Craig Freeman

Craig Freeman

Senior Curator
785.864.3453
Bridwell Laboratory

Dr. Freeman is a plant systematist interested in the diversity of vascular plants in the grassland biome of central North America and conservation issues in the Great Plains.

Research: 

My research documents the diversity and distribution of vascular plants in the grasslands of central North America, seeks explanations for those patterns, and examines a host of related conservation issues.  I have developed tools to assess species and plant communities, gathered baseline data to characterize natural and developed landscapes, and developed conservation-oriented land management strategies.  In parallel, I do descriptive, alpha-level, collection- and specimen-based taxonomic research that derives in part from my ecological and floristic work.  My survey and inventory work during the past 15 years has yielded nearly 16,000 collections from across the central and western U.S., and hundreds of observations for rare and declining plant species.  Biodiversity informatics is a central element of my work—especially building databases that allow biodiversity data to be managed, analyzed, and visualized. 

The Flora of North America project currently is the primary outlet for most of my taxonomic work, allowing collection data to be integrated into modern taxonomic treatments for North American plants.  I have authored original taxonomic treatments for more than 30 genera in the flora, including the first modern treatment for Penstemon (Plantaginaceae), the third most species-rich genus in North America north of Mexico.  Data gathered from field and herbarium studies of more than 30,000 specimens currently are being used to carry our further studies of the systematics and biogeography of the genus.    

Publications: 

Freeman, C.C. Submitted.  Leucospora. In: Plantaginaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C. Submitted.  Misopates. In: Plantaginaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C. Submitted.  Nuttallanthus. In: Plantaginaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C. Submitted.  Penstemon. In: Plantaginaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Haddock, M. J., C.C. Freeman, and J.E. Bare.  Submitted.  Kansas Wildflowers and Weeds. University Press of Kansas.

Lewis, D.Q., C.C. Freeman, R.K. Rabeler, and W.J. Elisens. Submitted.  Linderniaceae. In: Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Rabeler, R.K., C.C. Freeman, and W.J. Elisens. Submitted.  Pedaliaceae. In: Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Rabeler, R.K., G.L. Nesom, C.C. Freeman, and W.J. Elisens. Submitted.  Phrymaceae. In: Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C.  Accepted, provisional publication online.  Carpenteria. In: Hydrangeaceae. Vol. 12. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C. Accepted, provisional publication online.  Chionophila. In: Plantaginaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C. Accepted, provisional publication online.  Dasistoma. In: Orobanchaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C. Accepted, provisional publication online. Paulownia. In: Paulowniaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C.  Accepted, provisional publication online. Hydrangea. In: Hydrangeaceae. Vol. 12. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C.  Accepted, provisional publication online.  Hydrangeaceae. In: Hydrangeaceae. Vol. 12. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C.  Accepted, provisional publication online.  Jamesia. In: Hydrangeaceae. Vol. 12. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C. Accepted, provisional publication online.  Veronicastrum. In: Plantaginaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C., R.K. Rabeler, and W.J. Elisens. Accepted, provisional publication online. Paulowniaceae. In: Paulowniaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press. 

Freeman, C.C. and F. Zapata. Accepted, provisional publication online. Escalloniaceae. Vol. 13. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.  

Rabeler, R.K. and C.C. Freeman. Accepted, provisional publication online.  Chaenorhinum. In: Plantaginaceae. Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Rabeler, R.K. and C.C. Freeman. Accepted, provisional publication online.  Mazaceae. In: Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Rabeler, R.K., C.C. Freeman, and W.J. Elisens. Accepted, provisional publication online.  Scrophulariaceae. In: Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Rabeler, R.K. and C.C. Freeman. Accepted, provisional publication online.  Polypremaceae. In: Vol. 17. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Delisle, J.D. and C.C. Freeman.  2012.  Vegetation survey and mapping of the Fort Riley Military Reservation, Kansas.  Open-file Report No. 174.  Kansas Biological Survey. Lawrence, KS. 78 pp.

Freeman, C.C.  2012. Coefficients of conservatism for Kansas vascular plants and selected life history attributes.  Kansas Biological Survey & R.L. McGregor Herbarium (http://ksnhi.ku.edu/resources/plants/).

Freeman, C.C.  2009. Chimaphia. Pp. 385–387. In: Ericaceae. Vol. 8. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.      

Freeman, C.C.  2009. Moneses. Pp. 384–385. In: Ericaceae. Vol. 8. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.      

Freeman, C.C.  2009. Orthilia. Pp. 388–389. In: Ericaceae. Vol. 8. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.      

Freeman, C.C.  2009. Penthoraceae. Pp. 230–231. Vol. 8. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.               

Freeman, C.C.  2009. Pyrola. Pp. 378–384. In: Ericaceae. Vol. 8. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.        

Freeman, C.C. and N. Levsen. 2009. Chrysosplenium. Pp. 70–75. In: Saxifragaceae. Vol. 8. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Freeman, C.C. and R.K. Rabeler. 2009. Leptarrhena. Pp. 131–132. In: Saxifragaceae. Vol. 8. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Kindscher, K., W.H. Busby, R. Craft, J.M. Delisle, C.C. Freeman, H. Kilroy, Q. Long, H. Loring, R. Moranz, and F. Norman. 2009. A natural areas inventory of Anderson and Linn counties in Kansas. Open-File Report No. 158. Kansas Biological Survey. Lawrence, KS. iv + 73 pp.

Soltis, D.E. and C.C. Freeman. 2009. Mitella. Pp. 108–114. In: Saxifragaceae. Vol. 8. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Tucker, G.C., C.C. Freeman, and G.D. Wallace. 2009. Pp. 377–378. Ericaceae subfam. Monotropoideae. In: Ericaceae. Vol. 8. Flora of North America. Oxford University Press.

Education: 

Ph.D., Biology, Kansas State University (1985)
M.S., Biology, Kansas State University (1981)
B.A., Biology, Wartburg College (1978)

Current Academic Appointments: 

Senior Curator, R.L. McGregor Herbarium
Senior Scientist, Kansas Biological Survey

Grants: 

Plants, herbivores, and parasitoids: a model system for the study of tri-trophic associations; Missouri Botanical Garden (NSF subaward); $44,800 (2011–2013)

Assessment of the status of Blowout Penstemon (Penstemon haydenii S. Watson, Plantaginaceae) using molecular and morphological approaches; U.S. Dept. Interior, BLM; $23,744 (2010–2014)

Vegetation survey and mapping of Fort Riley, Kansas; US Army COE; $243,000 (2010-2012)

Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit, Great Rivers CESU (ITIS development); U.S. Geological Survey; $279,000; (2010–2011)

Comprehensive database of the current scientific names and their synonyms for the vascular plant flora of North America north of Mexico (except for Poaceae, Asteraceae, Ericaceae, and gymnosperms); U.S. Geological Survey; $8,800 (2010)

USGS Criteria for phenological monitoring; NatureServe; $1,500 (2010)

Development of a multi-herbarium web-accessible herbarium database of the vascular plants from the Missouri Plateau, USA; Black Hills State University (NSF subaward); $13,000 (2009–2010)

Expediting PLANTS Data: Lamiales and Fabaceae. Supplement; U.S. Dept. Agriculture, NRCS; $143,000; (2008–2010)

Assessment of floodplain wetlands of the lower Missouri River using an EMAP study approach phase II: verification of rapid assessment tools; U.S. EPA Region 7; $325,499; (2007–2009)

Awards: 

Research Achievement Award, KU Research and Graduate Studies (2013)
Sheldon H. Cohen Award for Outstanding Service, Kansas Native Plant Society (2013)

Professional Presentations: 

Freeman, C.C.; Wichita State University, Wichita, KS; “Herbaria in the 21st century: beyond cabinets of curiosity” (2014)

Freeman, C.C.; Kansas Natural Resources Conference, Wichita, KS; “The Kansas Natural Heritage Inventory: tracking rare plant species in Kansas” (2014)

Freeman, C.C.; Kansas Natural Resources Conference, Wichita, KS; “Status and trends in the non-native vascular flora of Kansas since the 1860s: inferences from herbarium records” (2013)

Freeman, C.C. and R.K. Rabeler; Flora of North America Board of Directors Annual meeting, St. Louis, MO; “The Flora of North America Project: the role of the taxon editor” (2013) 

Freeman, C.C.; American Penstemon Society Annual Meeting, Laramie, WY; “Penstemon for Flora of North America” (2012)

Freeman, C.C.; Konza Environmental Education Program Teachers’ Workshop, Manhattan, KS; “Prairies across Kansas: their natural communities and flora” (2010)

Freeman, C.C. and R.K. Rabeler; Flora of North America Association Editorial Workshop, St. Louis, MO; “Responsibilities of Lead Editors and Taxon Editor” (2010)

Freeman, C.C.; 71st Annual Kansas Weed Directors Annual Conference, Lawrence, KS; “Weeds in Kansas: status and trends in the non-native vascular flora” (2009)

Major Field Experience: 

13 states in the U.S., primarily in the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, and Intermountain West.

Professional Societies: 

American Penstemon Society
American Society of Plant Taxonomists
Botanical Society of America
Kansas Academy of Science

Blog Posts: 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Craig Freeman


When the cold winds of November tug the last leaves from the maples, basswoods, and elms, orchids probably are the farthest thing from most Kansans’ minds.  However, fall, winter, and early spring are the best seasons to search for one of the state’s more secretive plants – the puttyroot orchid or Adam-and-Eve [Aplectrum hyemale (Muhl. ex Willd.) Nutt.].  The plant’s specific epithet “hyemale”, referring to winter, alludes to the plant’s habit of producing a winter leaf.  The name puttyroot is a reference to sticky substance released from the crushed tubers, which usually occur in pairs (hence the name Adam-and-Eve).