On September 12-14, 2011, Kansas State University will sponsor the international symposium, entitled “Grasslands in a Global Context." The symposium is planned to celebrate important milestones reached at Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) and the associated Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program.
The conference strives to develop a current, comparative synthesis of grassland/savanna ecosystems within a global framework. With the development of Konza Prairie as a global research platform in grassland studies coinciding with the benchmark 30th and 40th year anniversaries of our research station and LTER program, the stage is set for a synthesis of past, ongoing and new research results in the context of global understanding of grassland systems. This synthesis is aimed at identifying generalities in the structure and function of grassland and savanna ecosystems around the globe, recognizing continental level differences of critical importance, while identifying significant research gaps that can drive future studies. In short, we hope that this conference will develop a critical synthesis.
The KPBS was established in 1971, and the Konza LTER program formally began in 1981 with support from the National Science Foundation and has grown into a world-class grassland ecological research facility and program. Research at Konza has also shifted over these 30 years from a more regional long term perspective to one of global use and scientific implications.
The Institute for Grassland Studies (IGS), a Targeted Excellence Program of Kansas State University, was established in 2008 with the goal of promoting professional interactions with prominent international grassland scientists from around the world in ways that foster new research and educational opportunities and the synthesis and application of grassland science for improved conservation and global sustainability.