MLA Studio: Dunn Ranch—Critical Conservation Practices

  • Studio students in the field, surveying Dunn Ranch Prairie.
    Studio students in the field, surveying Dunn Ranch Prairie.
  • Shuying Wu. A Multi-Layered Habitat for Tallgrass Fauna.
    Shuying Wu. A Multi-Layered Habitat for Tallgrass Fauna.
  • Shuying Wu. Graphic Assemblage of Dunn Ranch Prairie.
    Shuying Wu. Graphic Assemblage of Dunn Ranch Prairie.
  • Shuying Wu. Bird Observatories .
    Shuying Wu. Bird Observatories .
  • Tornike Jashia. Prairie Paddock Study.
    Tornike Jashia. Prairie Paddock Study.
  • Shuying Wu. Avian Awareness–Habitat Needs.
    Shuying Wu. Avian Awareness–Habitat Needs.

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Dunn Ranch: Critical Conservation Practices
Studio 502B, Spring 2017

The Central Tallgrass Prairie Ecoregion spans 11,000 square miles and six states. In 1999 The Nature Conservancy purchased a 2,287-acre plot within the Grand River Grasslands, more than 1,000 acres of which have never been plowed. This studio develops a strategic landscape systems plan for the management of Dunn Ranch, maintained by The Nature Conservancy as a prairie restoration project. It includes bison, prairie chickens, grassland bird species, many different terrestrial mammals, and a huge inventory of wildflower species. Led by professor Rod Barnett and assistant professor Natalie Yates, the studio asks how a critical conservation can balance the needs of feeding 9 billion people (the population of the world by 2050) while at the same time restoring and protecting biodiversity. The answers to this question are novel, provocative, demanding, and exciting.