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Allwine Prairie Preserve, the original tract of what is presently known as Glacier Creek Preserve, has been the subject of many research projects since its beginning as a tallgrass prairie restoration in 1970. Some studies have also been conducted at T.L. Davis Prairie since its acquisition in 2005. Listed below are known research projects, by preserve, including peer-reviewed publications. Master's student theses, published abstracts from scientific meetings, and undergraduate student reports have been produced. In addition, several ongoing and long-term studies are listed that are currently underway. A GIS database of the management history, from initial seeding or acquisistion until present day is available for reserchers by contacting the Preserve Manager.

Research Request.

Research projects are welcome at both Glacier Creek Preserve and T.L. Davis Prairie. In order to document preserve use and to coordinate research efforts to avoid conflicting site use, first contact the Preserve Director to discuss potential projects. Requests for research projects, which require only a brief description stating what, where (if known) and when, will be expedited through the Preserves Policy Implementation Group composed of the Preserve Director, Preserve Manager, and Preserve Senior Restoration Advisor. The intent is to respond within 24 hours so as not to delay any research projects. We will work with researchers to locate a project if no location is known or if there are any conflicts.

Research Projects:

>> Conference Proceedings

>> Publications

>> Master's Theses

>> Student Projects/Reports

Ongoing Research: Glacier Creek Preserve

Vegetation & Fire Effects Monitoring

Ongoing research at Glacier Creek Preserve includes long-term plots established in 1978 which were established to study the effects of fire frequency and season-of-occurrence on grassland plant community composition. In addition, landscape vegetation surveys of the Allwine Prairie tract were conducted in 1979, 1993 and 2009.


Butterfly Monitoring

Since 1998, twenty weekly Pollard Transect butterfly population censuses have been conducted each year from early June to mid October; since 2001, data have also been collected on nectar plant visits by butterflies observed in the censuses.  These data provide a characterization of the butterfly community at the Allwine Prairie tract of Glacier Creek Preserve and the nectar plants utilized by the butterfly community, seasonal and annual variations in the community, and determination of the effects of control burns.  Following creation of a habitat corridor in 2011 connecting the South and West units, studies have characterized the use of the habitat corridor by the butterfly community, especially the Regal Fritillary, a species of conservation concern.  Beginning in 2013, studies of the efficiency and significance of butterflies as pollinators are also ongoing.


Other Monitoring

Other quantitative data or surveys have been collected on flora and grassland birds. Quantative surveys of small mammals and of vegetation were conducted in 2012-2013 on the un-farmed portions of the Papio Tract as a first step in long-term monitoring.

Weather data are collected continuously. We also monitor water flow at the spring-fed Glacier Creek as well as siltation along the western lowland adjacent to farmed ground. loral surveys, butterfly and grassland bird surveys, and water quality monitoring of Glacier Creek.


Ongoing Research: T.L. Davis Prairie

Long term research plots were established in 2006 on ridgetop prairies at T.L. Davis Prairie to assess plant community responses to savanna restoration efforts and to the reintroduction of fire to the ecosystem. Permanent plots in the woodlands are planned for the future.


Solar Research Facility.

Glacier Creek Preserve currently houses a solar energy research test facility that is maintained by the Computer & Electronics Engineering Deparmtent, College of Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For more information please contact Dr. Bing Chen.



Management practices have been documented at the Allwine Prairie Preserve Tract of Glacier Creek Preserve since its initial restoration to tallgrass prairie in 1970. This information is compiled in a GIS database. This database documents management activities at Glacier Creek Preserve that can be used as a reference for researchers and other potential users. For more specific details or questions, please contact the Preserve Manager .