BIO 150 -- Introduction to Biological Inquiry --Prairie Restoration

Fall 2010

Marietta Sand Prairie                  
"The schools in which I was educated were by most standards first-rate. But they were, as our schools generally are, indifferent to the place and to the culture in which they operated. Among my science courses, I took two full years of biology, but I never learned that the beautiful meadow at the bottom of my family's pasture was remnant virgin prairie. We did not spend, so far as I can remember, a single hour on prairies -- the landscape in which we were immersed -- in two years of biological study."  

Paul Gruchow, Grass Roots -- The Universe of Home

Instructor:  J. Brown, 1204 Science, x3096,  Personal Web Page


Susan Kolbe -- Laboratory Technician

Larissa Mottl -- Conard Environmental Research Area Manager

Kathryn Vincent -- T.A.

Kevin Engel -- Science Reference Librarian
Weekly assignments in detail (the whole schmear in pdf):  

Old exams

Midterm 2004
Examples of final exam questions

Class Handouts

Class powerpoints

9/2  History of a place
9/10  Dispersion
9/13 Communities
9/26 Photosynthesis and fire adaptation
11/5  Ecosystems
11/12  Bison as keystone species
11/19 Conservation Biology

Papers assigned from the literature (click to download)

Smith, D.D. 1998.  Iowa prairie: original extent and loss, preservation and recovery attempts.  Proc. Iowa Acad. Sci. 105:94-108.

Drobney, P. The phoenix people of sod corn country. -- get from library e-reserve

Clark, P.J and F. C. Evans. 1954. Distance to Nearest Neighbor as a Measure of Spatial Relationships in Populations. Ecology 35: 445-453. 

Howe, H. 1999.  Response of Zizia aurea to seasonal mowing and fire in a restored prairie. 
American Midland Naturalist 141:373-380

Hulbert, L.C. 1969. Fire and litter effects in undisturbed bluestem prairie in Kansas. Ecology 50:874-877.

Anderson, R.C., T. Leahy and S.S. Dhillion. 1989. Numbers and biomass of selected insect groups on burned and unburned sand prairie. Am. Midl. Nat. 122:151-162.

Howe, H. 1999. Dominance, diversity, and grazing in tallgrass restoration. Ecological Restoration 17:59-66

Knapp, et al. 1999.  The Keystone Role of Bison in North American Tallgrass Prairie.  Bioscience 49:39-50.


 Tillers -- A Journal of  Prairie Restoration Research (published by past Bio 150 courses)

Investigations -- A Handbook for Grinnell College Biology and Chemistry Courses

Cambridge Scientific Abstracts -- the first choice for Biology literature searches

Refworks!  -- Keep your references online and have a computer format them for your Literature Cited section.

Kevin Engel's Information Strategy Guide for Biology

Conard Environmental Research Area -- Grinnell's Biology Field Station

Grinnell College's Center for Prairie Studies

Conard Environmental Research Area Management Plan (circa 1999)

Last edited 27 Aug 2010

Author: brownj(at)