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 allotted to agriculture, industry, recreation, wildlife, and drinking uses have sparked legal and policy battles. In addition, pesticides, pollution, invasive species, and 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 (NRT) 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 is using its NSF program to train master’s and doctoral students in understanding resilience of agro-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, adaptive management, novel sensing technologies and modeling, 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.
Taylor Smith, a doctoral student in public policy, and Manas Khan, a doctoral student in hydrological sciences, recently joined the NRT program to further their studies. Congratulations, Taylor and Manas!
Professors Craig Allen and Francisco Munoz-Arriola and students Conor Barnes and Daniel Rico presented at the National Science Foundation annual meeting for NRTs, held in Washington, D.C., September 27-28, 2018.
Daniel Rico presented a poster, “Power-Tethered UAS Network for Indefinite Data Acquisition to Increase Agricultural Resilience in the Platte River Basin,” at the Midwest Big Data Hub Digital Agriculture Conference in the Cottonwood Room of the East Union on September 21, 2018.
NRT students took the Environmental Conflict Management short course taught by Chris Moore, an internationally recognized expert in conflict management, on September 5-6.
August 6-December 12
David Angeler, professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, visits for discussions and collaborations
Bat Week, an international celebration of bats and all the good they do, with events sponsored by national parks and conservation groups
October 29-November 4
Ahjond Garmestani, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, visits for discussions and collaborations
UNL Research Fair in the Nebraska Union
Robin Craig, professor in the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, visits for discussions and collaborations