Kansas State University


Beach Blog

Category: Prairie Studies Initiative

Global Food Systems Research Science Communication Symposium


During the 2015-16 academic year, a group of graduate students and postdoctoral scientists from Global Food Systems research teams have participated in an experimental series of workshops. These focused on communication of science questions, methods, and discoveries to non-specialist audiences. The aim of the workshop has been to help these scientists strengthen skills that will help them convey the significance of their work – to legislators and funders, to their future students, and to the general public.

The visual arts, especially research around a technique called Visual Thinking Strategies, provided a starting point by examining the power of images and the importance of selecting them carefully. Later in the workshop, the group considered discoveries in neuroscience and psychology that can help a presenter maximize communication of information and concepts. The presentation events will showcase the work of this group of researchers and allow them to demonstrate their communication skills.

Jim Richardson

In his photographic projects for National Geographic over the last three decades, Jim Richardson has explored natural landscapes, human cultures, and environmental issues around the world. These worldwide photographic essays were rooted in his Kansas upbringing and the subjects he found close to home. Richardson has returned often to the subject of the prairie and the livelihoods of the people who make their homes in that ecosystem, at once rich and austere, beautiful and punishing. The exhibition of Richardson’s photographs, “Beneath the Prairie Sky” at Beach Museum of Art (March 8 – June 26, 2016), will explore life and meaning on the Great Plains. Filled with both exhilarating wonder and gnawing doubt, the artist says these photographs reflect 50 years of soul-searching.

A collaborative program of:

  • Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Beach Museum of Art
  • Prairie Studies Initiative
  • Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning


Making an evening out of it, April 14, 2016

Saxophone Expressions: An Exploration of Musical Turmoil

Thursday, April 14, 5:30 p.m., Pelton Gallery

This highly eclectic saxophone concert will feature Dr. Anna Marie Wytko, Associate Professor of Saxophone at Kansas State University, as well as KSU graduate and undergraduate saxophone students John Ashburn, Adam Lechner, Michael Meier, and Jacob Wright in performances by Japanese, Polish, American, and French composers from the WWII Era.

Part of the programming for “Behind the Glass Eye: Photographs by Toyo Miyatake” and “Minidoka on My Mind: Paintings and Prints by Roger Shimomura.”



At the conclusion of Saxophone Expressions: An Exploration of Musical Turmoil head up to the Union Little theater for a lecture by K-State Department of English’s Visiting Writer and Speaker, Julian Hoffman.

K-State Department of English Visiting Writer and Speaker Julian Hoffman

Thursday, April 14, 2016, 7:00 p.m., in the Union, Little Theatre


Julian Hoffman lives beside the Prespa Lakes in northern Greece. His book, The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World, was chosen by Terry Tempest Williams as the winner of the 2012 AWP Award Series for Nonfiction. In 2014, it won a National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature.  This program is co-sponsored by the Prairie Studies Initiative.