The Konza LTER Program includes educational opportunities for students at the K-12 (Schoolyard LTER), undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as teacher training and outreach activities for the public. Undergraduate and graduate student training is an important component of our LTER program. In addition to providing support for local students, the Konza Prairie site is used by graduate students from many institutions around the U.S., and from other countries. The Konza LTER program also offers research experiences for a large number of undergraduate students through the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, by individual REU supplements to the Konza LTER project and through a site-based REU program in Ecology, Evolution and Genomics of Grassland Organisms. The Konza LTER program has also provided experiences for minority students through the Strategies for Ecology Education Development and Sustainability (SEEDS) program of the Ecological Society of America. Increasingly, results from Konza studies are used in undergraduate and graduate ecology texts, as well as extension and management related outlets.
The Konza LTER program is also an integral part of the Konza Environmental Education Program (KEEP). KEEP is committed to providing Kansas communities with quality environmental education opportunities centered on prairie ecology and long-term ecological research. KEEP provides on-site programming to K-12 students, youth and adult groups. Since its inception in 1996, KEEP has served hundreds of community members and volunteers, dozens of classroom educators and thousands of school children by providing public programs, volunteer docent training, professional development workshops, science education, and field trips.
The Konza Environmental Education Program has as its mission for K-12 and public/adult programs to:
- Enhance the understanding of the ecology of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem.
- Increase understanding of the process and value of science.
- Increase public appreciation for the importance of scientific research as a foundation for sound grassland conservation and management.