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

March 29

Guest speaker at trainee meeting: Jerry Hudgins, electrical and computer engineering professor, on wind energy

April 12

Guest speaker at trainee meeting: Scott Benson, Manager of Resource and Transmission Planning at Lincoln Electric System, on the electric grid, integrated marketplace for electricity and integration of renewables

April 19

Catherine Chan, NRT doctoral student, presents on "Influence of Spatial Scale on Estimating Biodiversity Through Remote Sensing" in Hardin Hall, Room 163, at noon as part of the School of Natural Resources spring seminar series

May 8-11

Water for Food Global Conference at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln

May 10

Guest speaker at trainee meeting: John Hay, Nebraska extension educator, speaks on integration of renewables in a public power state 

Recent Events

Catherine Chan, NRT doctoral student, has been taking part in the Inclusive Teaching Online Course sponsored by the National Science Foundation from March 6 to April 28, 2023.

John Hay, Nebraska extension educator, spoke to the NRT on March 1 about solar energy savings and policies. 

Chris Helzer, the Director of Science at The Nature Conservancy, spoke at the NRT trainee meeting on February 15 about using fire and rotational grazing to build resilience in agricultural land.

Morgan Hartman and Anna Oetting from the university's Office of Sustainability spoke at the NRT trainee meeting about sustainability efforts on campus and careers in sustainability on February 1, 2023.

Bridget McKinley, NRT master's student, presented a poster, "Determining the Performance of Cover Crop Cultivars Grown as Monocultures and Mixtures," at the Midwest Cover Crop and South Dakota Soil Health Coalition Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on January 23, 2023. She also attended the Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference in Ames, Iowa, on January 19-21, 2023, and attended the Carbon in Agriculture Summit in Nebraska East Union on November 29, 2022.

Katharine Hogan, NRT doctoral student, defended her dissertation, "Different Legacies, Similar Journeys: How Factors Within and Outside Management Control Structure Prairie Restorations and Remnants," on November 18, 2022, in the School of Natural Resources.

Craig Allen, NRT director, hosted and spoke at a forum, "Innovative Approaches to Enhancing Agricultural Resilience," at the Nebraska Innovation Center on November 18, 2022. Four NRT students and the NRT coordinator also participated.

Daniel Morales, NRT master's student, defended his master's thesis, “The Perception of Natural Resource Management in Nebraska: Efforts for Cross-Boundary Collaborative Management,” on November 16, 2022, in the School of Natural Resources.

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