Natural Resources, School of


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Chapman, Shannen S., Omernik, James M., Freeouf, Jerry A., Huggins, Donald G., McCauley, James R., Freeman, Craig C., Steinauer, Gerry, Angelo, Robert T., and Schlepp, Richard L., 2001, Ecoregions of Nebraska and Kansas (color poster with map, descriptive text, summary tables, and photographs): Reston, Virginia, U.S. Geological Survey (map scale 1:1,950,000).


Ecoregions denote areas of general similarity in ecosystems and in the type, quality, and quantity of environmental resources; they are designed to serve as a spatial framework for the research, assessment, management, and monitoring of ecosystems and ecosystem components. Ecoregions are directly applicable to the immediate needs of state agencies, including the development of biological criteria and water quality standards, and the establishment of management goals for nonpoint-source pollution. They are also relevant to integrated ecosystem management, an ultimate goal of most federal and state resource management agencies. The approach used to compile this map is based on the premise that ecological regions can be identified through the analysis of the patterns of biotic and abiotic phenomena that reflect differences in ecosystem quality and integrity (Wiken, 1986; Omernik, 1987, 1995). These phenomena include geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife, and hydrology. The relative importance of each characteristic varies from one ecological region to another regardless of the hierarchical level. A Roman numeral hierarchical scheme has been adopted for different levels of ecological regions. Level I and level II divide the North American continent into 15 and 52 regions, respectively (Commission for Environmental Cooperation Working Group 1997). At level III, the continental United States contains 104 regions (United States Environmental Protection Agency [US EPA], 2000). However, depending on the objectives of a particular project, ecoregions may be aggregated within levels of the hierarchy for data analysis and interpretation. Explanations of the methods used to define the US EPA’s ecoregions are given in Omernik (1995), Griffith and others (1994), and Gallant and others (1989).

Albers equal area projection; Standard parallels 38° N and 42° N

PRINCIPAL AUTHORS: Shannen S. Chapman (Dynamac Corporation), James M. Omernik (US EPA), Jerry A. Freeouf (USFS), Donald G. Huggins (KBS), James R. McCauley (KGS), Craig C. Freeman (KBS), Gerry Steinauer (NGPC), Robert T. Angelo (KDHE), and Richard L. Schlepp (USDA, NRCS). COLLABORATORS AND CONTRIBUTORS: Steven R. Walker (NDEQ), Kenneth R. Bazata (NDEQ), Sharon W. Waltman (USDA, NRCS-National Soil Survey Center [NSSC]), William J. Waltman (USDA, NRCS-NSSC), Roger Kanable (USDA, NRCS), Steven C. Schainost (NGPC), Craig Engelhard (USDA, NRCS), James W. Merchant (Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies [CALMIT], University of Nebraska, Lincoln [UNL]), Virginia L. McGuire (USGS), Chris Mammoliti (KDWP), James L. Stubbendieck (UNL), David A. Mortensen (UNL), Thomas Wardle (Nebraska Forest Service), David T. Lewis (UNL), Robert F. Diffendal Jr. (Nebraska Conservation and Survey Division-Nebraska Geological Survey) and Jeffrey A. Comstock (OAO Corporation). This project was partially supported by funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, Biological Criteria Program.

Reverse side and supplementary 1-page versions are attached.

ksne_back.pdf (151 kB)
Back side - Summary Table: Characteristics of Ecoregions of Nebraska and Kansas

ksne_eco.pdf (889 kB)
1-page with text

ksne_eco_pg-1.pdf (1239 kB)
1-page with legends