LAWRENCE — The third biennial Field Station Frolic/Mari Pesek Memorial Run will take place at the University of Kansas Field Station on Nov. 10. The all-ages 5K fun run/walk is open to the public and starts at 10 a.m. The event is a benefit for a KU graduate student research award fund at KU Endowment named for Pesek, who was a KU student.
The course is set entirely within the bounds of the KU Field Station, not on public roads. It provides an opportunity to see prairie and forest areas of the Field Station, including field research sites, not usually open to the public.
Participants will meet at the Armitage Education Center, 350 Wild Horse Road (directions and map), in the heart of the Field Station’s core research and operations area, just north of Lawrence. The course through the grounds will be on gravel and mowed grass paths with uneven terrain. The Armitage Center, which is frequently used for KU faculty and staff retreats, has restrooms, as well as a hearth room where runners can warm up. Register here.
“This is a great opportunity for area runners and walkers to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Field Station and support an important cause,” said Bryan Foster, KU Field Station director, Kansas Biological Survey senior scientist and KU professor of ecology & evolutionary biology. “Mari conducted her master’s research on grassland ecology at the Field Station and was a runner. The event is a great way to honor Mari and to help continue supporting graduate student research at the Field Station.”
Pesek died in 2013 as the result of an auto accident shortly after she graduated with a master’s degree in ecology & evolutionary biology. Her fellow KU graduate students and her colleagues at the Kansas Biological Survey conceived and organized the run, first held in 2014, to celebrate her life and work, and to raise funds for the Mari F. Pesek Graduate Research Award.
The award fund, established at KU Endowment, assists graduate students who conduct field-based research at the Field Station. It has provided awards for graduate students the past three years.
All event registration proceeds (less online processing fees) support the award fund. In addition, anyone can contribute to the fund anytime online.
The run/walk is an informal event with no time limit and is being capped at 100 participants. Packet pickup begins at 9 a.m. at the Armitage Center. 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 fun run. Online registration is $26.95; race-day registration (cash or check), if available, will be $30.
Questions may be directed to Sheena Parsons, associate researcher at the KU Field Station, via email.
The Kansas Biological Survey, a KU designated research center, was established at KU in 1911. It houses a variety of environmental research labs and remote sensing/GIS programs in Takeru Higuchi Hall and the West District greenhouse. It also manages the 3,700-acre KU Field Station, a site for study in the sciences, arts and humanities.
The core area of the Field Station, north of Lawrence, consists of 1,800 acres with five miles of public trails; it is open to programs across KU as a teaching and research resource. The Field Station also includes the Baldwin Woods Forest Preserve as well as the Anderson County Prairie Preserve, which is held by The Nature Conservancy and managed by the Kansas Biological Survey.