Welcome to the Spring 2017 issue of Rootstalk: A Prairie Journal of Culture, Science, and the Arts, published by Grinnell College’s Center for Prairie Studies. This issue, like all of our spring issues to date, was produced through the joint efforts of students in a class—Humanities/Social Studies 295: Journal Publishing—co-taught by Mark Baechtel and myself. Our students in the class acted as an editorial board, soliciting and generating content, and editing the content once it came in. Mark and I are grateful for our students’ creativity, and their dedication to mastering the skills needed to produce a journal like ours.
With this issue we inaugurate a new website, arranged in what we hope is a more user-friendly way and with many new features, including a calendar of upcoming regional themed events in the prairie region. By dint of a herculean effort by Mark, our editor-in-chief, assisted by students and staff in the College’s Information Technology Department (especially Mark McFate, Bazil Mupisiri ’18, and Tapiwanashe Zvidzwa ’19) our previous issues have been reconfigured as part of the new website. We have also developed a presence on social media, and we invite you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We offer a special thanks to Ben Brosseau ’17 (who also was taking the class) for getting us on our feet in the world of social media. We hope you enjoy the spring issue as much as we have enjoyed producing it!