LAWRENCE — An all-ages 5K fun run/walk will take place at the University of Kansas Field Station, 350 Wild Horse Road, north of Lawrence, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.
The event honors the memory of Mari Pesek, a University of Kansas graduate student who conducted research on plants and insects at the Field Station. She died last year as the result of an auto accident shortly after she graduated with a master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Pesek’s peers at the Kansas Biological Survey and fellow graduate students conceived and organized the event to celebrate her life and work, and to raise funds for a graduate student award in her name. The event has been named the Field Station Frolic/Mari Pesek Memorial Fun Run.
“The Kansas Biological Survey is pleased to support this effort by making the Field Station available for the event,” said Ed Martinko, director of the Biological Survey. “Mari Pesek made important contributions to ongoing prairie research at the Field Station. She is terribly missed by the faculty, staff and students here.”
The course is within the bounds of the Field Station, not on public roads, and provides an opportunity to see areas of the Field Station not usually open to the public.
“If the weather’s cold, as forecast, participants can bundle up and enjoy walking this beautiful course,” Martinko said.
The run/walk is an informal event with no time limit and is being capped at 100 participants. Packet pickup begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Field Station’s Armitage Education Center (directions and map). If online registration does not reach the maximum, there may be race-day registration on the morning of the event; an update will be posted on the Facebook page for the event. Online registration is $27.75; race-day registration, if available, will be $30.
All registration proceeds (less online processing fees) will go toward the Mari Pesek Memorial at KU Endowment for the purpose of creating a named graduate student award. In addition, donations can be made online at: www.kuendowment.org/maripesek.
Questions may be directed to Sheena Parsons at the Kansas Biological Survey via email.
The KU Field Station is managed by the Kansas Biological Survey, which was established at KU in 1911. The core area of the Field Station, north of Lawrence, consists of 1,800 acres with five miles of public trails. The Field Station is open to programs across the University as a teaching and research resource. Its best-known areas are the Fitch Natural History Reservation and the Rockefeller Native Prairie. The Field Station totals 3,400 acres across 10 tracts in Douglas, Jefferson and Anderson counties.
KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.
Photo: Mari Pesek (right) and a fellow KU student at the Field Station’s prairie research plots, June 2013.