About Us

National Science Foundation National Research Traineeship Program

Our History How to Apply
Platte River basic at dusk
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 allotted to agriculture,industry, recreation, wildlife, and drinking uses have sparked legal and policy battles. In addition, pesticides, pollution, invasive species, and 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 University of Nebraska-Lincoln has established such a training program with funds from a National Science Foundation grant. Master’s and Ph.D. students in the university’s National Research Traineeship program are focused on understanding the resilience of agro-ecosystems, particularly the Platte River Basin in Nebraska. They come from multiple disciplines—the natural, computational, engineering, agricultural, and social sciences--to study panarchy theory, adaptive management, novel sensing technologies and modeling, 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.

Current Events

NRT students and professors led demonstrations and taught Native American middle schoolers about rockets, drones, snakes, alligators, and other wildlife at the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Health and Science Fun Camp June 10-13 in Lincoln.

NRT students toured water systems in Nebraska from May 22 to June 5. As part of this field trip with students from the Water for Food Institute's counterpart in Holland, NRT students met representatives and visited the sites of Valmont Industries, Lindsay Corporation, Eco-Drip, and Flow Serve Corporation. The students also interacted with leaders of the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, Upper Big Blue Natural Resource District, and the Lower Platte South Natural Resource District. They took part in labs about soil water, drip irrigation, pipeline flow measurement, furrow irrigation, solid set sprinklers, pumps, pipeline hydraulics, and stream flows. Next summer, students will tour water systems in the Netherlands.


July 30-August 2

Training for six NRTs in INFEWS, Missoula, Montana

August 20

Start of classes for the fall semester

September 27-28

NRT annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Collaborating agencies