Prairie Research Program

Research Team

Brooke Byerley Best, Ph.D.

Director of Research Programs

The Prairie Research Program (PReP) includes projects related to natural resource management, ecology, native vegetation, and stewardship. Each of these projects involves plant identification, vegetation surveys, documentation and monitoring, and data collection in the field, as well as organization and analysis of data. Some of the projects also include an educational and outreach component involving collaborating organizations and individuals. BRIT seeks interested student interns—including those majoring in Natural Resource Management, Rangeland Ecology and Management, or a similar curriculum or those broadly interested in field botany—to assist with the above tasks associated with these projects.

Current Prairie projects:

Biodiversity Assessment: All Saints' Episcopal School

Native Tallgrass Prairie Remediation: Private Ranch

Living Laboratories: Private Ranch

Related Articles

Saga of the Texas Prairie

This article was written by Edward Bickett, 2019 BRIT Summer Intern and student at University of Texas at Arlington. Edward interned with Dr. Brooke Best and Resident Research Associate Dan Caudle , working with the All Saints Episcopal School Biodiversity Assessment Project within the Prairie Research Program (PReP). “What hidden treasures lie within this sea of grass?” Part One: The Lonesome Road The Lonesome Road, a misnomer in name as my companions kept me company, yet its length was undeniable. The Lonesome Road spanned the fields of Natural Prairie and The Cultivated Field alike, all the way into the tree line towards the eastern edge of the prairie. Through fields of lemon bee-balm and King Ranch bluestem. Past mesquite and hackberry the journey of the summer began with this transec...
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A Natural Nature Networker

The annual Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Convention was held at the Fort Worth Convention Center at the end of March. The associated trade show was open to the public, and there were more than 200 exhibitors/vendors offering giveaways and information at various booths. Our own Dan Caudle, Resident Research Associate, worked several booths on behalf of the Youth Range Workshop , Texas Grazing Land Coalition (TXGLC) , and the Grazing Animal Nutrition (GAN) Lab at the Blackland Research and Extension Center , this last of whom (according to Dan) "test livestock fecal samples with Near Infrared Spectroscopy to determine nutritional value of the forages that have actually been consumed, digested, and passed through the animals." You know...as one does (!!!!). Though officially "retired"...
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Two Dozen Reasons

Resident Research Associate and retired USDA-NRCS rangeland specialist Dan Caudle shares his thoughts on the value of his continued involvement with the annual Texas Youth Range Workshop, the flagship educational opportunity of TSSRM (Texas Section of Society of Range Management).
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A Summer Deep in the Weeds: Surprises Found Along the Way

Article written by Kelly Carroll, 2018 BRIT Herbarium and Research Intern and student at Trinity University. Kelly interned with Dr. Brooke Best and Resident Research Associate Dan Caudle , working with the All Saints Episcopal School Biodiversity Assessment Project within the Prairie Research Program (PReP). The property doesn’t look like much, driving by – a sea of seemingly uniform brown grass studded with mesquite trees, bordered by development and what looks to be a small-scale hackberry forest with a dry creek-bed running through it. Of course, everything looks different when you get close enough to see detail. Still, I didn’t have very high expectations when I arrived with Dan Caudle , a BRIT Resident Research Associate and grass and prairie expert, in May of 2018 to do a survey of...
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Youth Range Workshop 2016

Just imagine trying to keep up with 25 energetic, enthusiastic, inquisitive high school students for a week in the middle of a hot, dry summer in the semi-arid country around Junction, Texas. Well, I accepted that challenge even though it had been 35 years since the last time I did it!
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