The Center for Grassland Studies was formed within the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in 1994.
The Center Director is Dr. Martin Massengale, President Emeritus of the University of Nebraska and a Foundation Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.
Other Center personnel: Pam Murray, Administrative Coordinator, and Shaun Weishaar, Administrative Support Associate, of the Center; Dr. Dann Husmann, Director of PGA Golf Management Program; Brad Goetsch, PGM Instruction Coordinator; and Scott Holly, PGM Internship Coordinator.
In addition to the PGM program, other programmatic activity is carried out by Associates of the Center who are professional workers involved in research, extension, teaching or technical assistance working in areas related to the Center's mission.
The Center receives direction and guidance on policy matters from a Policy Advisory Committee. Current members are:
- Tom Bragg, Department of Biology, UNO
- Craig Derickson, USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Jim Douglas, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
- Greg Ibach, Nebraska Department of Agriculture
- Terry Klopfenstein, Department of Animal Science (emeritus), UNL
- Rob Mitchell, USDA, Agricultural Research Service
- Brent Plugge, Cooperative Extension, UNL
- Sabrina Russo, School of Biological Sciences, UNL
- Jim Stubbendieck, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture (emeritus), UNL
- Larry Van Tassell, Department of Agricultural Economics, UNL
- Steven Waller, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, UNL
- David Wedin, School of Natural Resource Sciences, UNL
- Dayle Williamson, formerly with Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
In addition, a statewide Citizens Advisory Council, which meets once or twice a year, provides input on user needs.
The Center's mission is to implement focused, interdisciplinary research, educational and service programs and activities that emphasize the role of grasslands as a natural resource and conservation measure and that enhance the efficiency, profitability, sustainability, and aesthetic value of grasslands, wetlands and turfs.
Specific objectives of the Center are to:
- increase public awareness of the role grasslands, wetlands and turfs play in improving the quality of life by:
- controlling soil erosion;
- improving water and soil quality;
- contributing to the livestock industry;
- improving wildlife populations;
- maintaining and augmenting biodivesity;
- enhancing sports and leisure activities.
- foster teamwork and encourage systems approaches in research, educational and service activities.
- attract support for programmatic activity through grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, donations and endowments.
- initiate and expand relationships with federal and state agencies, other universities, state and community colleges, public and private organizations interested in grasslands, wetlands and turfs.
- create a center that will be recognized for its excellence in grassland studies at the local, regional, national and international levels.