The Center for Prairie Studies has a collection of artwork on display in various locations at Grinnell College.


Volumes donated to the Center and otherwise acquired include field guides, yearbooks of agriculture, conference proceedings, and books on various prairie region subjects.


The Center for Prairie Studies has a collection of leaflets, programs, printed publications, posters, newspapers and magazines from several organizations on a variety of regional topics, from recent immigrants to changes in agriculture. A few of the sources in the collection are the Central for Rural Affairs, The Land Institute, Iowa Environmental Council, and The Nature Conservancy.


Prairie through the Seasons

Prairie Through the Seasons, a 27-minute multimedia video features photographs by several local photographers, narration by Sandy and Betty Moffett, and music by Jonathan Chenette. The changes of seasons on the prairie happen gradually, yet are distinct. From May to October prairie blooms color the landscape with all of the colors of the rainbow. But even after the first heavy frost brings an end to the flowering, the prairie presents a lovely canvas in the russet hues of fall or decorated with winter snow. This video captures the beauty in each of the seasons on the prairie. Copies are available by contacting the Center for Prairie Studies.

Images of Rural America

Music by Jonathan Chenette, Aaron Copland, and the Grinnell Symphony Orchestra conducted by Douglas Diamond. The music on this disc gives two portrayals of rural America: one a picture of farm life and the rural landscape at the turn of the millenium, and the other an imaginative re-creation of a pioneer ritual of the early 1800s. Both affirm rural America as a vibrant center of American's yearnings and identity, while recognizing the farm realistically as a locus of both intense joy and extreme hardship. Copies are available by contacting the Center for Prairie Studies.


The Center has a small collection of videos on various topics such as prairie ecology, Midwestern agriculture, local food issues, and regional history.

Related Grinnell College Collections

Faulconer Gallery

Art of the Prairie Region Collection and Database.Grinnell College owns a variety of artwork related to the college's location in the Midwest.  

Department of Biology Herbarium

Grinnell College Herbarium Database Prototypeallows you to enter search criteria to locate specimens in the collection.

Iowa Room, Special Collections, Burling Library

Henry S. Conard served the Department of Biology at Iowa/Grinnell College* from 1906 to 1944. With his expertise in botany and bryology, with special emphasis on bryophytes and water lilies. An assortment of essays, sermons, awards, clippings, correspondence, manuscripts, and notes make up this collection of his work. Lenabel B. Courtney was a student at Iowa College around 1900, but this collection of tapes and transcripts from an oral interview with her grandson mainly details her life on an Iowa farm at the end of the 19th Century. Fleming Fraker Historic Iowa Post Cards. A collection of approximately 10,000 postcards from all Iowa counties. Includes town scenes, buildings, people, events, and catastrophies. Josiah Bushnell Grinnell founded the town of Grinnell in 1854 and was a trustee of Iowa College from 1854-84. These archived papers include correspondence, between the years 1852-54 and 1868-69, land deeds, and his 1850 diary. Leonard F. Parker was a professor of Greek and Latin at Iowa College from 1860-70 and of history from 1888-98. In Grinnell, he was involved with the public schools and the Underground Railroad. This is a collection of his notes and letters concerning his last book, History of Poweshiek County, published in 1911 just before his death. Selden Whitcomb spent most of his life in Grinnell. He was born here, graduated from Iowa College in 1887, and returned to teach English from 1895-1905. In this file are two personal journals, a poetry manuscript, and a notebook of nature observations with a few surprises.Paul Wilson Plant Image Database is an on-line database of flowering-plant images and information, using as its nucleus a collection of over 2,000 photographic slides donated to Grinnell by its alumnus, Paul A. Wilson.

Faculty and Staff Scholarship

Jonathan Andelson (Anthropology)

2009 "Crosby's Footprint" in The Wapsipinicon Almanac (Fall)

2008 “Changing Heroes,” The Land Report 92:18-21 (Fall)

2007 “Letter to a Young Iowan,” in Letters To A Young Iowan, Zachary Michael Jack (ed.), North Liberty, Iowa: Ice Cube Press.

2007 “Joining the Food Revolution in Grinnell,” in Eating in Place: Telling the Story of Local Foods, Robert Wolf (ed.), Decorah, Iowa: Free River Press.

2006 "Food and Social Relations in Communal and Capitalist Amana," in Eating in Eden: Food and American Utopias, Etta M. Madden and Martha L. Finch (eds.), Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.

2005 "Intentional Communities and the Sense of Place," presented at the annual conference of the Communal Studies Association, Harmony, Pennsylvania, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2. 2003 “The Center for Prairie Studies, Grinnell College,” presented at panel on Institutional Responses to Place, ACM Workshop: Prairies, Rivers, and Towns: Liberal Arts and the Pedagogy of Place. September 19 – 20.. Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin.

2003 “Putting Down Antaeus,” in Roots of Renewal: An Exhibition and Community Partnership, Lesley Wright (ed.), Grinnell, Iowa: Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College.

2002 “Farming in East-Central Iowa Then and Now,” in Directory of Food Producers Who Market Locally, Grinnell, Iowa: Center for Prairie Studies.

2001 “The Center for Prairie Studies at Grinnell College: An Interdisciplinary Program in Place-Based Education.” Proceedings of the 17 th North American Prairie Conference: Seeds for the Future ~ Roots of the Past. Neil P. Bernstein and Laura J. Ostrander (eds.). North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City, Iowa.

2000 “An Experiment in Interdisciplinary Place-Based Learning At the College Level,” paper presented at the North American Prairie Conference, July 25, Mason City, Iowa.

Jackie Brown (Biology)


Tillers: A Journal of Prairie Restoration Research 1999 Tillers: A Journal of Prairie Restoration Research. Volume I. Jackie Brown, and Chris Caruso, editors. Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa.

2000 Tillers: A Journal of Prairie Restoration Research. Volume II. Jackie Brown, and Chris Caruso, editors. Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa.

2002 Tillers: A Journal of Prairie Restoration Research. Volume III. Jackie Brown, editor. Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa.

2003 Tillers: A Journal of Prairie Restoration Research. Volume IV. Jackie Brown, editor. Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa. Brown, J.M,

2002. Home and away. Tillers 3:33-38. McGranahan, D.A.*, S. Kuiper, and J.M. Brown. In press. Temporal patterns in use of an Iowa woodlot during the autumn bird migration. American Midland Naturalist. Cooper*, I., E. Roeder*, and J.M. Brown.

2003. Arthropod response to burning and mowing in a reconstructed prairie. Ecological Restoration 21:204-5.


August 2002. Invited lecture: Promoting an understanding of biological inquiry: curricular reform and Grinnell College's Center for Prairie Studies. (J. Brown, C. Caruso, L. Mottl and V. Eckhart). Restoration Educaction Symposium at the Annual Meeting for the Ecological Society of America/Society for Ecological Restoration. Tucson, AZ.

August 2002. Poster: Effects of burning and mowing on arthropods in a reconstructed tallgrass prairie. (I. Cooper*, E. Roeder* and J. Brown). Annual Meeting of Ecological Society of America. Tucson, AZ.

July 2001. Prairie Restoration: An introduction to Biological Inquiry (J. Brown and C. Caruso) Annual Meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology. University of Hawaii at Hilo, HI. *indicates student co-author

Doug Caulkins (Anthropology)

August 7, 2003. Presentation. “Forging the Cultural Connections with the Old Country: The Welsh Diaspora in Mid-Western US.” Douglas Caulkins and Jennifer Robinson ‘04, 17th International Seminar on Marginal Regions: Government and Governance: Nations, Regions, and Communities on the Margins. Harlech and Aberystwyth, Wales.

January 30, 2004. Invited Presentation. “Murphy’s Law Meets the Buffer Initiative: How things can (and will) go wrong in creating a riparian buffer.” Trees Forever Board of Directors’ meeting, Krumm Arboretum, Newton, IA.

March 4 2004. Invited Presentation. “Welsh Diasporas: A Preliminary Report” St. David’s Day meeting of the Iowa Welsh Society, Indianola, IA.

April 4, 2004. Presentation. “Crafting a Holistic Web-Based Health Tracker for Lakota Reservation Diabetics.” Douglas Caulkins and Kristi Welch.

March 31- April 4, 2004. Society for Applied Anthropology annual meetings, Dallas, TX.

Vince Eckhart (Biology)

2008 King EG. Eckhart VM, Mohl EC Magnitudes and mechanisms of shoot-damage compensation in annual species of Linum (Linaceae) in Iowa. American Midland Naturalist 159:200-213.

2006 Eckhart, VM The flora of the Iowa River Corridor: Taking the long view. In: The Iowa River Corridor Book, R. Wolf (ed.), Iowa River Corridor Project.

Paula Smith (English)

2004 "Living by Corn," Iowa River Corridor Book II, forthcoming Winter (poem)

2002-2003 "Summer," reprinted in Directory of Grinnell Area Food Producers, (poem)

1999-2000 "Summer," Flyway Literary Review, Vol. 5.1-5.2, Fall 1999/Winter 2000 (poem) * peer reviewed

1999 "The Tallgrass on Fire," "The Grassland," "Rhizomes," The Land Report 65, Fall (poems)

1996 "Rhizomes," text for choral composition Broken Ground by Jonathan Chenette. Collaborative project commissioned by the Iowa Humanities Board and performed at various sites in the United States by the Des Moines Symphony and the Grinnell Singers during Iowa's Sesquicentennial Year "Out of the Land," text for choral composition by Jonathan Chenette, commissioned by Grinnell College for performance during the inauguration of President

Student Scholarship


"Place and Agriculture in the Liberal Arts: An Agricultural Education Curriculum", Kip Kelley

Food and Agriculture

"Diversity and the Farmers' Markets of Central Iowa", Madelyn Gardner '12 (August 30, 2011)

"Soil Ain't Dirt: The Many Meanings of Soil in the Lives of Iowa Farmers", Madelyn Gardner '12 (May 2012)

"Sauk and Mesquakie Food Consumption in 1808", Jacob Gjesdahl '10 (April 26, 2009)

"Changes in the Meskwaki Food System: From Extensive Hunting to Intensive Agriculture and Wage Labor", Jacob Gjesdahl '10 (May 7, 2010)

"Iowa's Bison: Ancient Animals in an Industrial Landscape", Kayla Koether '12 (February 8, 2012)

"The Failure of Economic Authority", Ben Schrager '08

"Hog Hegemony: One local group's struggle to resist the expansion of corporate hog confinements", Sarah Shaughnessy '13 (May 2013)

"Generational Issues in Iowa Farm Communities", Caitlin Vaughan '10 (May 2010)


"Drainage on the Grand Prairie: the birth of a hydraulic society on the Midwestern frontier", Sam Imlay '12

Practicing Anthropology Student Projects 2012

Students in Professor Monty Roper’s “Practicing Anthropology” course in Fall 2012 had the opportunity to apply the lessons of anthropology by working in groups on behalf of an organization in Grinnell that sought assessments and advice regarding some issue or challenge the organization faced.  The course syllabus stated, “We will learn and practice appropriate methodologies as well as the roles that anthropologists can play in policy by serving as practicing anthropologists in the Grinnell community.  Students will form several research teams, each of which will carry out a needs assessment, program evaluation, or some other project on behalf of a Grinnell organization.“

Preparedness for Higher Education among Grinnell High School Graduates - Sarah Burnell and Dylan Fisher

An Evaluation of Galaxy, inc.’s Fundraising Strategy - Charlotte Hechler and Katie Fenster

P.A.L.S. Volunteer Retention Project- Final Report - Hanan Romodan and Amber Whisenhunt

Spotlight on Art

This page highlights a work of art from the Center for Prairie Studies collection that is currently on display in the living room of Macy House (1205 Park Street). We invite you to visit Macy House to see the original work, which will change four times a year.

Mark B. Schneider

“I saw this stunning group of thousands of snow geese from I-80, and got off at the next exit. After driving a few miles, and hiking a couple more, I got close enough for this shot.” Photograph taken with a Canon 5D and a 400 mm L series Canon lens, handheld. Exposure was 1/1000 sec at f/11 on March 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm. at Wood River, Nebraska. Print made June 2011, C-Print on Kodak Endura E-surface paper.

Purchased with Center for Prairie Studies Art Acquisition Funds.