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NASA Nebraska Space Grant

The NICC Science and Math Department engages in studies that give our students insight into critical details allowing
them to become pieces of solutions. Continuation of the NASA NICC Environmental Monitoring Through Prairie
Research project is one such way students actively take part. Student members of this team were Alex White, Estelle
Farley, Kenneth Carufel, Brook Cayou, Leilani Blake, Inessa Lyons, Anthony Sharpfish, and Susan Morris. Faith Lyons
Grant gave her time to the project as a volunteer. Mentors are Hank Miller and Dasha Weatherman with Lavonne
Snake, Qudsia Hussaini, and Shelley Kososla at their perspective locations. Each student completed individual
research on subjects of his or her choice pertaining to the prairie restoration projects / weather monitoring at the
Santee and Macy locations. Spring soil tests and plant count data were taken.
February 21 found several members of the science team, Hank Miller, Lavonne Snake, and Shelley Kosola, headed to
Ames, Iowa as advisors to the 3 Sisters Research Project being conducted by Iowa State University. Like-minded
individuals and experts came together to discuss possibilities and lay out of how the project would take shape. NICC
Alum, Anthony Warrior also graced us all with his delicious native cooking skills. Our ISU partners gave us tours of the
North Central Regional Plant Introduction Stations (seed security station) and ISU’s own sophisticated greenhouses.
Before parting on Sunday morning, we all had brought something to trade with our newfound friends. This 3 Sisters
garden research project has been postponed until next summer due to Covid.
The no till garden research at Santee shows great promise as soil tests continue to show beneficial factors of keeping
the soil covered with living plants year-round. Unfortunately, due to lock-downs, the test garden will not have garden
plants in it this year. The cover crops will remain growing as we gather plant growth and soil data. In the Fall, it will be
mowed, and a new winter cover crop will be established.
Progress has also been made in the development of a safety program for our college’s science labs. Qudsia Hussaini
has developed this safety plan that will be ready for implementation come this fall. The protocol established from this
safety program will ensure high standards of safety for everyone using our NICC science labs.

2020 NASA Nebraska Space Grant Students

2019 NASA Nebraska Space Grant Students