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 sciencesto 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.

Upcoming Events

June 19

Stephanie Osterthun and Julie Obermeyer, Career Services, speak about searching jobs on LinkedIn, interviewing and negotiating salaries and benefits

July 31

Simanti Banerjee, economics professor, and Sabrina Gulab, doctoral student in economics, speak to the NRT about behavioral economics

October 23

Craig Allen, NRT director, speaks at the fall seminar series of the Center for Grassland Studies

Recent Events

Four NRT doctoral students and three master's students presented their research at the annual review on May 24, 2023. Doctoral students presenting were Conor Barnes, Catherine Chan, Miyauna Incarnato and Anastasia Madsen. Master's students presenting were Katia Carranza, Jonathan Cronk and Bridget McKinley. Doctoral student Brandy Williams and master's student Araceli Gomez Villegas had presented earlier, on May 3, 2023.

Bridget McKinley, master's student, attended the 2023 Water for Food Global Conference, May 8-11, 2023. Jonathan Cronk, master's student, presented at the conference on "Settings and Methodologies for Modelling Water Quality Degradation in Overdrafted and Drought-Affected Systems."

Catherine Chan, doctoral student, attended the Heuerman Lecture, "Uncharted Waters: Why Everyone Should Care About the Global Water Crisis," by Beth Ford, CEO and President of Land O'Lakes, on May 8, 2023.

John Hay, Nebraska extension educator, spoke at the trainee meeting on May 10, 2023, about integrating renewables in a public power state.

Brandy Williams, doctoral student, presented about the broken-wing display of plovers at the School of Biological Sciences graduate student seminar series on May 5, 2023.

Brandy Williams, doctoral student, and Araceli Gomez Villegas, master's student, presented their research at the NRT Annual Review on May 3, 2023.

Catherine Chan, NRT doctoral student, presented on "Influence of Spatial Scale on Estimating Biodiversity Through Remote Sensing" in the School of Natural Resources on April 19, 2023, as part of the spring seminar series.

Scott Benson, Manager of Resource and Transmission Planning at Lincoln Electric System, spoke to the NRT on April 12, 2023, about the electric grid, integrated marketplace for electricity and integration of renewables.

Anastasia Madsen, NRT doctoral student, defended her dissertation, "Implications of Animal Social Networks for Individuals, Social Communities, and Populations," on April 7, 2023.

Araceli Gomez Villegas, NRT master's student, took third place in the master's students' ten-minute presentation at the Entomological Society of America Pacific Branch meeting in Seattle, Washington, on April 2-5, 2023.

Jerry Hudgins, professor in electrical and computer engineering, spoke to the NRT on wind energy on March 29, 2023.

Katia Carranza, NRT master's student, spoke on RFD-TV on March 28, 2023, about the relationship between people, the land and industry and ecology and Indigenous insights she is gaining in her research on that.

Brandy Williams, NRT doctoral student, attended Nebraska Women in STEM's inaugural conference, "Nebraska Women: Strive, Thrive, Empower and Mentor," at the Graduate Hotel in Lincoln on March 23, 2023. About 250 women attended the in-person conference. 

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