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.
Igor Linkov, Senior Data Analyst working in COVID Response Detail at FEMA and Senior Scientific Technology Manager in the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, spoke to the NRT about risk, resilience, COVID-19, transportation networks and internships with the Army Corps of Engineers on November 11.
Dirac Twidwell, NRT assistant professor, spoke about "Putting Monitoring into Practice: Strategies for Large-Scale Conservation" at the Center for Grassland Studies on October 2.
Ellis Adjei Adams, assistant professor of geography and environmental policy in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, spoke to the NRT about water issues and community governance in Africa on October 28.
Master's student Sydney James was selected in October as the Student of the Year out of all candidates from the nine universities in Region VII of the Mid-America Transportation Center (University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Omaha and the Medical Center; University of Iowa; University of Kansas and the Medical Center; Northeast Iowa Community College; Missouri University of Science and Technology; and Lincoln University). There will be a virtual awards banquet in January during the Council of University Transportation Centers event when all 40 Student of the Year winners will receive recognition.
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!
Graduate Student Celebration Week
Conor Barnes, NRT doctoral student, speaks on "Legislation in Invasive Species Management" at the Center for Grassland Studies
Robin Craig, a leading environmental law scholar, speaks to the NRT about law and policy, especially as it relates to water
Optional spring three-week session
January 25-May 7
Regular spring academic session