Research Projects

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Research projects listed on this page represent a sampling of project from the last year. Please use the search box above to investigate our research project archive.

The success of Nebraska depends on the success of agriculture, which is why the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources remains steadfast in its efforts to support and strengthen the industry.

Water sustainability starts with water stewardship

The success of Nebraska depends on the success of agriculture, which is why the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources remains steadfast in its efforts to support and strengthen the industry.  (12/13/2018)
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Tala Awada’s interest in science sparked from her fascination of plants’ ability to withstand many environmental stresses.

Local Action, Global Impact

Tala Awada’s interest in science sparked from her fascination of plants’ ability to withstand many environmental stresses.  (12/4/2018)
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A newly published study in Weather, Climate and Society compares agricultural stakeholders’ perceptions of the flash drought the developed across upper Great Plains states in 2016 with datasets used to compile the U.S. Drought Monitor during that same time period.

Memory, remote sensing and a new research methodology at the NDMC

A newly published study in Weather, Climate and Society compares agricultural stakeholders’ perceptions of the flash drought the developed across upper Great Plains states in 2016 with datasets used to compile the U.S. Drought Monitor during that same time period. (11/21/2018)
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Lack of varied seasons and temperatures in tropical mountains have led to species that are highly adapted to narrow niches, but also to ones more vulnerable to rapid climate changes. SNR

Study reveals why tropical mountains are so biodiverse

Lack of varied seasons and temperatures in tropical mountains have led to species that are highly adapted to narrow niches, but also to ones more vulnerable to rapid climate changes. SNR's Steven Thomas contributes to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  (11/20/2018)
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New research published this week in Current Biology shows that the oldest of the tested large, cone-shaped mounds dotting the surface of the Earth in northeastern Brazil are 4,000 years old. And they know that because of work Dr. Paul Hanson did to age-date the soil grains.

UNL’s role in dating 4,000-year-old termite mounds in Brazil

New research published this week in Current Biology shows that the oldest of the tested large, cone-shaped mounds dotting the surface of the Earth in northeastern Brazil are 4,000 years old. And they know that because of work Dr. Paul Hanson did to age-date the soil grains.  (11/20/2018)
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By sampling groundwater and determining its age, University of Nebraska–Lincoln researchers hope to determine whether predictions for groundwater discharge rates and contamination removal in watersheds are accurate.

Husker-led team aims to answer how old groundwater is

By sampling groundwater and determining its age, University of Nebraska–Lincoln researchers hope to determine whether predictions for groundwater discharge rates and contamination removal in watersheds are accurate.  (9/26/2018)
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The work of Troy Gilmore and fellow Husker researchers could help refine groundwater estimates and identify the regions most in need of better monitoring.

Need a refill? New approach streamlines estimation of groundwater recharge

The work of Troy Gilmore and fellow Husker researchers could help refine groundwater estimates and identify the regions most in need of better monitoring. (9/24/2018)
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Pollen grains and an electron microscope helped Husker researchers identify what Vittoria della Rovere took to ease her discomfort in her dying hours.

Written in pollen: Study reveals deathbed detail of 17th-century duchess

Pollen grains and an electron microscope helped Husker researchers identify what Vittoria della Rovere took to ease her discomfort in her dying hours. (9/12/2018)
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Assistant professor Jamilynn Poletto and two of her graduate students built the The Fish Conservation Behavior and Physiology Lab from the ground up in an old red brick building on East Campus. "There was literally nothing in here," Poletto said.

New laboratory key to fish research at Nebraska

Assistant professor Jamilynn Poletto and two of her graduate students built the The Fish Conservation Behavior and Physiology Lab from the ground up in an old red brick building on East Campus. "There was literally nothing in here," Poletto said.  (8/28/2018)
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John Benson, a Nebraska ecologist who primarily studies land-based predators, helped reel in data to derive a first-of-its-kind estimate of annual survival among young white sharks.

Researchers net crucial estimate of white shark survival

John Benson, a Nebraska ecologist who primarily studies land-based predators, helped reel in data to derive a first-of-its-kind estimate of annual survival among young white sharks. (7/23/2018)
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Sharks! Mosasaurs! Plesiosaurs! Oh my!

Sharks once roamed Nebraska's ancient seas

Sharks! Mosasaurs! Plesiosaurs! Oh my! (7/22/2018)
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A national team led by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is studying potential links among irrigation, cloud formation and rainfall.

Husker-led research team to examine irrigation's role in precipitation

A national team led by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is studying potential links among irrigation, cloud formation and rainfall. (7/13/2018)
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He carries with him rancid chicken necks, a bottle of fox urine and a jar of gland lure, so it’s best to stay upwind of Kyle Dougherty

Urban foxes: Reports spike in Lincoln as researchers trap, study the sly animals

He carries with him rancid chicken necks, a bottle of fox urine and a jar of gland lure, so it’s best to stay upwind of Kyle Dougherty (5/29/2018)
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An innovative new Grassland Productivity Forecast or “Grass-Cast” has published its first forecast to help producers in the Northern Great Plains determine how much grass will be available for livestock to graze during the upcoming summer. The National Drought Mitigation Center was a project partner

NDMC partners on new experimental grassland productivity forecast

An innovative new Grassland Productivity Forecast or “Grass-Cast” has published its first forecast to help producers in the Northern Great Plains determine how much grass will be available for livestock to graze during the upcoming summer. The National Drought Mitigation Center was a project partner  (5/23/2018)
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A new resource designed by Tsegaye Tadesse, of the National Drought Mitigation Center, could predict drought in the Greater Horn of Africa by as much as 10 days to three months in advance of an actual climatic crisis. The capability to predict the natural hazard could save millions of lives.

Greenness indicator could provide enough advance warning of drought to save millions

A new resource designed by Tsegaye Tadesse, of the National Drought Mitigation Center, could predict drought in the Greater Horn of Africa by as much as 10 days to three months in advance of an actual climatic crisis. The capability to predict the natural hazard could save millions of lives.  (5/23/2018)
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Dramatic human-caused changes in land cover between 1850 and the 1930s had a substantive effect on the 1930s Dust Bowl drought in the Great Plains, a new study by University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers finds.

Land cover changes likely intensified historic Dust Bowl drought

Dramatic human-caused changes in land cover between 1850 and the 1930s had a substantive effect on the 1930s Dust Bowl drought in the Great Plains, a new study by University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers finds.  (5/23/2018)
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A new study led by  Mark Kaemingk is helping advance understanding of how local water-management decisions impact anglers and can add unintended resource stressors on regional waterways.

Study angles for new tactics for fishing, water management

A new study led by Mark Kaemingk is helping advance understanding of how local water-management decisions impact anglers and can add unintended resource stressors on regional waterways. (5/22/2018)
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"What can scientists studying white sharks learn from an expert on mountain lions? As it turns out, quite a lot," writes the Monterey bay Aquarium about research recent published on great white shark survival rates. John Benson, assistant professor with SNR, used his knowledge of estimating survival rates of predators on land to conduct research and estimate survival rates of the great white sharks off the coast of California.

New insights to help young white sharks survive

"What can scientists studying white sharks learn from an expert on mountain lions? As it turns out, quite a lot," writes the Monterey bay Aquarium about research recent published on great white shark survival rates. John Benson, assistant professor with SNR, used his knowledge of estimating survival rates of predators on land to conduct research and estimate survival rates of the great white sharks off the coast of California. (5/9/2018)
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Using Google Earth imagery, Matt Joeckel and Les Howard of the Conservation and Survey Division at the School of Natural Resources discovered an unusual natural patterning of the land surface, called gilgai, for the first time in Nebraska.

Unusual land-surface patterning identified in Nebraska for first time

Using Google Earth imagery, Matt Joeckel and Les Howard of the Conservation and Survey Division at the School of Natural Resources discovered an unusual natural patterning of the land surface, called gilgai, for the first time in Nebraska. (5/1/2018)
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Researchers from the School of Natural Resources recently returned from a workshop with indigenous peoples in Alaska as part of a two-year project focusing on managing rapid environmental change.

Arctic workshop builds foundation for resilience to climate change

Researchers from the School of Natural Resources recently returned from a workshop with indigenous peoples in Alaska as part of a two-year project focusing on managing rapid environmental change. (4/19/2018)
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The invasive spread of eastern redcedar across Nebraska will continue as long as policy is mismatched with known science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers have found. Without resolving the disconnect, grasslands will keep transitioning into cedar woodlands.

Focus policy to better control redcedar invasion

The invasive spread of eastern redcedar across Nebraska will continue as long as policy is mismatched with known science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers have found. Without resolving the disconnect, grasslands will keep transitioning into cedar woodlands. (3/27/2018)
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Unlike news reports coming out of Colorado and Kansas, Nebraska is not in danger of running out of groundwater from the High Plains Aquifer anytime soon. But the levels still are on average below pre-pumping water levels, according to the newest Nebraska Statewide Groundwater-Level Monitoring Report.

Nebraska sees modest groundwater decline

Unlike news reports coming out of Colorado and Kansas, Nebraska is not in danger of running out of groundwater from the High Plains Aquifer anytime soon. But the levels still are on average below pre-pumping water levels, according to the newest Nebraska Statewide Groundwater-Level Monitoring Report. (3/13/2018)
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A new dog-faced bat species discovered in Panama has been named after Patricia Freeman, who devoted her career to studying bats. Freeman is a professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources.

'Wicked cool': New bat species named after Freeman

A new dog-faced bat species discovered in Panama has been named after Patricia Freeman, who devoted her career to studying bats. Freeman is a professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources. (3/13/2018)
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John Benson, vertebrate ecologist, has researched everything from moose in Canada to great white sharks in the Pacific Ocean to cougars in Florida. He joined the School of Natural Resources in January 2017 where he will continue his divergent research.

Benson: Studying animals is a career

John Benson, vertebrate ecologist, has researched everything from moose in Canada to great white sharks in the Pacific Ocean to cougars in Florida. He joined the School of Natural Resources in January 2017 where he will continue his divergent research. (3/13/2018)
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Endangered whooping cranes are migrating earlier in the spring and later in the fall in association with recorded higher average temperatures, according to a newly published study by two researchers with the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Climate change affecting whooping cranes' migration patterns

Endangered whooping cranes are migrating earlier in the spring and later in the fall in association with recorded higher average temperatures, according to a newly published study by two researchers with the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. (3/8/2018)
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Joe Szilagyi has shown widespread irrigation has resulted in a net moisture loss in Nebraska, a finding that could have worldwide water conservation implications if substantiated by further research.

Research shows large-scale irrigation reduces local precipitation

Joe Szilagyi has shown widespread irrigation has resulted in a net moisture loss in Nebraska, a finding that could have worldwide water conservation implications if substantiated by further research. (2/27/2018)
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Sixty mule deer does are carrying GPS monitoring devices for a new research study designed to aid in the management of mule deer populations in high and low density areas of Nebraska.

Mule deer in southwest Nebraska receive monitoring devices

Sixty mule deer does are carrying GPS monitoring devices for a new research study designed to aid in the management of mule deer populations in high and low density areas of Nebraska. (2/21/2018)
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Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are asking whether predicted increased temperatures across the Great Plains will influence the survival of the native, game bird species, the Sharp-tailed grouse. In a new study by SNR researchers, the answer appears to be: Yes, it is likely.

Sharp-tailed grouse lose nesting space under projected climate conditions

Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are asking whether predicted increased temperatures across the Great Plains will influence the survival of the native, game bird species, the Sharp-tailed grouse. In a new study by SNR researchers, the answer appears to be: Yes, it is likely. (2/13/2018)
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A new web-based application by the Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit allows Nebraska wildlife managers to virtually manipulate land cover in a region to see how pheasants would be affected. The app is open-source and can be altered for any variable with a relation to land cover.

Pheasant-management app has potential to propel other research

A new web-based application by the Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit allows Nebraska wildlife managers to virtually manipulate land cover in a region to see how pheasants would be affected. The app is open-source and can be altered for any variable with a relation to land cover. (1/16/2018)
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Drone imagery was used to monitor changes in stream geomorphology over time. This research project investigated processes responsible for hydraulic conductivity transience in sandy rivers.

Investigating Hydraulic Conductivity Transience in Sandy Rivers

Drone imagery was used to monitor changes in stream geomorphology over time. This research project investigated processes responsible for hydraulic conductivity transience in sandy rivers. (1/1/2018)
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Assembled fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (FO-DTS) on Gudmundsen Sandhills Research Laboratory. FO-DTS is a technique that uses fiber-optic cable deployed on a streambed to sense groundwater discharge into surface water.

Fiber-optic Technique Senses Groundwater Discharge into Surface Water

Assembled fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (FO-DTS) on Gudmundsen Sandhills Research Laboratory. FO-DTS is a technique that uses fiber-optic cable deployed on a streambed to sense groundwater discharge into surface water. (1/1/2018)
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