Minnesota Master Naturalist

Course Registration

ADV - Lunch with a Scientist - Bison Project - Cedar Creek

Lunch with a Scientist - Bison Project - Cedar Creek website

2660 Fawn Lake Drive NE
East Bethel, MN 55005

Join life-long learners for a monthly lunch and learn series at Cedar Creek. Bring your own lunch and hunger for knowledge, we will provide the brain food! If weather permits, we will go outside to see the research in action. Please wear closed-toe shoes and dress for the weather.

Oak savanna is one of Minnesota’s most threatened ecosystems. Today, less than 0.1% of savanna remains, and most have lost their native grasses and wildflowers as the lack of fire allows trees to dominate. Savanna restoration research at Cedar Creek started in 1965 and has shown fire eliminates non-savanna species and restores savanna species. This has also shown frequent fires prevent oaks from regenerating. Grazing by large herbivores may be essential for restoration and preservation. When not grazed, grasses compete with oak seedlings and, when these ungrazed grasses burn, their high abundance causes intense fires that kill oak seedlings. By introducing bison we hope to better understand how we might preserve Minnesota’s oak savannas long into the future.

Chad is a postdoctoral associate working with Forest Isbell and Dave Tilman on the bison and savanna research project. His research asks if grazing by bison reduces fire intensity and competition from dominant grasses to promote oak regeneration and the diversity of savanna species. Chad completed his Ph.D. at Michigan State University where his research aimed to understand how plant functional traits structure the community assembly and functioning of ecosystems undergoing restoration.

Course Dates:

Meeting from 11:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on:

Instructor Information

Caitlin Potter

Dr. Potter is the education and community engagement coordinator at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. Her background is in wildlife ecology, and she holds a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology as well as a masters and Ph.D in ecology and evolutionary biology. She studied wildlife and animal behavior all over the world (mostly monkeys in Ethiopia) before finding her true passion doing environmental education! Now, she runs school field trips and public events at CCESR, works with scientists to get their results into the hands of students, and organizes several citizen science projects.

Tillery Bailey

Tillery is serving her second year as the Minnesota GreenCorps Member at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. MN GreenCorps is an AmeriCorps program sponsored by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which allows young environmental professionals to gain practical experience. At Cedar Creek she serves as a member of the education and outreach team.

Tillery graduated from the University of Minnesota in December 2017 with a BS in Recreation Administration and a Management minor. She loves teaching yoga, spending time outside, and creating the occasional art project.

Sponsor Information

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve


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