Reconsidering national park interpretation in Great Plains Research

Released on 10/24/2012, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., October 24th, 2012 —
Fall Great Plains Research
Fall Great Plains Research

            Does the National Park Service continue to interpret its sites in the Great Plains in terms of a Eurocentric narrative of westward expansion, or is it developing a model for revising these traditional narratives?

            Robert Pahre, a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, visited more than 30 parks and monuments to evaluate their interpretive displays. His findings provide the lead article in the fall issue of Great Plains Research, an academic journal published by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

            "The newest sites, such as Washita Battlefield (near Cheyenne, Okla.), tell newer stories that resonate well with today’s visitors," Pahre wrote. "These provide a model for revising older sites. Giving greater attention to causes and consequences, aiming for a richer mix of perspectives, including a wider range of historic and prehistoric peoples, and providing more balance in cases of war or cultural conflict will all improve interpretation." Other articles in the journal include:

  • "Evaluating the Role of Latinidad and the Latino Threat in the State of Missouri," by Saint Louis University sociologists Joel Jennings and J. S. Onesimo Sandoval.
  • "The Right Call: Baseball Coaches' Attempts to Influence Umpires," by Kevin Warneke and Dave Ogden, School of Communication, University of Nebraska at Omaha.
  • "Documenting Change at Upper Hamburg Bend: Nebraska's First Side-Channel Restoration," by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission researchers Brandon L. Eder and Gerald E. Mestl.
  • "Initial Changes in Species Cover Following Savanna Restoration Treatments in Western Iowa," by UNO biologists David A. McKenzie, Thomas B. Bragg and David M. Sutherland.
  • "Monitoring Standing Herbage of the Sands and Choppy Sands Ecological Vegetation Types in the Nebraska Sandhills," by USDA Forester Daniel W. Uresk.
  • "Review of Conspecific Attraction and Area Sensitivity of Grassland Birds," by David R. W. Bruinsma and Nicola Koper, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba.
  • "New Distributional Records of Great Plains Pseudoscorpions (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones)," by UNL entomologist James A. Kalisch and colleague Paul O. Cooney


            The journal is available for purchase or subscription from the center at 402-472-3082 or in the Great Plains Art Museum gift shop, 1155 Q St., Lincoln.

Writer: Linda Ratcliffe


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