Research at Tucker Prairie

Anyone wishing to conduct research or classes on Tucker Prairie must complete and submit an application at least two weeks in advance of the planned start date for the project. Applications must be completed with enough detail that the committee can consider the project’s potential impact on the prairie and on other research. 

 

Rules for Site Use

Please read these rules when beginning your work on Tucker Prairie and review them annually as you begin your fieldwork. The permit-holding researcher is responsible for communicating these rules to all participants on his or her project. You must complete a Research Application and read these rules and the potential hazards before working on Tucker Prairie. Submission of the application indicates that you have read and will abide by these rules.

CLAIR KUCERA RESEARCH STATION

The CLAIR KUCERA RESEARCH STATION is available for use by researchers. Any personnel wishing to use the research station must gain permission from the Tucker Prairie Committee by contacting Melody Kroll (tuckerprairie@missouri.ed, 573-884-4144). Any equipment or materials kept in the station must be stored in a plastic container and labeled with the permit-holding researcher’s name and removed at the end of the project.

EQUIPMENT & MARKERS (flags, stakes, etc.)

All equipment and markers should be labeled with the permit holder’s name or initials. Avoid placing markers or equipment on fireguards or within 5 meters of a fireguard, as this interferes with mowing operations. RESEARCHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING AWARE OF BURNING SCHEDULES SO THAT MATERIALS WHICH WOULD BE DAMAGED ARE REMOVED OR PROTECTED. All markers and equipment must be removed at the end of their use. The Clair Kucera Research Station is available for use by researchers. Any personnel wishing to use the research station must gain permission from the Tucker Prairie Committee by contacting Melody Kroll (tuckerprairie@missouri.ed, 573-884-4144). Any equipment or materials kept in the station must be stored in a plastic container and labeled with the permit-holding researcher’s name and removed at the end of the project.

SMOKING

The prairie is extremely vulnerable to fire. SMOKING ANYWHERE ON THE SITE IS PROHIBITED.

VEHICLE USE ON TUCKER PRAIRIE

Effects of vehicles on vegetation and soil can be substantial and persist for years. Therefore, vehicle use on the prairie is prohibited. Please notify the Tucker Prairie Committee (573-884-4144 or tuckerprairie@missouri.edu) if you observe instances of vehicles on the prairie.

GATE

The gate to Tucker Prairie is kept chained and locked. Any personnel wishing to open the gate must gain permission from the Tucker Prairie Committee. Permit-holding researchers are not permitted to give the gate combination to anyone who is not listed as their project participant. If gates or locks are damaged, report damage to the Tucker Prairie Committee (tuckerprairie@missouri.edu, 573-884-4144).

COLLECTION

Collection of biota, rocks, soil, or other materials for reasons other than research purposes is prohibited. Research collections must be detailed in the Research Application and approved prior to collection.

INTRODUCTION of exotic organisms

INTRODUCTION of exotic organisms, non-Tucker Prairie genotypes of native species, chemicals, or other materials is prohibited. If trash is found on Tucker Prairie, please carry it out.

PROJECT PROGRESS REPORTING

At the end of each project, we request that researchers provide a summary of the results and copy of publications resulting from the research conducted at Tucker Prairie. If work is unpublished, a summary of results based on the research can be submitted. Use of Tucker Prairie facilities or data should be acknowledged in seminars, publications, reports, dissertations, or theses in a format such as “Tucker Prairie is a preserve of the University of Missouri and managed by the Division of Biological Sciences.”

CONTROLLED BURNS

Be aware that controlled burns are conducted (2x per year) and can occur on any day Aug 1 – Oct 15 and Jan 1 – Mar 15 when weather is appropriate. If you are working on Tucker Prairie during those times, be sure to check in before going into the field to see if and where a burn may occur. DO NOT approach areas being burned, you may not properly predict where the fire will go and could become trapped. RESEARCHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING AWARE OF BURNING SCHEDULES SO THAT MATERIALS WHICH WOULD BE DAMAGED ARE REMOVED OR PROTECTED.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Please acknowledge Tucker Prairie in seminars and publications in a format such as “Tucker Prairie is a preserve of the University of Missouri and managed by the Division of Biological Sciences.”

EMERGENCIES/WILDFIRES

Please be aware that there are no telephones on Tucker Prairie or at the Clair Kucera Research Station. It is best to carry a cell phone with you in case of emergencies, including accidental fires. Keep in mind that any emergency responder may not be familiar with Tucker Prairie. If you are calling from a cell phone in the field, be sure to know exactly where you are and be able to give concise, correct directions to your location. A map and directions to Tucker Prairie can be found at this link: http://tuckerprairie.missouri.edu/map-directions/.

VANDALISM

Please notify the Tucker Prairie Committee (573-884-4144 or tuckerprairie@missouri.edu) if you observe instances of abuse, vandalism, trespassers, damage to fences, or other problems.

Possible Tucker Prairie Hazards

This list includes some of the most common hazards associated with working in the Tucker Prairie tallgrass habitat. However, it is not exhaustive. Visitors should use common sense and be aware at all times of their surroundings. Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Cell phones are great but you may not get a signal.

EMERGENCIES

There are no telephones on Tucker Prairie or at the Clair Kucera Research Station. It is best to carry a cell phone with you in case of emergencies. Keep in mind that any emergency responder may not be familiar with Tucker Prairie. If you are calling from a cell phone in the field, be sure to know exactly where you are and be able to give concise, correct directions to your location. A map and directions to Tucker Prairie can be found at this link: http://tuckerprairie.missouri.edu/map-directions/

WEATHER

It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before going out into the field. However, weather in Missouri is frequently unpredictable and prone to rapid change. Stay alert for rapidly moving storm fronts. Summer in Missouri frequently has temperatures above 90°F. Always bring plenty of water when working in summer and wear appropriate clothing with a hat for shade.

DANGEROUS ANIMALS

ALL wild animals have the potential to be dangerous, especially if they feel threatened. NEVER approach any wild animal and immediately report any animal that appears to be acting strangely. Researchers should be familiar with the look and habits of venomous snakes and arachnids that are common in mid-Missouri. Do not take chances if you are bitten, go immediately to the hospital or call 911 for help.

BEES/WASPS

A number of species of bees, wasps, and stinging ants can be encountered on Tucker Prairie. Small sweat bees can be particularly annoying in summer months. Be aware of any sensitivity you may have to stings and take appropriate precautions.

TICKS AND CHIGGERS

Ticks and chiggers are common from early spring to late fall, especially in areas that haven’t been recently burned. Dress appropriately to reduce the number of possible ticks and use insect repellent sprays when appropriate. Information on ticks and chiggers in Missouri is available from the University of Missouri Research & Extension website.