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 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.

Recent Events

Shawna Richter-Ryerson, university communications professional, and Ronica Stromberg, program coordinator, provided students instruction on communicating professionally through social media, on October 16.

Professors Craig Allen and Dirac Twidwell  and students Conor Barnes, Alison Ludwig and Daniel Morales attended the Nebraska Natural Legacy Conference in Gering, Nebraska, on October 9-10. The professors and Barnes and Ludwig presented at the conference, which focused on natural resource management, biodiversity, citizen science, environmental education and conservation issues.

Molly Nance, public relations director of the Daughtery Water for Food Institute, spoke to NRT students on October 2 about “Managing Media (or How to Be a Research Rock Star).” She shared tips and showed filmed examples of how students can make the most of on-camera interviews.

Public policy professor Nancy Shank and six students attended the annual meeting of the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship on September 25-27 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The students presented a poster, "Resilience Converges."

Students Jazmin Castillo, Julie Fowler, Katharine Hogan and Jessie Johnson took the "Communicating Science Effectively to Any Audience" minicourse at the University of Montana on September 20-21.  

NRT students Christopher Fill and Katharine Hogan presented their research at the annual meeting of the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the Champions Club on September 17. Two other NRT students, an NRT professor and the program coordinator attended. 

Master's student Daniel Rico spoke with about 200 students on September 6 in the Academy of Engineering & Technology at Grand Island Senior High School about "Daring to Dream." Rico addressed overcoming adversity and pursuing and protecting one’s dreams.

Older events





November 6

First Gen luncheon at the Willa Cather Dining Hall, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (First Gen is a social networking group for first-generation college students, faculty and staff.)

November 15

Annual review of first cohort of NRT students, 9:45-10:45 a.m. in Hardin Hall, Room 209

November 13

Kristal Stoner, executive director of Audubon Nebraska and former Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wildlife diversity program manager, visits the NRT

November 27-December 1

Thanksgiving break for students

December 11

Anthony Schutz, associate professor in the Nebraska College of Law, visits the NRT to speak about environmental law

December 23-January 1

Holiday break

January 14

Elena Bennett, professor of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University in Canada, visits the NRT and delivers the Heuermann lecture at Nebraska

Collaborating agencies