Traineeships – Resilience in Complex Landscapes

A National Science Foundation Research Training (NRT) grant was awarded the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to establish a new graduate training program that focuses on understanding the resilience of agricultural systems. The project Training in Theory and Application of Cross-scale Resilience in Agriculturally Dominated Social Ecological Systems aims to better understand the Platte River Basin's resilience to disturbance (e.g., pollution, pests, and drought).

Program Perspectives:

These program perspectives will contribute to better understanding of and design strategies for water-stressed and energy-demanding agricultural landscapes that experience natural and human disturbances.

  • Scientific
  • Engineering
  • Technological
  • Innovation
Group Discussion with Stakeholders
Group Discussion with Stakeholders

Utilize & Integrate:

  • resilience and panarchy theories
  • adaptive management strategies
  • novel sensing technologies and modeling approaches
  • policy interventions

Suitable Background Disciplines:

  • Natural Resources
  • Environmental Science
  • Agronomy
  • Entomology
  • Plant Sciences
  • Geosciences
  • Biological Systems Engineering
  • Computer Sciences
  • Public Policy
  • Biological Sciences
  • Civil Engineering
Kristine Nemec
Kristine Nemec in the prairie

Our Resilience in Agricultural Socioecological Systems Program (RASS) will provide 23 fellowships for Ph.D. and M.S. trainees. Trainees will engage with external partners from the agricultural industry, government agencies, and other organizations that have interests and stakes in maintaining productive agricultural systems. This broad graduate training program will help develop a workforce and agricultural industry better capable of managing future demands for food, energy, water, and ecosystem services.

Degrees Offered

Master of Science (M.S.)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Students will

  • be co-advised, with the requirement that their primary adviser is housed in their home department
  • attend domestic and international group retreats, where they will observe and participate in sustainability based planning and management at the FEWS nexus.
  • complete selected coursework
  • participate in collaborative activities
  • be encouraged to publish the results of their research in peer-reviewed journals
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  • $34,000 annual stipend for M.S. - 2 years maximum | $36,000 annual stipend for Ph.D. - 3 year maximum
  • health insurance
  • remittance of tuition and selected university fees

Focal study landscape

The focal landscape for research endeavors will be the Platte River Basin of the North American Great Plains, although comparisons and applicability of findings may apply to landscapes worldwide. Individual research project objectives include—but are not limited to—elucidating scales of coupling among social, ecological, and economic variables; developing and refining multi-scale models of groundwater discharge and recharge; and evaluating the social–ecological effects of alternative policy based scenarios.

Platte River Basin