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March 8, 2006 :: Tallgrass Prairie Research Is Focus of Retreat

Media Contact

Researchers from Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico are among those who will be attending the Tallgrass Prairie Retreat from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 9 at The Nature Conservancy’s Tallgrass Prairie (TGP) Preserve in Pawhuska. This pristine 40,000-acre preserve managed by The Nature Conservancy is a popular site for interdisciplinary research in an emerging area of science that brings together the studies of plant virology and ecology.

The retreat is sponsored by the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation as part of a Research Infrastructure Improvement Grant to the state. The event is expected to draw nearly 65 research scientists, historians and others with an interest in the Tallgrass Prairie and will feature oral presentations, poster exhibits and TGP Preserve Tours for participants. The goal of the retreat is to encourage future collaboration and dialogue among scholars.

According to Dr. Michael Palmer, botany professor at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and event chair, “There is a long history of research in these prairies. However, we are now positioned to link disparate disciplines such as ecology, sociology, history, literature, geography and molecular biology into a holistic approach that can transform our view of nature. Such an approach is necessary for us to protect Oklahoma’s dwindling natural heritage.”

For more information regarding this event, contact Shelley Wear, Oklahoma EPSCoR special programs coordinator, at 405.225.9287 or visit the EPSCoR Web site at www.okepscor.org/events.htm for a full agenda and presentation abstracts.