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  • News and Notes

Award Announcements

Great Plains Research presents two annual awards for the best articles published during a volume year: The Charles E. Bessey Award for natural science and the Leslie Hewes Award for social science. The awards are announced at the annual Fellows Luncheon of the Center for Great Plains Studies and include a cash stipend of $250.

The 2019 Charles E. Bessey Award for best natural science paper in Volume 28 of Great Plains Research has been awarded to Larkin A. Powell, Richard Edwards, Kelly D. J. Powell, and Katie Nieland for their article "Geography of Ecotourism Potential in the Great Plains: Incentives for Conservation," which appeared in the Spring 2018 issue.

The 2019 Leslie Hewes Award for best social science paper in Volume 28 of Great Plain Research has been awarded to Joshua T. Fergen, Jeffrey B. Jacquet, Bishal Kasu, Matthew Barnett, Anne Junod, and Sandeep Kumar for their article "Out Where the West Begins: Measuring Land-Use Preferences and Environmental Attitudes across the Great Plains," which appeared in the Fall 2018 issue.


The 80th Annual Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference will be held January 26–29, 2020, at the BOS Center in Springfield, Illinois. The theme will be "Bringing Science Back to the Forefront of Resource Management." This annual event attracts nearly 800 biologists, students, and scientists from local, state and provincial, federal, and tribal natural resources agencies, universities, and private companies across the 12 midwestern states and provinces. Highlights include nearly 400 technical presentations, poster displays, plenary sessions, networking opportunities, and social events. Website:

The Society for Range Management's 73rd Annual Meeting, Technical Training and Trade Show will be at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado, February 16–20, 2020. The theme for the 2019 conference is "A New Look: Transformation and Translation." Website:

The 2020 North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference will be held March 8–13, 2020, at the Hilton in Omaha, Nebraska. Website:

Join the Association of American Geographers at the AAG Annual Meeting held in Denver, Colorado, Monday, April 6, to Friday, April 10, 2020. As one of the largest geographic conferences in the world, the AAG Annual Meeting and Exhibition will host as many as 8,500 geographers, GIS specialists, and environmental scientists from around the world. Website:

The 2020 Center for Great Plains Studies symposium, Climate Change and Culture in the Great Plains, will be held April 9–10, 2020, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Human activities are increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, producing global climate change. Although questions remain about the speed, complexity, and consequences of climate change, on the main point the science is settled. We know about greenhouse gases, rising average temperatures, increased coastal flooding, retreating glaciers, more frequent severe weather events, and other consequences that will upset and transform daily life. Yet rather than engaging in a productive debate about how to address this issue, our national conversation has devolved into a culture war in which one side denies the [End Page 180] very existence of climate change while scientists have well documented this phenomenon.

Agriculture is our region's largest industry, so we are intimately connected to the land and climate, with both short-term weather patterns and longer-term climate conditions affecting our daily decisions. Farmers and ranchers are, in a sense, first responders to the consequences of climate change already occurring. Indigenous communities, such as those along the Missouri River, are also disproportionately vulnerable to these changes. The Great Plains, long a region of weather extremes, will likely experience massive environmental impacts from future climate change with significant societal implications.

How did climate change become such a divisive issue? How does culture—meaning the beliefs, values, social practices, language, and attitudes by which we organize daily life—affect our understanding of climate change and limit or advance our possibilities for addressing it? Why have some embraced climate change denial and tried to delegitimize climate science? Can literature, art, history, politics, economics, psychology, language, and other social science and humanities disciplines bring to the discussion new and constructive ways of communicating...


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