In alternating years, NRT students take a three-week course in Western Europe through the Institute for Water Education in Delft, The Netherlands, and a two-week course in Nebraska. As part of the two-week course in Nebraska, international students and water management professionals travel with NRT students and share their expertise.
These international experiences allow NRT trainees to do the following:
- Visit research facilities and meet with water supply and regulatory organizations and observe irrigation and hydraulic structures, irrigation plans and the manufacture and use of irrigation equipment
- 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
Externships and Engagements
Students gain integrative perspectives and experiences by taking part in externships or engagements 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
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 participants headed out for the blinds. NRT leaders seek out such educational opportunities and gladly incorporate them in the traineeship 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 sponsored by the university’s Water Center or other groups such as the Computer Science and Engineering Department. Through such activities, they have the chance to speak with scientists and professionals who work in their area of interest.
Doctoral students take part in a grant-writing workshop or the Preparing Future Faculty series, and master's students may take part in the grant-writing workshop. The PFF series covers topics such as vita preparation, job search skills, teaching statement development and mentoring and advising. The grant-writing workshop includes the opportunity to learn about funding trends and meet program officers and may include a research fair.
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 water management and agricultural sites, aquatic habitats, power production sites and dams to discuss cross-cutting issues in the field.
Resilience Alliance and Other 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 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.
SEPA and the Elementary Education Science Enhancement Project
NRT students are encouraged to take part leading the Science Education Partnership Award science camps or the Elementary Education Science Enhancement Project. SEPA science camps are held for Native American middle schoolers from throughout Nebraska. The Elementary Education Science Enhancement Project is 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 NRT's outreach focus is upon managing FEWS-dominated watersheds and their related challenges.