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.

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 Nebraska

Study angles for new tactics for fishing, water management

A new study led by Nebraska's 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 isn

Nebraska sees modest groundwater decline

Unlike news reports coming out of Colorado and Kansas, Nebraska isn't 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

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'll 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

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's 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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Some of the best places to generate wind energy in Nebraska are also home to many species of grassland birds. New research offers a better understanding of how one prairie bird responds to wind turbines.

Greater Prairie-Chicken Nesting Not Affected Much by Wind Turbines

Some of the best places to generate wind energy in Nebraska are also home to many species of grassland birds. New research offers a better understanding of how one prairie bird responds to wind turbines. (11/9/2017)
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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.

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. (11/7/2017)
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A team of researchers, including two from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, have developed and proposed a new definition of drought that integrates ecological, climatic, hydrological, socioeconomic and cultural dimensions of drought.  This novel approach to thinking about drought may help decision makers better prevent and respond to drought impacts.

Redefining drought could lead to better preparation

A team of researchers, including two from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, have developed and proposed a new definition of drought that integrates ecological, climatic, hydrological, socioeconomic and cultural dimensions of drought. This novel approach to thinking about drought may help decision makers better prevent and respond to drought impacts. (11/1/2017)
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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.

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. (10/24/2017)
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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.

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. (9/29/2017)
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A nearly $300,000 National Science Foundation grant will help Jenny Dauer, SNR science literacy professor, develop assessments and hone a foundational science course that focuses on teaching students science and decision-making skills.

Dauer earns NSF grant to assess science and decision-making course

A nearly $300,000 National Science Foundation grant will help Jenny Dauer, SNR science literacy professor, develop assessments and hone a foundational science course that focuses on teaching students science and decision-making skills. (8/30/2017)
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With one of the first grants from a new collaboration-intensive National Science Foundation program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists from the School of Natural Resources will lead efforts to develop a highly interdisciplinary approach for managing rapid change in the Arctic.

Husker scientists aim to boost Arctic's resilience

With one of the first grants from a new collaboration-intensive National Science Foundation program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists from the School of Natural Resources will lead efforts to develop a highly interdisciplinary approach for managing rapid change in the Arctic. (8/30/2017)
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