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. As stated by the National Science Foundation, NRT programs are "dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs."
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.
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.
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.
Note: In response to the coronavirus, the university is taking numerous precautions to protect its staff and students. These include canceling large, public events and offering a mix of online and smaller, in-person classes. We are still carrying on the great work of Nebraska—but now at a distance. Go, Big Red!
Andrew Caven, Crane Trust, addresses Crane Trust work, research and management challenges and resilience in the Central Platte River Valley
NRT External Advisory Board meeting, with Lyndsie Wszola, Annie Madsen, Rubi Quiñones, Dominic Cristiano, and Daniel Morales presenting their research
NRT Annual Review, with the following students participating: Rubi Quiñones, Lyndsie Wszola, Annie Madsen, Dominic Cristiano, Daniel Morales, Catherine Chan, Bre Lewis-Jones, Kate Bird, Alexis Chavez, and Sarah Thompson