Conservationists promise to save Plains in 3 minutes

The University of Nebraska's Center for Great Plains Studies and The Nature Conservancy are combining to host "Conservation Jam" on Feb. 1, in the center's Great Plains Art Museum.

The jam is a speed-presentation format, with each speaker getting three minutes. It will be followed by an informal reception where attendees will have time to collect information, chat with the presenters, and ask questions. A First Friday event, the jam is free and open to the public and begins at 5:30 p.m. The museum's doors open at 5 p.m. and snacks will be provided.

Participants from across the state will take turns at the microphone, offering lessons, arguments and calls to action on topics like grassland health, groundwater protection, and what citizens can do to save what remains of native plants and wildlife in our state. Speakers will include: Ken Dewey, UNL professor of climatology; Ann Bleed, Lower Platte South NRD; Chris Helzer, Nature Conservancy; Marian Langan, Audubon Nebraska; Sarah Sortum, Switzer Ranch; Richard Edwards, Center for Great Plains Studies; Chris Sommerich, Nebraska Humanities Council; Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska; Charles Francis, UNL professor of agronomy and horticulture; Paul Johnsgard, UNL professor of biological sciences, noted author and ornithologist; Jeff Rawlinson, Nebraska Game and Parks; William Whitney, Prairie Plains Resource Institute; Annabel Lee Major, Nebraska Master Naturalist program; Brad Mellema, Nebraska Alliance for Conservation and Environmental Education.

The Conservation Jam will be set amidst Michael Forsberg's photographs of "Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild." His photos have inspired a popular NET documentary and a traveling art exhibit.