Richard Cropp Award At its 41st Annual Dakota Conference, held in Sioux Falls in April, 2009, the Center for Western Studies at Augustana College presented Arthur Rusch of Vermillion with the Richard Cropp Award. This award is presented annually for the outstanding paper presented at the Dakota Conference on Northern Plains History, Literature, Art & Archaeology, by an amateur historian. Rusch's presentation was a paper entitled "Vermillion – Before the Flood of 1881." His paper as well as the other papers presented at the 2008 Conference can be viewed on-line at www.augie.edu/cws/2008DakConfpapers.pdf Held in April each year, the Dakota Conference examines issues of contemporary significance in their historical and cultural contexts. Recent topics of interest have been water use, urbanization, the Black Hills, and railroads. Approximately 80 presenters from as many as 15 states gather to present papers and participate in panels at this two-day national conference.