APRS and the Classroom

Professor's views of how the prairie research site will contribute in the classroom:

Microbial Diversity

One of the important functions of a wetland is the remediation of chemicals by bacteria in the sediments. We are interested in the effects that bioturbation exert on microbial communities and their activities. Dr. Barbara Clement  

Animal Behavior

The APRS is home to a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys Ludovicianus). This is the eastern-most colony in Nebraska. Research interests include determination of prairie dog population and investigations of runway and foraging behavior in prairie dogs. Dr. Russell Souchek  


Initial design for a prairie dog detector is underway by the students in PHY 324 Digital Electronics. Students are using digital logic to develop an infrared (IR) photogate detector array to provide a trigger for collecting data about the creatures that inhabit the system of trails between sections of the town. Direction of travel, date, time of day, and temperature will be collected and stored locally for later retrieval.  

Computer Science

The department of information science and technology (IST) views the Doane College Prairie Research Site as an exciting opportunity for interdisciplinary research for students and faculty. Although their role will be primarily supportive in nature, they envision several different types of projects with which IST students can become involved. For example, two current projects are the engineering of a data-gathering application and a virtual prairie dog simulation that uses genetic programming techniques. Mark Meysenburg and Alec Engebretson  


My interest in the Prairie Research Site centers around how exactly this space arrived at the beginning of the 21st century intact. I would utilize the survival of this prairie remnant as a concrete link to the past of the region's historical Native and European immigrant cultural systems of environmental relations. One potential project would be to conduct an oral and environmental history of the Prairie Research Site.  


I am interested in studying the genetic diversity of the prairie dogs living on the Grafton property. Are all the prairie dogs on the property descendents of a single individual or small group of individuals? We may be able to determine their relatedness by comparing DNA fingerprints of each population. Dr. Kate Marley

Representative Plants

Outdoor Classroom

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