Tonya Haigh

Tonya Haigh

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Grants
  • Courses Taught
  • Outreach

Title Project Manager-Rural Sociology
Address 802 South Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
Phone 402-472-6781
FAX 402-472-2946
Vitae Download file
Contact Preference


Office Hours

M - F 9 am to 4 pm

Tonya Haigh began working with the National Drought Mitigation Center in February 2009 as a research specialist. She has worked for sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation organizations as a program director, community organizer, and grant writer over the last fifteen years. Since moving to Lincoln with her family in 2008, Tonya has also been taking courses in environmental planning and natural resource management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her interests include permaculture, local food systems, resiliency, and spending time gardening, reading, and in the great outdoors with her husband and two daughters.

Selected Publications

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. Online
Carson, A., Hill, H., Windsor, M., Haigh, T., Wall, N., Smith, J., Olsen, R., Bathke, D., Demir, I., Muste, M. (2018). Serious Gaming Based Participatory Planning for Mitigation of Flood, Drought, and Water Quality. International Journal of River Basin Management, 16(3), 379-391.
Demisse, G., Tadesse, T., Bayissa, Y. A., Haigh, T., Wall, N., Shiferaw, A. (2018). Linking Seasonal Vegetation Condition Outlook Information to Decision Makers in a Data-sparse Region: A Case Study in the Greater Horn of Africa. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment.
Haigh, T., Koundinya, V., Hart, C., Klink, J., Lemos, M., Mase, A. S., Prokopy, L., Singh, A., Todey, D., & Widhalm, M. (2018). Provision of Climate Services for Agriculture: Public and Private Pathways to Farm Decision-making. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99(9):1781-1790. Online
McEvoy, J., Bathke, D., Burkardt, N., Cravens, A., Haigh, T., Hall, K., Hayes, M. J., Jedd, T., Podebradska, M., Wickham, E. (2018). Ecological Drought: Accounting for the Non-Human Impacts of Water Shortage in the Upper Missouri Headwaters Basin, Montana, USA. Resources. Online
Otkin, J. A., Haigh, T., Mucia, A., Anderson, M. C., & Hain, C. (2018). Comparison of Agricultural Stakeholder Survey Results and Drought Monitoring Datasets during the 2016 US Northern Plains Flash Drought. Weather, Climate, and Society, 10(4), 867-883. Online
Church, S., Haigh, T., Widhalm, M., de Jalon, S.G., Babin, N., Carlton, J.S., Dunn, M., Fagan, K., Knutson, C., Prokopy, L. (2017). Agricultural Trade Publications and the 2012 Midwestern Drought: A Missed Opportunity for Climate Risk Communication. Climate Risk Management, 15, 45-60. Online
Jedd, T., Hayes, M. J., Carillo, C. M., Haigh, T., Chizinski, C., Swigart, J. (2017). Measuring park visitation vulnerability to climate extremes in U.S. Rockies National Parks tourism. Tourism Geographies, 1-26. Online
Prokopy, L. S., Carlton, J. S., Haigh, T., Lemos, M. C., Mase, A. S., & Widhalm, M. (2017). Useful to Usable: Developing usable climate science for agriculture. Climate Risk Management, 15, 1-7. Online
Carlton,J.S., A.S. Mase, C.L. Knutson, M.C.Lemos, T.Haigh, D.P.Haigh, L.S.Prokopy. 2016. The effects of extreme drought on climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and adaptation attitudes. Clim Change 135(2): 211-226. doi:10.1007/s10584-015-1561-5 Online
Tadesse, T., Haigh, T., Wall, N., Shiferaw, A. S., Zaitchik, B., Beyene, S., Demisse, G., Petr, J. 2016. Linking Seasonal Predictions into Decision-making and Disaster Management in the Greater Horn of Africa. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 97(4):ES89 - ES92. Online
Tadesse, T., Haigh, T., Wall, N.., Andualem, S., Zaitchik, B., Shimelis, B., Demisse, G. B., Jacob, P. 2016. Linking Seasonal Predictions into Decision-making and Disaster Management in the Greater Horn of Africa. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Online
Carlton, J. S., Mase, A. S., Knutson, C., Lemos, M. C., Haigh, T., Todey, D. P., Prokopy, L. S. (2015). The Effects of Drought on Climate Change Beliefs, Risk Perceptions, and Adaptation Attitudes. Climatic Change. 135: 211.
Haigh, T., Wright Morton, L., Lemos, M. C., Knutson, C., Prokopy, L. S., Lo, Y. J., Angel, J. (2015). Agricultural Advisors as Climate Information Intermediaries: Exploring Differences in Capacity to Communicate Climate. Weather, Climate and Society, 7, 83-93. Online
Tadesse, T., D. Bathke, N. Wall, J. Petr, and T. Haigh, 2015. Participatory Research Workshop on Seasonal Prediction of Hydro-climatic Extremes in the Greater Horn of Africa. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, ES139 Online
Arbuckle, J., Prokopy, L. S., Haigh, T., Hobbs, J., Knoot, T., Knutson, C., Loy, A., Mase, A. S., McGuire, J., Morton, L. W., Tyndall, J., Widhalm, M. (2013). Climate Change Beliefs, Risk Perceptions, and Attitudes Toward Adaptation and Mitigation Among Farmers in the Midwestern United States. Climatic Change Letters. Online
Haigh, T., Knutson, C. (2013). Role of Perceived Control and Planning in Ranch Drought Preparedness. Great Plains Research Journal, 23, 51-58. Online
Knutson, C., Haigh, T. (2013). A Drought Planning Methodology for Ranchers in the Great Plains. Rangelands, 35, 27-33. Online
Prokopy, L. S., Haigh, T., Mase, A., Angel, J., Hart, C., Knutson, C., Lemos, M., Lo, Y., McGuire, J., Morton, L. W., Perron, J., Todey, D., Widhalm, M. (2013). Agricultural Advisors: A Receptive Audience for Weather and Climate Information? Climate, Weather and Society, 5, 162-167. Online
Knutson, C.L., T. Haigh, M.J. Hayes, M. Widhalm, J. Nothwehr, M. Kleinschmidt, (2011). Farmer Perceptions of Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture Practices and Drought Risk Reduction in Nebraska,USA, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 26(3): 255-266 Online


Selected Presentations

Using Post-Event Surveys of Rangeland Managers to Assess Adaptive Capacity
  • Presentation Type: Dissertation Defense
  • Date: 10/25/2019
  • Abstract:

    Rangeland managers face challenges to adapt to climate extremes. Post-event assessments might be useful for understanding managers' adaptive capacity to hazards such as drought. This study evaluates adaptive capacity using an integrated vulnerability and resilience conceptual model and protective action decision-making models. Overarching research questions include: 1) For rangeland managers experiencing drought, how should we describe the relationship between protective action and impacts? 2) For rangeland managers experiencing drought, what are the best predictors of taking protective action?

    The study addresses these questions using quantitative data collected from two post-drought (2012-2013 and 2016) surveys of rangeland-based livestock managers in the Northern Great Plains of the U.S. Statistical analysis showed that drought management actions only lessened impacts if taken at appropriate times during the drought. The timing of protective actions was predicted by characteristics of the operation that provided management flexibility during drought, and was associated with managers' on-farm monitoring of conditions and perception of drought management knowledge as a barrier to their success. Neither the use of drought early warning information, nor having a drought plan, was associated with the timing of most actions.

    Assessing adaptive capacity requires identifying the actions (and the timing of the actions) that lessen impact, as well as the characteristics of the system that enable or support those actions. The post-drought survey appears to be an effective means of assessing these relationships and informing decisions about investments in adaptive capacity for agricultural management.

SNR Program Area(s)

  • Applied Climate and Spatial Science

Affiliations (index)

Notable Websites

Areas of Interest

  • Drought management
  • Farm and Ranch Drought Management
  • Drought Planning and Mitigation
  • Survey Research

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 Title Providing Drought Information Services for the Nation: the National Drought Mitigation Center
Starting Date 9/1/2019
Principal Investigators
Mark Svoboda
Deb Bathke
Brian Fuchs
Tonya Haigh
Cody Knutson
Kelly Smith
Ending Date 8/31/2021
Funding Level $791,470.00
Funding Source National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

Grant Title Connecting Drought Early Warning to the Decision Making Needs of Specialty Crop Producers in the Midwestern United States
Starting Date 9/1/2018
Principal Investigators
Tonya Haigh
Brian Fuchs
Nicole Wall
Ending Date 8/31/2019
Funding Level $91,817.00
Funding Source National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Grant Title Drought Summit and Outreach
Starting Date 1/22/2018
Principal Investigators
Cody Knutson
Tonya Haigh
Kelly Smith
Mark Svoboda
Ending Date 9/30/2019
Funding Level $85,000.00
Funding Source American Planning Association

Grant Title Missouri Basin Drought Indicators
Starting Date 7/1/2016
Principal Investigators
Tonya Haigh
Ending Date 6/30/2018
Funding Level $34,607.00
Funding Source National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Grant Title Risk Management Education for Ranchers in Oklahoma City, OK, RMA Region: Drought Planning, Range Management, and FCIC Options including Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage Insurance and Rainfall Index-Annual Forage Insurance
Starting Date 9/30/2014
Principal Investigators
Cody Knutson
Tonya Haigh
Ending Date 3/29/2015
Funding Level $75,594.00
Funding Source Department of Agriculture - RMA

Grant Title The Role of Drought Preparedness in Improving the Sustainability of Great Plains Ranches
Starting Date 2/1/2012
Principal Investigators
Cody Knutson
Jeff Nothwehr
Jerry Volesky
Nicole Wall
Tonya Bernadt
Tonya Haigh
Ending Date 1/31/2014
Funding Level $56,366.00
Funding Source University of Missouri

Grant Title Workshops for Livestock Production
Starting Date 9/26/2011
Principal Investigators
Cody Knutson
Tonya Haigh
Jerry Volesky
Donna Woudenberg
Ending Date 9/25/2012
Funding Level $93,752.00
Funding Source Department of Agriculture