Free Winter Webinar Series: Prairie Reconstruction Initiative (PRI)

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minnesota department of natural resources

Prairie Reconstruction Initiative Winter Webinars

Snow frost on big bluestem in the prairie

Photo Courtesy of Sara Vacek, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Prairie Reconstruction Initiative is excited to announce our 2023 winter webinar series. At lunchtime on Wednesdays in February, you are invited to log in to your internet connected device from the comfort of your office, home or other favorite place to join us as we learn more about birds, bees and plants and their connection to prairie reconstruction and management. Sit back, eat your lunch, and expand your mind (not just your stomach)!


Dates and Topics

Dr. Anna Peschel stands in a sampling grid for the healthy prairies project.

February 1, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CST

Investigating the scale of local adaptation and rate of adaptive evolution in Minnesota tallgrass prairies

Dr. Anna Peschel, Healthy Prairies Postdoc, University of Minnesota

Anna is a postdoctoral researcher for the Healthy Prairies Project, funded by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with Drs. Ruth G. Shaw and Georgiana May in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. The presentation will cover one of the project aims, which is to evaluate the geographic and environmental distance over which seeds from six tallgrass prairie perennial plants can be translocated into prairie reconstructions without severely compromising survival and reproduction. It will include research evaluating the capacity for adaptive evolution of the annual prairie legume, partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) when planted into prairie reconstructions along an aridity gradient representing climate change.


Click here to join the meeting (Microsoft Teams)


Headshot of Dr. Elizabeth Bach

February 8, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CST

Long-term data and outcomes from the Nachusa Grasslands restoration

Dr. Elizabeth Bach, Ecosystem Restoration Scientist with The Nature Conservancy at Nachusa Grasslands in northern Illinois

Ecosystem restoration provides potential to reverse losses in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Long-term monitoring is essential to understanding whether restoration projects deliver on this potential. Such datasets also provide important insights into ecological mechanisms. In this talk, Elizabeth Bach will present long-term, multi-trophic data collected across the 35-year history of the Nachusa Grasslands preserve in north-central Illinois.

Click here to join the meeting (Microsoft Teams)



Headshot of Dr. Justin Meissen

February 22, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CST

How management decisions affect ecological outcomes in agroecosystem revegetation projects: Planting time, first-year mowing, and seed mix design make a difference

Dr. Justin Meissen, Research and Restoration Program Manager, Tallgrass Prairie Center, University of Northern Iowa

Successful restoration of ecosystem services could depend on management decisions applied during revegetation projects. In this talk, we discuss the effects of three management decisions (seed mix design, planting time and first-year mowing) on targeted ecosystem services (erosion control, weed resistance and pollinator resources). Researchers tested three seed mixes of varying diversity and grass-to-forb seeding ratios and established plots at two planting times (dormant-season and spring) with or without first-year mowing. Listen in to find out how these management decisions influenced ecosystem outcomes and how a comparison to a previous study revealed these effects to be robust to variations in site and climatic conditions.


Click here to join the meeting(Microsoft Teams)


The Prairie Reconstruction Initiative is a collaboration of practitioners and researchers from more than 30 conservation organizations, as well as individuals, who have joined forces to improve the prairie reconstruction process.

Questions about registration? Contact Jamie Ellis at

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