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K-State Today

August 30, 2016



Science on Tap: The Nitty Gritty of Woody Encroachment features doctoral student Rory O'Connor

By Michael Tobler

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Science on Tap features a brief, informal presentation by a K-State scientist followed by lively conversation. The goal is to build our community's enthusiasm for science in a fun and unique way. The free, interactive program begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Tallgrass Tap House, 320 Poyntz Ave. Be sure to let the Tap House staff know you are there for Science on Tap.

This month's featured guest and topic: Rory O'Connor is a doctoral student at K-State, receiving a master's degree from Brigham Young University. Before coming to K-State, O'Connor spent time working in the Great Basin and Mojave deserts trying to understand the mechanisms of non-native grass invasions and woody encroachment. This overall focus has continued at K-State with his work on the Konza Prairie.

O'Connor will talk about woody encroachment, which is the increase of shrubs or trees in grassland ecosystems. Woody encroachment is a worldwide phenomenon but also occurs in our own backyard, the tallgrass prairie. Currently, scientists are trying to figure out how this process is occurring and how it is changing the landscape, as well as predict what will happen in the future if it is left unchecked.

Science in Tap is offered as part of Sunset Zoo's Behind the Science initiative; an effort to build our community's enthusiasm for science in a fun and unique way. The program is organized in partnership with Tallgrass Tap House, K-State's Graduate School and Center for Engagement and Community Development.

Upcoming dates

  • Sept. 21
  • Oct. 19
  • Nov. 16

Note that each Science on Tap will feature different topics so community members will learn something new each time they attend.

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