Research Projects

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Research projects listed on this page represent a sampling of project from the last year. Please use the search box above to investigate our research project archive.

Most of the residents of Mead and the surrounding area have heard about AltEn and the environmental crisis created there.

Of the few hundred people who responded to a survey from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, 80% said they had heard about the plant being the source of a cocktail of pesticides that has spilled into the surrounding countryside.

But to Jesse Bell, the director of the Water, Climate and Health Program at UNMC, the next data point — even at a preliminary stage — is even more alarming.

AltEn research team shares preliminary findings, promises further study

Most of the residents of Mead and the surrounding area have heard about AltEn and the environmental crisis created there. Of the few hundred people who responded to a survey from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, 80% said they had heard about the plant being the source of a cocktail of pesticides that has spilled into the surrounding countryside. But to Jesse Bell, the director of the Water, Climate and Health Program at UNMC, the next data point — even at a preliminary stage — is even more alarming. (6/17/2022)
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Rivers transport important nutrients across landscapes and into larger bodies of water. Among those nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorous, which stimulate the growth of crops but, when accumulating in water, may also yield “dead zones” that deprive marine animals of oxygen.

Study finds change in Niobrara’s nutrients following 2019 flood

Rivers transport important nutrients across landscapes and into larger bodies of water. Among those nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorous, which stimulate the growth of crops but, when accumulating in water, may also yield “dead zones” that deprive marine animals of oxygen. (6/16/2022)
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The University of Nebraska (UNL) is conducting a research project at the Cooper YMCA with the goal of developing a treatment technology that reduces algae and weed growth in urban ponds.

A Water Quality Improvement Project at Cooper YMCA, Lincoln NE

The University of Nebraska (UNL) is conducting a research project at the Cooper YMCA with the goal of developing a treatment technology that reduces algae and weed growth in urban ponds. (5/27/2022)
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Mike Forsberg, a Nebraska conservation photographer, has been travelling the "whooper highway" for the last month following the migration path of the whooping cranes, an endangered species since 1970.

From Texas to Fort Smith, conservation photographer documents whooping crane migration

Mike Forsberg, a Nebraska conservation photographer, has been travelling the "whooper highway" for the last month following the migration path of the whooping cranes, an endangered species since 1970. (5/2/2022)
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For the first time in more than 10 years, the university set fire to grassland at the Barta Brothers Ranch near Rose, Neb., and burned 150 acres on March 18, 2022. The burn was part of the collaborative adaptive management project that the university’s Center for Resilience in Agricultural Working Landscapes and its Center for Grassland Studies have led at the ranch since 2020.

University burns patch of Sandhills grassland in test of fire and grazing

For the first time in more than 10 years, the university set fire to grassland at the Barta Brothers Ranch near Rose, Neb., and burned 150 acres on March 18, 2022. The burn was part of the collaborative adaptive management project that the university’s Center for Resilience in Agricultural Working Landscapes and its Center for Grassland Studies have led at the ranch since 2020.  (4/4/2022)
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A research paper by Trenton Franz, associate professor of hydrogeophysics at Nebraska, and co-authors points to an innovative irrigation approach that could decrease water use while increasing producer profitability.

Husker researchers develop tool to make irrigation more efficient

A research paper by Trenton Franz, associate professor of hydrogeophysics at Nebraska, and co-authors points to an innovative irrigation approach that could decrease water use while increasing producer profitability.  (3/8/2022)
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Nebraska

Thomas plays key role in Amazon basin project

Nebraska's Steven Thomas, a professor of river and stream ecology, was part of an international, interdisciplinary research team that spent four years working to understand how strategic planning can reduce the impact of hydropower development on the entire Amazon River basin. That reseach is the basis of a new article in Science. Thomas took this photo of Alex Flecker, left, and Suresh Suthi, both of Cornell University, on a visit to South America during the course of the research. Flecker, Suthi and Thomas were among more than 40 researchers who collaborated on the project.  (3/2/2022)
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From 2018 to 2020, collars affixed to 51 female bighorn sheep in the Nebraska Panhandle reported the precise locations of those ewes up to 24 times a day.

Study reveals space use, movement of bighorn sheep in Nebraska

From 2018 to 2020, collars affixed to 51 female bighorn sheep in the Nebraska Panhandle reported the precise locations of those ewes up to 24 times a day.  (2/25/2022)
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A University of Nebraska-Lincoln research team has been awarded $50,000 from the Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative (AG2PI) to help plant phenotyping research through imaging segmentation.

AG2PI awarded grant to advance plant phenotyping

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln research team has been awarded $50,000 from the Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative (AG2PI) to help plant phenotyping research through imaging segmentation.  (2/3/2022)
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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Conservation and Survey Division (CSD) School of Natural Resources has established a new applied geophysics research program in Scottsbluff that is prepared to investigate environmental and agricultural issues in the Scottsbluff area and elsewhere in Nebraska.

New geophysical equipment at UNL Panhandle Center heralds major research advances

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Conservation and Survey Division (CSD) School of Natural Resources has established a new applied geophysics research program in Scottsbluff that is prepared to investigate environmental and agricultural issues in the Scottsbluff area and elsewhere in Nebraska.  (1/27/2022)
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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), delivered equipment to Bolivia to help local scientists study how high-altitude wetlands can buffer water as glaciers disappear.

Franz Leads Study of Bolivian Wetland Water Reserves as Glaciers Melt

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), delivered equipment to Bolivia to help local scientists study how high-altitude wetlands can buffer water as glaciers disappear. (12/13/2021)
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NASA held a virtual media briefing on October 21,2021 to share a powerful, new, web-based platform to help those who rely on water resources across the drought-stricken western U.S.

Building on more than two decades of research, OpenET puts NASA data into the hands of farmers, water managers, conservation groups, and others to accelerate improvements and innovations in water management.

Kilic participates in NASA panel on OpenET

NASA held a virtual media briefing on October 21,2021 to share a powerful, new, web-based platform to help those who rely on water resources across the drought-stricken western U.S. Building on more than two decades of research, OpenET puts NASA data into the hands of farmers, water managers, conservation groups, and others to accelerate improvements and innovations in water management. (10/28/2021)
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Husker researchers Craig Allen and Tala Awada are playing leadership roles in establishing a “network of networks” that unites some of North America’s most forward-thinking, interdisciplinary collaborations focused on agricultural and climate resilience and food and water security.

Husker ecologists forge international network focused on ag, climate resilience

Husker researchers Craig Allen and Tala Awada are playing leadership roles in establishing a “network of networks” that unites some of North America’s most forward-thinking, interdisciplinary collaborations focused on agricultural and climate resilience and food and water security. (10/18/2021)
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" This project is innovative because it provides a new, economical approach for improving groundwater quality." —Dan Snow, research professor and director, Water Sciences Laboratory

Research looks to control nitrate leaching, protect Nebraska groundwater

" This project is innovative because it provides a new, economical approach for improving groundwater quality." —Dan Snow, research professor and director, Water Sciences Laboratory (9/20/2021)
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Brittani McGuire spent the summer conducting a seedling census in a long term forest monitoring plot at Nebraska

Detecting Signatures of Forest Change in Nebraska's Niobrara Valley

Brittani McGuire spent the summer conducting a seedling census in a long term forest monitoring plot at Nebraska's Niobrara Valley Preserve. This presentation is a compilation of my experience and research findings. If you like trees or are interested in forest ecology and conservation, have a listen!  (8/24/2021)
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As people sheltered in place at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, sightings of wildlife in urban areas reinforced an intuitive belief: Carnivores were stretching their legs, and their ranges, by expanding into long-lost territory. A new study from Nebraska’s John Benson and the National Park Service says otherwise.

Mountain lions moved less, downsized territory during LA's pandemic shutdown

As people sheltered in place at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, sightings of wildlife in urban areas reinforced an intuitive belief: Carnivores were stretching their legs, and their ranges, by expanding into long-lost territory. A new study from Nebraska’s John Benson and the National Park Service says otherwise. (8/6/2021)
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The University of Nebraska’s Water Sciences Laboratory (WSL) has acquired important new equipment through the Federal Excess Personal Property Utilization Program.

New Equipment Brings New Possibilities to the Water Sciences Lab

The University of Nebraska’s Water Sciences Laboratory (WSL) has acquired important new equipment through the Federal Excess Personal Property Utilization Program. (8/5/2021)
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Significant Workshops

Implications of a Changing Arctic on the Water Resources and Agriculture in the Central U.S. (2015)

The focus of this workshop was on how the significant climatic and environmental changes being observed in the Arctic may be affecting changes in mid-latitude weather and the implications of these changes on the frequency of extreme weather and climate events (e.g., severe weather, droughts, floods, heat waves) in the Central U.S.

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Climate Change Implications for Nebraska (2014-2016)

In September 2014, the University of Nebraska published a report summarizing climate change impacts to the state. This comprehensive report summarized the current understanding of climate change science, projected changes in climate for Nebraska and the implications of these changes for some of the state’s primary sectors. Eight roundtable discussion focusing on areas such as wildlife, human health, energy availability were conducted and summarized.

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