Real-World Experiences

International Travel

In alternating years, NRT students may take a three-week course at the Institute for Water Education in Delft, Netherlands, or a three-week course at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. International contacts also visit Lincoln and share their expertise as part of the three-week course at the university.

These international experiences allow NRT trainees to do the following:

  • Examine how common and contrasting ecological, economic, and social challenges are addressed by water management regimes in similar river systems with contrasting climates and socio-economic aspects
  • Witness current techniques of doing research and applying concepts in resilience theory to adaptive management and governance, watershed science, and policy
  • Lay the foundation for the next generation of European-American collaboration in interdisciplinary environmental science research
UNESCO Institute for Water Education building
UNESCO Institute for Water Education building
UNESCO Institute for Water Education building
The Gignac Canal in France

Photo Caption: In a past trip organized by the the Institute for Water Education, students visited the above sites and others. Photos courtesy of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute.

Field Trips

Once a year, students take a water tour to observe irrigation and hydraulic structures, irrigation plans, and the manufacture and use of irrigation equipment. Students also visit research facilities and meet with water supply and regulatory organizations.

Externships

Students gain integrative perspectives and experiences by taking part in externships at local to federal agencies such as the following:

  • The Omaha Tribe of Nebraska

  • The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources

  • The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality

  • The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

  • The Nature Conservancy

  • The Natural Hazards Center

Special Events

Students have taken part in special events like visiting the Platte River to view the cranes during their migrations. One NRT student who had worked for The Nature Conservancy presented information about the cranes and the local ecosystem before program participants headed out for the blinds. NRT leaders seek out such educational opportunities and gladly incorporate them in the program when students, staff, or visiting guests offer them.

Conferences, Seminars, Workshops, and Retreats

Students help host the national water conference held at the university annually and meet with speakers for in-depth discussions related to water science, law, technology, and policy. They participate in one or more of the seminars or summer water tour sponsored by the university’s Water Center. Through such activities, they have the chance to speak with resource managers, state and federal agencies, citizens, and scientists about water problems.

Students take part in grant-writing workshops and the Preparing Future Faculty series of workshops. The series covers topics such as vita preparation, job search skills, teaching statement development, and mentoring and advising. The grant-writing workshop includes a research fair and the opportunity to learn about funding trends and meet program officers.

Students attend an annual two-day retreat with faculty members to present their research; assess their progress, program design, and implementation; and take short courses. The retreat may include field excursions to aquatic habitats, power production sites, dams, and water management and agricultural sites to discuss cross-cutting issues in the field.

Affiliations

All NRT students are encouraged to become members of the Resilience Alliance Young Scholars group. This international community meets virtually to work on comparative case studies, theory advancement, and co-learning. 

Students will work with and learn alongside professionals from agencies and organizations partnering with our program. These affiliations may lead to mutually beneficial research projects and employment opportunities.

Elementary Education Science Enhancement Project

NRT students are encouraged to take part in the Elementary Education Science Enhancement Project, a community project that exposes low-income, urban elementary school students to the challenges of the environment and environmental science through after-school programs led by graduate students in the School of Natural Resources. This program is designed to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in science. The outreach focus will be upon challenges in managing FEWS-dominated watersheds.

Collaborating agencies