Research is key to meeting our mission. As we learn more about this and other precious ecosystems, we will better understand how to steward them.
Current Research at PRI:
Restoration Techniques - We have partnered with the University of Washington since 2007 for research on best techniques for restoring abandoned agriculture land to native prairie. Recently, Dr. Eric Delvin finished his PhD work on this project. You can find his final analysis here. We continue to manage the research plots and collect data, while gradually "absorbing" them into our native prairie expansion. Through a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, we also manage the UW research and restoration site on land owned by The Nature Conservancy on Ebey's Bluff.
Small Mammals - For over 8 years, we have conducted research on our prairie to gauge the ebb and flow of small mammal populations. In particular, we have been able to track the cyclical population changes of voles. Voles impact the prairie habitat as both predators and prey.
Garry Oaks - Annually, we collect data on our Garry oak plantings to determine the impact of deer browse, vole borrowing, and other factors on the ability of these native trees to survive. Garry oaks are being planted for savannah re-creation at the edges of both our north and our east forests.
Nutrient Network - Our prairie is a study site for a collaborative effort called the Nutrient Network. You can view a recent press release regarding the research here. A recent published paper is also available upon request.
The Collins Project - From 2007-2010 our site was part of a multi-site study by The Nature Conservancy and the Institute of Applied Ecology from Oregon to determine best methods of suppressing non-native herbaceous plants in remnant prairies.