Call for Papers: Great Plains conservation and tourism conference

Katie Nieland's picture
Call for Papers
April 18, 2018 to April 20, 2018
Nebraska, United States
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, Geography, Humanities, Rural History / Studies, Area Studies

2018 Great Plains Symposium
April 18-20, 2018, Kearney, Neb.

The 2018 Center for Great Plains Studies symposium will examine tourism and conservation on the Great Plains.

For those who have experienced it, the Great Plains’ rolling grasslands, charismatic wildlife, and boundless scenery fill the heart with wonder. The Plains are filled with fascinating biodiversity and wonderful opportunities for exploration while also harboring critically endangered habitats.

The people who live and work on the Plains have created diverse cultures and communities. We argue that conservation that works with, instead of against, business, landowners, and communities is a way forward in preserving our rural communities and dwindling wild places. For many locations around the globe, nature-based tourism has provided a way to enrich human communities while protecting cultural heritage and natural areas. It’s already happening in the Great Plains here and there, as events like the Sandhill crane migration gain popularity and efforts like the American Prairie Reserve gain footing. The Center’s ongoing ecotourism project seeks to explore, promote, and strengthen these operations.

This conference will explore how tourism on private lands can be a force for conservation in the Great Plains as well as empower landowners and build thriving rural communities. It will feature sessions for business leaders, ranchers, conservationists, community partners, and governmental organizations as well as wider-ranging discussions about how to preserve and sustain the stunning bounty of Great Plains ecology.

Featured speakers include Joel Sartore, Martha Kauffman, Nils Odendaal, and Dan Flores. Along with a slate of impactful speakers, the conference will also include opportunities to see and learn about regional ecotourism attractions during a series of special “field trips.”

We invite proposals for paper presentations, roundtable discussions, workshops, chain-reaction panels, lightning-round sessions, or other formats.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Social implications of nature tourism (health, values, stewardship)
  • Economic impacts
  • History of nature tourism
  • Scientific value of nature tourism
  • Case studies / reports
  • Conservation on public and/or private lands

We want to learn from the experience of other locations and invite papers on subjects from the Great Plains and beyond.

Papers accepted for presentation at the “Plains Safaris” symposium will be considered for publication in thematic issues of Great Plains Quarterly or Great Plains Research. Proposals must be received electronically using the form at by Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. The symposium will be held in Kearney on April 18-20, 2018. The Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska will provide a complimentary registration with accepted proposals.

Contact Info: 

Katie Nieland, Assistant Director, Center for Great Plains Studies

Contact Email: