Skip to main content
Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University
University Archives & Manuscripts - Collection Guides
Konza Prairie Research Natural Area

Chronology, 1872-1999

1872      C.P. Dewey purchased first parcel of real estate (175 acres) which is now the
          northwest corner of the Konza Prairie

1911-1920 Limestone barn and house built for Dewey Ranch as a residence for employees;
          today the house serves as Konza Prairie headquarters and education center (named
          and dedicated as the Hulbert Center for Research in 1997)

1930      Ranch sold by Dewey - there were several owners prior to the purchase by The
          Nature Conservancy
1951      The Nature Conservancy incorporated in District of Columbia as a non-profit,
          private, membership governed organization

1956      Lloyd Hulbert first presented the idea of a prairie field station for ecological
          research to KSU

1971      Original land for Konza Prairie, excluding the Dewey Ranch, acquired by The
          Nature Conservancy (December 30) for Kansas State University

1972      Management plan developed; burning of watershed sized units at prescribed

1977      Dewey Ranch purchased in January by The Nature Conservancy after several
          years of negotiations with McKnight family, the last private owner of the land 

1979      Anonymous donor of funds for purchase of land and Dewey Ranch identified after
          her death - Katharine Ordway

          Additional 480 acres added to west side of Konza Prairie 

          King's Creek, a central tract of 2619 acres on KPRNA, added to the U.S.
          Geological Survey's network of benchmark watersheds

1980      Official dedication of Konza Prairie Research Natural Area

          Network of sites dedicated to long-term ecological research (LTER) started by the
          National Science Foundation

1986      Lloyd Hulbert died - served as first director of Konza Prairie until his death

1986      Konza Prairie featured on television series "The Making of a Continent" by the
          British Broadcasting Corporation (November)

1987      Ted Barkley named coordinator of Konza Prairie

          Bison introduced to Konza; Bison and Cattle Grazing Management Plan
          developed and implemented

1987-1989 NASA Satellite Land Surface Climatology Projects conducted during the summer 

1988      Maintenance building renovated and converted into laboratories

1988      Plots near Hulbert Memorial renamed Hulbert Experimental Burning Plots

1990      Donald W. Kaufman named coordinator of Konza Prairie

1992      Ted Barkley named coordinator of Konza Prairie (January)

          Cattle grazing treatments began and bison grazing area expanded

1993      Jim Reichman named director of Konza Prairie

          Friends of Konza established

1995      David Hartnett named director of Konza Prairie

1997      Celebration of 25th Anniversary for Konza (May)

          Renovated Dewey Ranch house renamed the Hulbert Center for Research

          Environmental Educator position added and Konza Environmental Education
          Program (KEEP) created

1997-1998 New bison corral facilities constructed

1998      Tallgrass prairie restorations initiated on cultivated fields

1999      New fire station and maintenance building constructed

          Laboratory/shop building renovated for laboratory expansion