Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 2020

Document Type



Koehler, C. 2020. Biodiversity of Nebraska: An interpretive boots-on-the-ground observational study. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Carlee Koehler 2020.


Nebraska is a state rich in biodiversity, yet the diversity of flora, fauna and habitats is seldom acknowledged by or communicated to the general public and young adults in Nebraska. This observational study was conducted in an attempt to acknowledge Nebraska as a place of ecological worth. This is communicated through journalistic writing and photos taken during visits to eight specific locations in Nebraska throughout the summer and fall of 2019. The locations observed in this study are selected from work previously done by Nebraska Game and Parks called the Natural Legacy Project.

Biologists and Nebraska Game and Parks supporters outlined the state of Nebraska into four ecoregions: Tallgrass Prairie, Mixedgrass Prairie, Sandhills and Shortgrass Prairie. Within each ecoregion, several Biologically Unique Landscapes were identified as key places of biodiversity and within the BULs, labeled demonstration sites represent examples of habitat conservation opportunities in Nebraska. Biodiversity of Nebraska is the result of physical visits to eight locations, seven of which are designated demonstration sites including Indian Cave State Park, Calamus Reservoir, Niobrara River State Park, Fort Robinson State Park, Wildcat Hills, Lake Ogallala, Platte River State Park and Ponca State Park.

The results of these observations can be used as tools to show the high level of biodiversity that exists in Nebraska to other scientists and individuals within the state of Nebraska and beyond. This is an easily digestible record of biodiversity for the average person to enjoy, relate to and be enlightened by.