Walt Schacht

Walt Schacht

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Grants

Contact Information

TitleGrassland Ecology and Management Degree Program Coordinator
Faculty RankCourtesy Professor
Address312 Keim Hall
1825 North 38th Street
Lincoln NE
68583–0915
Phone
  • office: 402-472-0205
  • fax: 402-472-7904
E-mailwschacht1@unl.edu

 

My Story

Research Interests

I work with an interdisciplinary team of scientists in grassland ecology and management. My principal area of research emphasizes ecosystem response to grazing and associated management practices in the Nebraska Sandhills and cool-season grass pasture. Specifically, my current studies focus on nitrogen cycling and use efficiency on grazing lands, ecology and utilization of shrubs (e.g., leadplant) and grasses (e.g., smooth bromegrass) on grazing lands, herbage production and animal performance in response to grazing systems, the effect of supplementation strategies on herbage utilization and productivity, the relationship between density and composition of upland songbirds and grazing strategies, and woody plant encroachment on grasslands. Overall, I am interested in developing management strategies that ensure the ecological and economic sustainability of grazing lands for multiple uses, including livestock grazing.

Extension Interests

Providing rangeland managers of Nebraska with the best information available on ecosystem response to grazing management practices.

Major Project Activities

My research project emphasizes the development and evaluation of grazing strategies for range and pasture in the Nebraska Sandhills and eastern Nebraska. I am a principal investigator in studies quantifying range vegetation response to season and intensity of grazing at UNL's Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory in the west central Sandhills and in a grazing systems comparison study at UNL's Barta Brothers Ranch in the northeastern Sandhills. In eastern Nebraska, we are studying nutrient cycling, particularly focusing on nitrogen, and livestock performance in mixtures of smooth bromegrass and legumes. A component of my project in eastern Nebraska also includes improvement of pasture quality with the use of fire, grazing strategies, legumes, and herbicides. Emphasis is also placed on grassland management effects on carbon sequestration, soil quality, and wildlife habitat. Graduate students are integral to my research project. I also am active in undergraduate education as I am the advisor for the Range Management Club and a faculty member of the Grassland Ecology and Management, Grazing Livestock Systems, and Plant Biology majors.

Selected Publications

Arterburn, J., Twidwell, D., Wonkka, C., Schacht, W., Wedin, D. A. 2019. Restoring fire-grazer interactions to pursue heterogeneity in Sandhills prairie. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 7:365.Online
Haigh, T. R., Schacht, W., Knutson, C., Smart, A. J., Volesky, J., Allen, C., Burbach, M. E. 2019. Socioecological determinants of drought impacts and coping strategies for ranching operations in the Great Plains. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 72: 561-5Online
Haigh, T. R., Schacht, W., Knutson, C., Smart, A. J., Volesky, J., Allen, C., Hayes, M. J., Burbach, M. 2019. Socioecological Determinants of Drought Impacts and Coping Strategies for Ranching Operations in the Great Plains. Rangeland Ecology \& ManagemenOnline
Haigh, T., Schacht, W., Knutson, C., Smart, A., Volesky, J., Allen, C., Hayes, M. J., Burbach, M. 2019. Socio-ecological determinants of drought impacts and coping strategies for ranching operations in the Great Plains. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 7Online
Hiller, T. L., McFadden, J. E., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. 2019. Seasonal and Interspecific Landscape Use of Sympatric Greater Prairie-Chickens and Plains Sharp-Tailed Grouse. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 43: 244–255.Online
Raynor, E. J., Harrison, J. O., Whalen, C. E., Smith, J. A., Schacht, W., Tyre, A. J., Benson, J., Powell, L. A. (2019). Anthropogenic noise does not surpass land cover in explaining habitat selection of Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido). The COnline
Schick, B., Guretzky, J., Schacht, W., Mamo, M. (in press). Cattle Dung Quality, Decomposition, and Nutrient Movement in Soil Relative to Pasture Type and Time after Deposition. Agronomy Journal.
Sliwinski, M., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. 2019. Grazing systems do not affect bird habitat on a Sandhills landscape. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 72(1): 136.Online
Nelson, S., Coon, J., Duchardt, C., Miller, J., Debinski, D., Schacht, W. (2018). Contrasting Impacts of Invasive Plants and Human-Altered Landscape Context on Nest Survival and Brood Parasatism of a Grassland Bird. Landscape Ecology, 33.
Raynor IV, E., Griffith, C., Twidwell, D., Schacht, W., Wonkka, C., Roberts, C., Bielski, C., Debinkski, D., Miller, J. (2018). The Emergence of Heterogeneity in a tall fescue-dominated prairie: a matter of scale detection. Landscape Ecology, 12.
Raynor IV, E., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. (2018). Present and Future Thermal Environments Available to a Ground-Dwelling bird in Nebraska Sandhills grassland. PLOS ONE, 13.2 (2018):e0191233.
Raynor IV, E., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. (2018). Present and future thermal environments available to Sharp-tailed Grouse in an intact grassland. PLOS One, 13.2 (2018): e0191233.
Sliwinski, M., Burbach, M., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. (2018). Factors Influencing ranchers' intentions to manage for vegetation heterogeneity and promote cross-boundary management in the northern Great Plains. Ecology and Society, 23.
Sliwinski, M., Burbach, M., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. (2018). Ranchers' Perceptions of Vegetation Heterogeneity in the Northern Great Plains. Great Plains Research, 28.Online
Stephenson, M., Volesky, J., Schacht, W., Lawrence, N., Soper, J., Milby, J. (2018). Influence of precipitation on plant production at different topographic positions in the Nebraska Sandhills. Rangeland Ecology and Management.
Westerhold, A., Walters, C., Brooks, K., Vandeveer, M., Volesky, J., Schacht, W. (2018). Risk Implications from the Selection of Rainfall Index Insurance Intervals. Agricultural Finance Review, 78.
Wingeyer, A., Mamo, M., Schacht, W., McCallister, D., Sutton, P. (2018). Vegetation and Soil Responses to Concrete Grinding Residue (CGR) Application on Highway Roadsides of Eastern Nebraska. Journal of Environmental Quality, 47.
Arterburn, J., Twidwell, D., Schacht, W., Wonkka, C., Wedin, D. A. (2018). Resilience of Sandhills Grassland to Wildfire During Drought. Rangeland Ecology and Management.Online
Harrison, J. O., Brown, M., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W., Smith, J. (2017). Nest site preference and nest survival of Greater Prairie-Chickens in the context of an existing wind energy facility. The Condor, 119(4).Online
Hillhouse, H., Schacht, W., Soper, J., Wienhold, C. (2017). Effects of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizer and Topsoil Amendment on Native Plant Cover in Roadside Revegetation Projects. Environmental Management.Online
Msanne, J., Awada, T. N., Bryan, N., Schacht, W., Drijber, R., Li, Y., Zhou, X., Okalebo, J., Wedin, D. A., Brandle, J. R., Hiller, J. (2017). Ecophysiological responses of native invasive woody Juniperus virginiana L. to resource availability and stand cOnline
Msanne, J., Awada, T. N., Schacht, W., Drijber, R., Okalebo, J., Wedin, D. A., Brandle, J. R. 2017. Ecophysiological control of native invasive woody Juniperus virginiana to resource availability and stand characteristics in the semi-arid grasslands of thOnline
Msanne, J., Awada, T., Bryan, N.M., Schacht, W., Drijber, R. Li, Y., Zhou, X., Okalebo, J., Wedin, D., Brandle, J., Hiller, J. 2017. Ecophysiological Responses of Native Invasive Woody Juniperus Virginiana L. to Resource Availability and Stand CharacterisOnline
Raynor IV, E., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. (2018). Present and future thermal environments available to Sharp-tailed Grouse in an intact grassland. PLOS One, 13.2 (2018): e0191233.
Sliwinski, M., M. Burbach, L. Powell, W. Schacht. (2017). Managing for Wildlife Habitat, on Rangelands in the Great Plains. Univ of Nebraska-Lincoln. pp.6.Online
Dallmann, J. D., Raynor IV, E., Anderson, L. C., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. 2016. iButton(c) Temperature Loggers Effectively Determine Prairie Grouse Nest Absences. Great Plains Research. 26:117-123.Online
Anderson, L., W. Schacht, L. A. Powell, J. Lusk, and W. Vodehnal. 2015. Greater Prairie-Chicken Brood Site Selection and Survival in the Nebraska Sandhills. Journal of Wildlife Management 79:559-569.Online
Giovanni, M. D., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. 2015. Habitat selection and survival for western meadowlark fledglings in a contiguous prairie system. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 127: 200-211.Online
Joubert, D. F., Powell, L. A., Schacht, W. (2015). Visual obstruction as a method to quantify herbaceous biomass in southern African semi-arid savannas. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 32, 225-230.Online
Sliwinski, M. L. A. Powell, N. Koper, M. Giovanni, W. Schacht. 2015. Research design considerations to ensure detection of all species in an avian community. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7:456-462.Online
Powell, Larkin, A., Schact, Walter, H., Anderson, Lars, C., Vodehnal, William, L. 2014. Management of Sandhills Rangelands for Greater Prairie-Chickens.Online
Giovanni, M. D., M. Post van der Burg, L. C. Anderson, L. A. Powell, W. H. Schacht, and A. J. Tyre. 2011. Estimating nest density when nest detectability is incomplete: variation in nest attendance and response to disturbance by adult Western MeadowlarkOnline
Perry, M.E.L., W.H. Schacht, G.A. Ruark, and J.R. Brandle (2009) Tree canopy effect on grass and grass/legume mixtures in eastern Nebraska. Agroforestry Systems 77:23-35
Awada, T., Perry, M.E.L., Schacht, W.H. 2003. Ecophysiological responses of the C3 Bromus inermis and the C4 Andropagon gerardii to various canopy levels of Fraxinus pennsylvanica. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 83.
Awada, T., Perry, M.E.L., Schacht, W.H. 2003. Photosynthetic and growth responses of the C3 Bromus inermis and the C4 Andropogon gerardii to tree canopy cover. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 83: 533-540
Awada, T., L.E. Moser, W.H. Schacht and P.E. Reece 2002. Stomatal variability of native warm-season grasses from the Nebraska Sandhills. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 82:349-355 .Online
Mousel, E.M., Schacht, W.H., Nickerson, H.D., Brandle, J. Silvopastoral Systems in the Pine Ridge of Nebraska.Online

Background

Education

DegreeMajorInstitutionYear Awarded
Doctorate of PhilosophyRange ScienceUtah State University1986
Master of ScienceAgronomy (specialization in Range Management)University of Nebraska-Lincoln1981
Bachelor of ScienceBiology and Environmental StudiesDana College1975

 

Affiliations

 

SNR Program Areas

  • Applied Ecology

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Grassland Ecosytems
  • Agriculture and Livestock
  • Insect Ecology
  • Resilience

Grants

Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/ 2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/ 2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant TitlePrairie Corridor Phase 2 (Additional Funding)
Starting Date07/01/2018

Investigator(s)

Ending Date06/20/2019
Funding Level$86,237.00
Funding AgencyCity of Lincoln

 

Grant TitleAddressing Soil Property Issues
Starting Date04/01/2014

Investigator(s)

Ending Date09/30/2015
Funding Level$86,034.00
Funding AgencyNebraska Department of Roads

 

Grant TitleManagement of Private Grazing Lands in Nebraska: Do Differences in Ranch Management and Landowner Characteristics Affect Conservation Impacts
Starting Date09/01/2013

Investigator(s)

Ending Date08/31/2017
Funding Level$174,289.00
Funding AgencyNebraska Game and Parks Commission

 

Grant TitleLearning from the 2012 Niobrara Fire
Starting Date06/05/2013

Investigator(s)

Ending Date08/31/2015
Funding Level$132,050.00
Funding AgencyNature Conservancy

 

Grant TitleGreater Prairie-Chicken Habitat SWG
Starting Date04/01/2010

Investigator(s)

Ending Date12/31/2012
Funding Level$64,646.00
Funding AgencyNebraska Game and Parks Commission

 

Grant TitleImproving Breeding Habitat for Greater-Prairie Chickens on Grazed Land in the Nebraska Sandhills (additional funding)
Starting Date03/01/2010

Investigator(s)

Ending Date12/31/2012
Funding Level$15,000.00
Funding AgencyNebraska Game and Parks Commission