Ongoing Research Projects

The soils the dinosaurs walked on

A recent study by Matt Joeckel, Conservation and Survey Division director, and his colleagues had them tripping over dinosaur bones to map the ancient soils of a famed geological formation in Utah. Why? The soils give clues to what ancient environments were like.
A recent study by Matt Joeckel, Conservation and Survey Division director, and his colleagues had them tripping over dinosaur bones to map the ancient soils of a famed geological formation in Utah. Why? The soils give clues to what ancient environments were like. Continue the Story

Drones are buzzing toward increased crop production

 A new research project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska seeks to deploy drones in search of improved crop irrigation efficiency. The funding provided by the half million-dollar grant will be used to explore using new aerial robotic technologies to help farmers make informed decisions about managing their complex center pivot irrigation systems.
A new research project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska seeks to deploy drones in search of improved crop irrigation efficiency. The funding provided by the half million-dollar grant will be used to explore using new aerial robotic technologies to help farmers make informed decisions about managing their complex center pivot irrigation systems. Continue the Story

Husker research flows to help state's water management plan

Nebraska scholars have provided a novel approach for state water resource managers or city planners to estimate future consumptive water use - water that is not recycled - in residential areas in cities and small towns.
Nebraska scholars have provided a novel approach for state water resource managers or city planners to estimate future consumptive water use - water that is not recycled - in residential areas in cities and small towns. Continue the Story

Nebraska researchers join national team studying psychology of water use

Six University of Nebraska researchers, including SNR's Mark Burbach, will join colleagues from three other institutions to develop a model for engaging communities and stakeholders to ensure adequate supplies of good-quality water both for and from agriculture.
Six University of Nebraska researchers, including SNR's Mark Burbach, will join colleagues from three other institutions to develop a model for engaging communities and stakeholders to ensure adequate supplies of good-quality water both for and from agriculture. Continue the Story

Airlift Environmental building innovative technology for groundwater cleanup

A Lincoln-based startup company that specializes in innovative, research-based ways of removing industrial solvents and petroleum-based pollutants from groundwater is taking off. AirLift Environmental is an outgrowth of scientific research, including by Steve Comfort, SNR soil and water chemist.
A Lincoln-based startup company that specializes in innovative, research-based ways of removing industrial solvents and petroleum-based pollutants from groundwater is taking off. AirLift Environmental is an outgrowth of scientific research, including by Steve Comfort, SNR soil and water chemist. Continue the Story

Grant will fund creation of cloud-based program for survey data

A grant awarded to a group of 10 Natural Resources Districts and Conservation and Survey Division at University of Nebraska-Lincoln will fund the creation of a cloud-based software program, Nebraska GeoCloud, that will make available all airborne electromagnetic survey data for Nebraska.
A grant awarded to a group of 10 Natural Resources Districts and Conservation and Survey Division at University of Nebraska-Lincoln will fund the creation of a cloud-based software program, Nebraska GeoCloud, that will make available all airborne electromagnetic survey data for Nebraska. Continue the Story

Program will help state's science teachers with water system literacy

A new program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will provide the state's science teachers new approaches to teaching about water.
A new program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will provide the state's science teachers new approaches to teaching about water. Continue the Story

SNR graduate and Water Sciences Lab research on amphetamines draws attention

It was SNR master's graduate Alexis Paspalof's idea to study amphetamines in waterways, and it was SNR's Water Sciences Laboratory, directed by Dan Snow, that analyzed samples. What they thought would be an insignificant project turned out not to be.
It was SNR master's graduate Alexis Paspalof's idea to study amphetamines in waterways, and it was SNR's Water Sciences Laboratory, directed by Dan Snow, that analyzed samples. What they thought would be an insignificant project turned out not to be. Continue the Story

Real-Time Groundwater Level Monitoring Network

This project aims to develop a real-time groundwater-level monitoring network in Nebraska to provide fast and reliable data that will support agricultural decision-makers and other groundwater users to better plan for, recognize, deal with, and document multiple-year droughts.
This project aims to develop a real-time groundwater-level monitoring network in Nebraska to provide fast and reliable data that will support agricultural decision-makers and other groundwater users to better plan for, recognize, deal with, and document multiple-year droughts. Continue the Story

UNL researcher applies expertise in aquifer recharge to arid regions

University of Nebraska-Lincoln hydrogeologist and Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Vitaly Zlotnik has led efforts at UNL to develop solutions to complex water issues in the Middle East. He provided a keynote address at the 2016 International Water Conference in Oman March 13.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln hydrogeologist and Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Vitaly Zlotnik has led efforts at UNL to develop solutions to complex water issues in the Middle East. He provided a keynote address at the 2016 International Water Conference in Oman March 13. Continue the Story

Investigating Climate's Groundwater Impact

When droughts ravage agriculture, the role of climate change grabs headlines. But the climate's impact on groundwater quality as food production adapts to a warming planet receives less attention. An interdisciplinary team of UNL researchers is investigating the climate's effect on groundwater contamination from chemicals used in crop and animal production, including indirect effects from land use changes.
When droughts ravage agriculture, the role of climate change grabs headlines. But the climate's impact on groundwater quality as food production adapts to a warming planet receives less attention. An interdisciplinary team of UNL researchers is investigating the climate's effect on groundwater contamination from chemicals used in crop and animal production, including indirect effects from land use changes. Continue the Story

Conservation and Survey celebrates drilling first test hole of its kind

The Nebraska statewide test hole database contains information on approximately 5,500 test holes that have been drilled since 1930. These test holes provide researchers with valuable geologic and hydrogeologic data.
The Nebraska statewide test hole database contains information on approximately 5,500 test holes that have been drilled since 1930. These test holes provide researchers with valuable geologic and hydrogeologic data. Continue the Story

Regional Scale ET Estimation with CREMAP

CREMAP (Calibration-free evapotranspiration mapping) is a novel ET estimation method that uses MODIS satellite information and some widely available meteorological data to map ET rates at about 1-km resolution in 8-day or monthly periods. Recently it has also been applied to a) map recharge rates to the groundwater in the Sandhills of Nebraska and in the Danube-Tisza interfluvial sand plateau region of Hungary; b) map recharge and surface runoff across Nebraska; c) derive recharge rates as a function of depth to the groundwater in the Platte River valley; d) map ET rates in Burkina Faso and across Hungary; e) identify changes in the hydrological cycle due to irrigation, land use/land cover change across the entire Republican River basin.
CREMAP (Calibration-free evapotranspiration mapping) is a novel ET estimation method that uses MODIS satellite information and some widely available meteorological data to map ET rates at about 1-km resolution in 8-day or monthly periods. Recently it has also been applied to a) map recharge rates to the groundwater in the Sandhills of Nebraska and in the Danube-Tisza interfluvial sand plateau region of Hungary; b) map recharge and surface runoff across Nebraska; c) derive recharge rates as a function of depth to the groundwater in the Platte River valley; d) map ET rates in Burkina Faso and across Hungary; e) identify changes in the hydrological cycle due to irrigation, land use/land cover change across the entire Republican River basin. Continue the Story

Franz brings soil-moisture monitoring technology from cornfield to battlefield

A cosmic-ray neutron rover may sound like something from a science-fiction film, but Trenton Franz is developing the high-tech tool to help the military better understand the harsh environment in which it operates.
A cosmic-ray neutron rover may sound like something from a science-fiction film, but Trenton Franz is developing the high-tech tool to help the military better understand the harsh environment in which it operates. Continue the Story