The University of NebraskaLincoln (commonly referred to as Nebraska, UNL or NU) is a public research university located in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. It is the state's oldest and largest university and the flagship university of the University of Nebraska system. The university was chartered by the legislature in 1869 as a land-grant university under the 1862 Morrill Act, two years after Nebraska's statehood into the United States. Around the turn of the 20th century, the university began to expand significantly, hiring professors from eastern schools to teach in the newly organized professional colleges while also producing groundbreaking research in agricultural sciences. The 'Nebraska method' of ecological study developed here during this time, which pioneered grassland ecology and laid the foundation for research in theoretical ecology for the rest of the 20th century.