At northern latitudes, like our home state of Wisconsin, climate change impacts may be the greatest in the winter. Indeed, the past 50 years of climate data from the state suggest that the largest changes have occurred in winter months (the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts explains this well). One consequence of these changes is that snow depth is decreasing, especially in the fall and spring. Paradoxically, less snow results in increased freezing risk for plants by reducing insulative cover. We are exploring how plant communities respond to changes in snow depth and extreme freezing events by studying their thermal tolerances and conducting field experiments that manipulate snow depth. Because of the importance of frequent, low-intensity fires in prairie ecosystems, we are testing if there is an interaction between the changes in winter climate and the amount and timing of prescribed fire by using a manipulative experiment in collaboration with the Empire-Sauk Chapter of  The Prairie Enthusiasts.