Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 37.45
Liaison Kristina Hughes
Submission Date May 10, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Nebraska at Omaha
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Patrick Wheeler
Environmental Advocate/Sustainability Champion
EHS
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:

Glacier Creek Preserve is a topographically diverse nature preserve dedicated to the study and appreciation of the tallgrass prairie and associated ecosystems of Eastern Nebraska. The site provides critical habitat for prairie flora and fauna with opportunities for education, research, and appreciation of prairie ecology and management. The preserve is composed of three tracts, including the Allwine Prairie Tract (the original preserve), Papio Tract and North Viewshed Tract. The Barn @ Glacier Creek, scheduled for completion in Fall 2013, is an on-site Environmental Education and Research Facility that will provide a field connected laboratory for use by classes as they expand on their field investigations.


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

The methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Butterfly Monitoring
Since 1998, twenty weekly Pollard Transect butterfly population censuses have been conducted each year from early June to mid October; since 2001, data have also been collected on nectar plant visits by butterflies observed in the censuses. These data provide a characterization of the butterfly community at the Allwine Prairie tract of Glacier Creek Preserve and the nectar plants utilized by the butterfly community, seasonal and annual variations in the community, and determination of the effects of control burns. Following creation of a habitat corridor in 2011 connecting the South and West units, studies have characterized the use of the habitat corridor by the butterfly community, especially the Regal Fritillary, a species of conservation concern. Beginning in 2013, studies of the efficiency and significance of butterflies as pollinators are also ongoing.

Other Monitoring
Other quantitative data or surveys have been collected on flora and grassland birds. Quantative surveys of small mammals and of vegetation were conducted in 2012-2013 on the un-farmed portions of the Papio Tract as a first step in long-term monitoring.
Weather data are collected continuously. We also monitor water flow at the spring-fed Glacier Creek as well as siltation along the western lowland adjacent to farmed ground. loral surveys, butterfly and grassland bird surveys, and water quality monitoring of Glacier Creek.


A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

Over 109 species of birds, 12 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 24 species of mammals have been observed in various locations throughout the Preserve. Breeding bird species include the Bobwhite Quail, Mourning Dove, Meadowlark, Dickcissel, and Grasshopper Sparrow. The prairie also serves as a haven to migrant species such as LeConte’s and Harris’ Sparrows, Marsh Hawks, and Blue-Winged Teal; other species overwinter on the Preserve. Mammals of the prairie and woodland include the White-tailed Deer, Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel, Prairie Deer Mouse, White-footed Mouse Prairie Vole, Coyote and Red Fox. Fox Snakes and Red-sided Garter Snakes are also relatively common. Thousands of insects reside at the prairie, including 54 butterfly species.

More than 280 species of woody and herbaceous plants have been identified at the Allwine Prairie Tract of Glacier Creek Preserve. Quantitative surveys of the preserve find slopes and hilltops of the tallgrass areas dominated by big bluestem with little bluestem and sideoats grama common. Lowland areas are predominantly big bluestem, reed canary grass and switchgrass. Little bluestem and sideoats grama dominate the mixed-grass prairie. Common forbs include wild indigo, black-eyed susan, leadplant, round-headed bush clover, greyhead prairie coneflower, rosinweed, Missouri goldenrod and Canada goldenrod.


A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

Vegetation & Fire Effects Monitoring
Ongoing research at Glacier Creek Preserve includes long-term plots established in 1978 which were established to study the effects of fire frequency and season-of-occurrence on grassland plant community composition. In addition, landscape vegetation surveys of the Allwine Prairie tract were conducted in 1979, 1993 and 2009.

Butterfly Monitoring
Since 1998, twenty weekly Pollard Transect butterfly population censuses have been conducted each year from early June to mid October; since 2001, data have also been collected on nectar plant visits by butterflies observed in the censuses. These data provide a characterization of the butterfly community at the Allwine Prairie tract of Glacier Creek Preserve and the nectar plants utilized by the butterfly community, seasonal and annual variations in the community, and determination of the effects of control burns. Following creation of a habitat corridor in 2011 connecting the South and West units, studies have characterized the use of the habitat corridor by the butterfly community, especially the Regal Fritillary, a species of conservation concern. Beginning in 2013, studies of the efficiency and significance of butterflies as pollinators are also ongoing.

Other Monitoring
Other quantitative data or surveys have been collected on flora and grassland birds. Quantative surveys of small mammals and of vegetation were conducted in 2012-2013 on the un-farmed portions of the Papio Tract as a first step in long-term monitoring.
Weather data are collected continuously. We also monitor water flow at the spring-fed Glacier Creek as well as siltation along the western lowland adjacent to farmed ground. loral surveys, butterfly and grassland bird surveys, and water quality monitoring of Glacier Creek.


The website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity policies and programs(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.