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Learn More
In Learn More the National Geographic magazine team shares some of its best sources and other information to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects. Special thanks to the Research Division.

Related Links

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve protects a nationally significant example of the once vast tallgrass prairie, one of the most complicated and diverse ecosystems in the world. Take a virtual tour of the preserve and see how fire and grazing actually help stimulate the growth of prairie plants.

Konza Prairie Preserve
Konza Prairie Biological Station, owned by the Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University, encompasses about 8,600 acres (3,500 hectares) of native tallgrass prairie. Operated as a field research station and preserve, this outdoor laboratory for the study of tallgrass prairie ecosystems is open to scientists and students throughout the world.

The Nature Conservancy in Kansas
The Nature Conservancy works with communities, businesses, and members to protect the special places that define the Kansas landscape, including tallgrass prairies. Find out about the Flint Hills Initiative—and see how you can help—at this website.

GeoKansas: Kansas Geological Survey
More than 250 million years ago, shallow seas covered much of Kansas, depositing the limestone, shale, and flint that form the Flint Hills. Visit this site to learn about the geology of the area—and why it's better suited to ranching than to farming.

Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses
This site features more than 1,800 photos of some 450 species of forbs, grasses, sedges, rushes, and woody plants that grow in the state.

Flint Hills Scenic Byway
Stretching nearly 50 miles (80 kilometers), between Council Grove and Cassoday, the Flint Hills Scenic Byway (K-177) offers panoramic views of the tallgrass prairie.


Buchanan, Rex. Kansas Geology: An Introduction to Landscapes, Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils. University Press of Kansas, 1984.

Haddock, Michael John. Wildflowers and Grasses of Kansas: A Field Guide. University Press of Kansas, 2005.

Hoy, James F. Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales of the Tallgrass Prairie. University Press of Kansas, 2006.

Heat-Moon, William Least. PrairyErth: An Epic History of the Tallgrass Prairie Country. Mariner Books, 1999.

Madson, John. Where the Sky Began: Land of the Tallgrass Prairie. University of Iowa Press, 2004.

Zimmerman, John L. The Birds of Konza: The Avian Ecology of the Tallgrass Prairie. University Press of Kansas, 1993.

NGS Resources

Finton, Nancy. Ecosystems. National Geographic Books, 2004.

Tull, Mary. Plains. National Geographic Books, 2004.

Richardson, Jim. "The Great Plains, Part II: Pulling Together—30 Years in the Life of Cuba, Kansas." National Geographic (May 2004), 30-53.

Mitchell, John G. "The Great Plains, Part I: Change of Heartland." National Geographic (May 2004), 2-29.

Eliot, John L. "Reefs in a Prairie Sea." National Geographic (April 2004), 78-97.

Sutton, Tyler. "New Home on the Range." Interactive edition, May 2001.

Wise, Jayne. "Fragile Realm of Grass." National Geographic Traveler (November/December 1994), 118.

Chadwick, Douglas H. "The American Prairie: Roots of the Sky." National Geographic (October 1993), 90-119.

Zwingle, Erla. "Ogallala Aquifer: Wellspring of the High Plains." National Geographic (March 1993), 80-109.

Fisher, Ron. The Heartland of a Continent: America's Plains and Prairies. National Geographic Books, 1991.

Hodgson, Bryan. "North Dakota: Tough Times on the Prairie." National Geographic (March 1987), 320-47.

Farney, Dennis. "The Tallgrass Prairie: Can It Be Saved?" National Geographic (January 1980), 36-61.