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Konza Prairie Biological Station

Scientist Information (Rules for Site Use)

Please read the RULES FOR SITE USE when beginning your work on KPBS and review them annually as you begin your fieldwork. The senior project leaders are responsible for communicating these rules to all participants on their projects. You must complete a Research/User Permit Application and read Safety and Konza Hazards before working on KPBS. Submission of the application indicates that you will abide by these rules.  Here is a printable pdf of this page: rules.pdf


EMERGENCIES/WILDFIRES - A CODE ORANGE SYSTEM is employed to deal with accidental fires or other emergencies on Konza. To activate the CODE ORANGE SYSTEM call:

ContactWork PhoneHome PhoneCell Phone
Tom Van Slyke
(KPBS Site Manager)
John M. Briggs
(KPBS Director)
785-532-0140 480-993-8205

If you are the one who spots the fire, and none of the above can be reached, call 911. Use the headquarters map for emergency addresses.

VEHICLE USE ON KONZA - Effects of vehicles on vegetation and soil can be substantial and persist for years. Therefore, vehicles should be used judiciously and as little as possible in the restricted areas of KPBS (i.e., through locked gates). If possible, drive only on the gravel roads. Fireguards may be driven when required, but only if conditions are dry and steep slopes are avoided. Vehicle use off fireguards or trails is prohibited. SPEED LIMIT IS 15 MPH, or slower when conditions require it (wet soil, curves, steep hills, etc.). When turning around on a trail, DO NOT MAKE A CIRCLE TURN. Make a three-point turn by driving and backing short distances across the trail, so that the vehicle goes NO MORE THAN 2 METERS off the trail or fireguard.

FOOT TRAFFIC - is restricted to trails and fireguards unless the researcher is fully aware of the work of other researchers in the area.

BISON - Bison are DANGEROUS animals. Exercise extreme caution when inside the bison area. Bison are curious and will often approach and surround a vehicle. If this happens, REMAIN INSIDE. If on foot, keep alert to the animals' location and movements, and the possibility that the herd may be split into several groups. Bison appear harmless, but are powerful and extremely quick. Never turn your back on a bison as this may be taken as an invitation to charge.

gatesGATES - All perimeter gates should be kept chained and locked. After closing and locking the gate, pull on the padlock to be sure it has locked. If gates or locks are damaged, report damage to the Konza Prairie Office. PERMIT-HOLDING RESEARCHERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO GIVE THE GATE COMBINATION TO ANYONE WHO IS NOT LISTED AS THEIR PROJECT PARTICIPANT.

EQUIPMENT & MARKERS (flags, stakes, etc.) - should be labeled with the investigator's name or initials. Avoid placing markers or equipment on fireguards or within 5 meters of a trail or 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.

COLLECTION of biota, rocks, fossils, or other materials for other than research purposes is prohibited. Research collections must be detailed in a research agreement form and approved prior to collection.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS - No individual will remove possible archaeological remains (either prehistoric, historic or contemporary) from KPBS; when in doubt leave it in place. This is done both for ethical purposes (out of respect of past peoples) and for research value. Archaeological artifacts should not be removed, but should be reported to the Director and a professional archaeologist (e.g., Dr. Lauren W. Ritterbush, lritterb@ksu.edu, or Dr. Brad Logan, blogan@ksu.edu, KSU archaeologists familiar with the KPBS and regional archaeology). If an extreme situation exists when an artifact must be removed (for instance, that it or its context will be destroyed), its location should be documented as thoroughly and precisely as possible. For instance, take a GPS reading and draw and describe exactly where and how the object was found, then immediately report all this to a professional archaeologist. Please keep in mind, that whenever an artifact is removed from the context in which it was originally deposited, scientists lose much potential information about that object and, importantly, the people who made it.

INTRODUCTION of exotic organisms, non-Konza Prairie genotypes of native species, chemicals, or other materials is prohibited. If trash is found on Konza Prairie, please carry it out and deposit in the trash bin near the Headquarters.

AMENDED USER PERMITS - An amended research agreement form must be filed if your project is going to employ additional samples, or take place in areas that were not approved in the original User Permit Application.

PROJECT PROGRESS REPORTING REQUIREMENTS - At the end of each project, investigators are required to provide a summary of the results and copy of publication (PDF is fine). If work is unpublished, 5 copies of report(s) based on the research should be submitted. Graduate students using Konza Prairie facilities or materials should deposit one copy of their thesis or dissertation with the Konza Prairie Office (PDF is fine). Use of Konza Prairie facilities or data should be acknowledged in seminars, publications, reports, dissertations, or theses in a format such as "Konza Prairie Biological Station is a preserve of The Nature Conservancy managed by the Division of Biology at Kansas State University." We will also request information on the location and storage characteristics of your original data. Arrangements for deposit of preserved specimens of biota or other materials should be made as part of the research application.

SEMINARS AND PUBLICATIONS - Please acknowledge KPBS in seminars and publications in a format such as "Konza Prairie Biological Station is a preserve of The Nature Conservancy managed by the Division of Biology at Kansas State University."

VANDALISM - Pleasenotify the Konza Prairie Office (587-0441) or the Site Manager (539-1961) if you observe instances of abuse, vandalism, stray animals, trespassers, damage to fences, or other problems.