Much of the world—including the United States—faces increasing conflict as Earth’s human population continues to grow but the supply of good, clean water decreases. Water shortages and the struggle to determine how much should be used for agriculture, industry, recreation, wildlife and drinking have sparked legal and policy battles. In addition, pesticides, pollution, invasive species, climate change and droughts threaten the availability of good, clean water. Resolving these complex issues requires the best scientific information and training of natural resource scientists, managers, engineers and policymakers.
The National Science Foundation established a National Research Traineeship program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to meet this need.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln NRT program trains master’s and doctoral students in understanding resilience of agricultural ecosystems, particularly the Platte River Basin in Nebraska. The NRT students come from multiple disciplines—the natural, computational, engineering, agricultural and social sciences—to study panarchy theory, novel sensing technologies and modeling, adaptive management and policy interventions. They strive to develop tools that can collect, synthesize and analyze data to inform decisions and policies for managing water resources. They hope to keep the Platte River Basin and other agro-ecosystems healthy and resilient for all who depend upon them now and for generations to come.
John Chick, principal scientist and field station director at the Illinois Natural History Survey, speaks to the NRT about river ecology
Lance Gunderson, international expert on adaptive management, teaches the "Adaptive Management" short course at the Nebraska NRT in conjunction with social activities at the Niobrara Preserve
The NRT accepted Katia Carranza, Araceli Gomez Villegas and Miyauna Incarnato as master's students for fall 2021. These outstanding new students will start their NRT traineeships August 1.
NRT students Kate Bird, Catherine Chan, Alexis Chavez, Dominic Cristiano, Bre Lewis-Jones, Annie Madsen, Daniel Morales, Rubi Quiñones, Sarah Thompson and Lyndsie Wszola presented the progress on their research at the NRT annual review on June 8.
NRT students Dominic Cristiano, Annie Madsen, Daniel Morales, Rubi Quiñones and Lyndsie Wszola presented their research to the Nebraska NRT External Advisory Board on June 1.
NRT director Craig Allen cotaught an international course, "Global Perspectives on Resilience," to 30 students from around the world on May 24-28. Nebraska NRT students Kate Bird and Alexis Chavez took the course, offered through the Resilience Alliance, an international organization.
Gwendwr Meredith, the newly hired social-ecological rangeland scientist in the Center for Resilience in Agricultural Working Landscapes, visited the School of Natural Resources on May 21 to meet and mingle with other university employees. NRT director Craig Allen also serves as director of the resilience center.
On May 18, Andrew Caven spoke to the NRT about his work at the Crane Trust and about research, management challenges and resilience in the Central Platte River Valley.
Francisco Muñoz-Arriola, NRT professor, led a webinar on the subject of his new book, Environmental Resilience and Transformation in Times of COVID-19: Climate Change Effects on Environmental Functionality, on May 17, in conjunction with the book launch.
NRT master's student Kate Bird participated in a National Science Foundation's graduate scholars program, Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems — Educational Resources, October 26, 2020, to April 23, 2021.
Two graduate students from a Maine NRT met with the Nebraska NRT on April 20 to discuss ecological and social resilience in communities reliant on tourism and forestry.
Francisco Muñoz-Arriola, NRT professor; Ronica Stromberg, the program coordinator; and three NRT students took part in the Virtual Tribal Water and Food Sustainability Summit through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Tribal Extension Office, the Nebraska Water Center, and the Native American Coalition on April 14-15. Students attending were Kate Bird, Katharine Hogan and Sydney James.
Lyndsie Wszola, NRT doctoral student, cotaught a National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) online class about decision support tools using the Shiny application, February 2 to March 3.
Craig Allen, NRT director, took over as editor of Ecology and Society on March 1.