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Legends & Stories: The Changing Ecology of the Great Plains

Legends & Stories: The Changing Ecology of the Great Plains

Friday, March 22, 2019 -
5:15am to 3:30pm
Rowe Sanctuary
44450 Elm Island Rd
Gibbon, NE 68440

Join us at the National Willa Cather Center as we partner with Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary and the Willa Cather Archive for an ecotourism day-trip! Begin your day with a sunrise viewing of Sandhill cranes on the Platte River in Rowe Sanctuary's viewing blinds, followed by a short charter ride to Red Cloud, the hometown of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather. Andy Jewell and Emily Rau of the Willa Cather Archive will offer readings and discussion of Cather's novel O Pioneers! and, once in Red Cloud, guests will enjoy a catered lunch and tour of important Cather historic sites. Author and biologist Caleb Roberts will give a guest lecture before the group visits the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie.  Guests will return to Rowe Sanctuary in the afternoon, and should plan for moderate walking during the day.

Caleb Roberts holds a M.S. in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University and is a PhD candidate in applied ecology at the University of Nebraska. Caleb has authored and coauthored scientific publications in journals such as Ecosphere, PLoS ONE, and Landscape Ecology. Most recently, Roberts published "To Hold a Beautiful, Burning Snake," a creative nonfiction piece, in Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments. His current research focuses on the resilience of ecosystems, particularly in the Great Plains, and understanding the legacies fire leaves on landscapes. Caleb is from western Kentucky but now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife and cat.

Andrew Jewell is Professor in the University Libraries, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and director of the Willa Cather Archive. Andy has published several essays on Willa Cather and other topics and is co-editor of the book The Selected Letters of Willa Cather (Knopf, 2013), and the digital, scholarly edition, The Complete Letters of Willa Cather, which began publication online in January 2018. Since 2009, Andy has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Willa Cather Foundation.

Emily Rau is the managing editor of the Willa Cather Archive and a PhD candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her current research explores the appearance of the railroad in American literature, focusing on how the railroad changed conceptions of space, place, identity, and human relationships. She is a graduate fellow in the Center for Great Plains Studies and serves as an editorial assistant for Western American Literature.

 

Itinerary

Itinerary
Itinerary

5:00 Meet the bus at the west entrance of the Holiday Inn, Kearney

5:15-6:00 Travel to Rowe Sanctuary

6:00-8:00 Sunrise Crane Viewing at Rowe Sanctuary
Please note: viewing blinds are approximately 1/2 mile from drop-off point; a golf cart will be available for those who need accommodation. Please alert Rowe Sanctuary staff at check-in.

8:00-9:00 Rowe Sanctuary Visitor Center and Gift Shop

9:00-10:15 Travel to Red Cloud, readings from O Pioneers! (snacks provided)

10:30-Noon Explore Willa Cather's Red Cloud!

Choose from the following:
Tour Willa Cather's Childhood Home (10:30 and 11:10)
Explore American Bittersweet with Education Director and Archivist Tracy Tucker
Shop our curated bookstore and gift shop
Watch a short film about Willa Cather's life

12:00 Lunch is served

12:30 Caleb Roberts, author of "To Hold a Beautiful, Burning Snake"

1:15 Board bus for Willa Cather Memorial Prairie

2:00-3:30 Travel back to Holiday Inn in Kearney