Mission Area Background

Climate variability and change and subsequent environmental responses are of paramount importance to our global society and the natural and managed resources upon which we rely. Climate is a key driver in regards to our resources so it is imperative that we advance an understanding of climate and climate variability and change at various scales, from micrometeorological to satellite.

Droughts regularly occur on the Great Plains.

Spatial science, which includes remote sensing and other spatial technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), allows complex environmental and societal issues to be studied to better understand the patterns and processes across spatial scales that underlie them. Remote sensing and GIS cross cut many scientific disciplines and allow us to investigate climate-land interactions and the climate-water-environmental sustainability nexus and related human interactions.

Pixels and Places

Expertise in this area of SNR focuses on climate risk and adaptation, drought risk management, climate monitoring, multi-scale remote sensing (proximal, airborne, and satellite) and GIS, climate and crop production, ecological process, land use/land cover characterization and exchanges of carbon, water and energy.

Utilizing technology such as GIS and GPS

Research, teaching, and extension activities in this mission area are further strengthened by the four nationally and internationally recognized organizations in SNR working in the areas of climate and spatial science, which include the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT), the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC), and the Nebraska State Climate Office (NSCO), as well aslong-term continuous operation of three AmeriFlux core sites studying mass and energy fluxes.

Collecting climate data to help stakeholders make critical decisions

The expertise and skills of this mission area crosses disciplinary boundaries and provides meaningful opportunities to choose a career in a variety of disciplines. Furthermore, the centers and units in the mission area offer the ability for collaborations among students, scientists and stakeholders from research to operations in the vital food-energy-water-climate nexus.

Climate Change has the potential to alter the strength and types of sever weather that will occur

The School of Natural Resources houses centers that operate within a tiered system of climate services in which data, products, and stakeholder engagement impact people and decision-making at the local, regional, national, and international scale.