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.
On March 4, Erin Omar from the Office of Graduate Studies presented on "Power Skills for Professional Success" and provided students with a self-analysis to conduct on five soft skills in high demand in the workforce. Cheryl Horst and Arpi Siyanhian from NUtech Ventures spoke about "Intellectual Property: What It Is and How to Protect Yours" and spoke about intern opportunities at NUtech.
Erin Omar, Office of Graduate Studies, presented on "How to Conduct a Successful Job Search" and Ryan Fette, Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, presented on "Title IX: Introduction to Federal Law Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Sex" during an NRT professional development training on February 26.
Dirac Twidwell, NRT professor of agronomy and horticulture, spoke on a February 25 RFD-TV news segment about current research on the eastern red cedar invading grasslands.
Elena Bennett, professor of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University in Canada, delivered the Heuermann Lecture to about 150 people at the Nebraska Innovation Campus on January 14. She met with the NRT students and program coordinator for informal discussions on January 15-16 and had lunch with smaller groups of professors and students during the week.
Note: In response to the coronavirus, the university is taking numerous precautions to protect its staff and students. These include canceling in-person public events and requesting that staff and students work from home. We are still carrying on the great work of Nebraska—but now at a distance. Go, Big Red!
April 20-June 8 (tentative)
Science Communication Online Programme (SCOPE) in conjunction with Northwestern University
May 13-15 (tentative)
Doctoral student Lyndsie Wszola co-teaches a course on building interactive decision support tools in R at SESYNC in Annapolis, Maryland
July 18-31 (tentative)
Water tour throughout Nebraska
Welcome new cohort of students to Nebraska
August 17-20 (tentative)
NRT Boot Camp at the Niobrara Valley Preserve in western Nebraska to welcome new students