One of Knox College's most valued traditions is the annual spring Prairie Burn, which brings together students from all disciplines in a prairie restoration project that inspired the name for Knox College's "Prairie Fire" athletic teams.
The Prairie Burns, first conducted in the 1950s by Knox professor Paul Shepard, protect prairie grasses from intrusions of woodland scrub and competition with "exotic" species that have been introduced to Illinois from other regions or countries -- to the detriment of organisms that have evolved over millions of years in delicate balance with the environment and each other.
The Prairie Burns at Green Oaks are one of the factors making Green Oaks one of the oldest restored tallgrass prairie in North America.
Highlights from a recent Prairie Burn:
Professor Stuart Allison plans the burn with students and faculty.
Professor Allison watches while Alicia Young sets a field on fire. Other students at rear maintain the fire line.
A student controls the edge of the burn.
Blackened fields will heat up more quickly, and native prairie plants are better adapted to fire than non-native species.
Leading up to a worldwide event -- Gun Control Theatre Action Week, May 27 through June 2 -- a play by Knox College theatre professor Neil Blackadder is selected for a new collection, "24 Gun Control Plays."
Seniors Megan Beney and Eva Marley spoke at the Central States Anthropology Society. Beney's topic was the musical nature of speech directed at infants, and Marley discussed social media sites and social movements.
Rana Tahir, a double major in creative writing and political science, wrote dozens of poems and created 29 paintings after interviewing Kuwaiti residents about the 1990 Iraqi occupation.