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

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.

The Beatrice Daily Sun featured master's student Christopher Fill and his bat research in an article published August 23. 

Master's student Daniel Morales received news that Journal of Insect Physiology published a paper he cowrote, "Sex and life history shape the strength of cellular and humoral immune responses in a wing dimorphic cricket," in July.

Leen-Kiat Soh, NRT professor from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, instructed eight NRT students in the new minicourse, "Multiagent Simulation for Complex Systems," August 7-8.

Five students began work with the NRT August 1 for the 2019-2020 school year: Dominic Cristiano, master's student, School of Natural Resources; Sydney James, master's student, Department of Civil Engineering; Anastasia Madsen, doctoral student, School of Biological Sciences; Daniel Morales, master's student, School of Natural Resources; and Rubi Quiñones, doctoral student, Computer Science and Engineering Department. Congratulations to these outstanding students and welcome to Big Red country!

Doctoral student Katharine Hogan began a two-year appointment as a graduate fellow at the Center for Great Plains Studies on August 1.

Professor Francisco Muñoz-Arriola and master's student Daniel Rico attended the ASABE Annual International Meeting in Boston from July 7-10. Rico presented a poster, "Power-tethered UAS network for indefinite data acquisition to increase agricultural resilience in the Platte River Basin," at the meeting.

Older events





September 17

Annual meeting of the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

September 20-21

Science Communication minicourse in Montana

September 25-27

NSF Research Traineeship annual meeting at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

October 2

Molly Nance, public relations director of the Daughtery Water for Food Institute, visits the NRT to share tips about communicating with the media and the public

October 21-22

Student break (university offices open)

November 27

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

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