings in the Midwest. Using an individual level sample consisting of data on 1,807 Mexican Americans from the 2000 Integrated 1% Public Use Microdata Series, we examine the extent to which human capital, family status and industry concentration predict earnings. Multivariate analyses reveal that education and years in the U.S. are positively associated with earnings. However, Mexican American women yield lower returns to their education compared to their male counterparts. Women also experience an earnings penalty for having children while men do not. In addition, workers concentrated in the peripheral sector earn significantly less than workers in the core sector. The findings are interpreted in terms of human capital and labor market theories and directions for future research are discussed.
 
Article
Western harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, are seed eaters that occur in short- and mid-grass prairies. Harvester ants are efficient seed predators but they may also be seed dispersers. We examined what ants collect to address that question. We also studied how different cattle grazing intensities affected harvester ant nest densities. Items collected by western harvester ant foragers returning to their nests were categorized as non-seeds, seeds, and nothing. Harvester ants collected large amounts of non-seeds (48%), followed by seeds (33%) and nothing (19%). Western harvester ants tolerate some environmental stress caused by grazing because nest densities were highest in moderately grazed grasslands. Interestingly, other aboveground arthropods in Colorado grasslands are reported to decrease in response to grazing, especially moderate to heavy grazing regimes. Harvester ants prefer to collect seeds but do not collect them exclusively.
 
Top-cited authors
Douglas H. Johnson
  • United States Geological Survey
Myron Gutmann
  • University of Colorado Boulder
William K. Lauenroth
  • Yale University
Ingrid C. Burke
  • Yale University
James Swinehart
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln