NU Water-Related Research in the Omaha Metro Area

The Omaha Metro Area contains Districts 3-14, 18, 20, 31, 39, 45 and 49.

The list below shows water-related research being conducted within your district or that affects your district. They are sorted by water topic, then by primary contact's last name.

Displaying 14 records found for the Omaha Metro Area


Topic Centers, Initiatives, and Units
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Kolok, Alan
Unit Biology, UNO
Email akolok@unomaha.edu
Phone 402-554-3545
Web Page http://www.unomaha.edu/envirotox/whoiam.php
Project Information
Title Nebraska Watershed Network
Description

The Nebraska Watershed Network is a student-driven organization that strives to promote water quality awareness through outreach, education and research.

The network works with local individuals, community organizations, schools, and government entities to design and implement projects in the Omaha area associated with water quality and preservation. We aim to engage people with very different abilities, knowledge, and interests to come together for a common goal: increasing the quality of water in Omaha.

Project Support
Project Website https://www.facebook.com/nebraskawatershednetwork/
Report
Current Status Ongoing
Pic 1 Project Image
Pic Caption 1 The Nebraska Watershed Network 
Topic Drought
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Hanson, Paul
Unit School of Natural Resources
Email phanson2@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-7762
Web Page http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/faculty-member.asp?pid=758
Project Information
Title Pre-Historic Drought Records from the Eastern Platte River Valley
Other(s) R. Matt Joeckel, School of Natural Resources, rjoeckel3@unl.edu; Aaron Young, School of Natural Resources, ayoung3@unl.edu 
Description Recent studies have related large-scale dune activity in the Nebraska Sandhills and elsewhere on the western Great Plains to prehistoric megadroughts. At the eastern margin of the Great Plains, however, little or no effort has been expended toward identifying the impacts and severity of these climatic events. The eastern margin of the Great Plains should be of particular interest in paleclimate studies because it represents an important biogeographic boundary that may have shifted over time. In dunes around the present confluence of the Loup and Platte Rivers near Duncan, Nebraska, optical dating contrains, for the first time, the chronology of dune activity in the central-eastern margin of the Great Plains. A total of 17 optical age estimates taken from dune sediments clearly indicate two significant periods of dune activation at 5,100 to 3,500 years ago and 850-500 years ago. These reconstructed time intervals overlap both periods of large-scale dune activity in the Nebraska Sandhills and ancient droughts identified from other paleoclimate proxy records on the western Great Plains. The agreement between results from the eastern margin of the Great Plains and data from farther west indicate that megadroughts were truly regional in their effect. In order to further test a hypothesis of geographically-widespread megadrought effects, future work will date other dune deposits in eastern Nebraska from sites along the Loup and Elkhorn Rivers, as well as dunes in east-central Kansas and western Iowa.
Project Support United States Geological Survey Statemap Program
Project Website
Report Hanson Eastern Platte Valley.pdf
Current Status Published in Geomorphology 103 (2009) 555-561
Topic Extension
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Skipton, Sharon
Unit Southeast Research and Extension Center
Email sskipton1@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-3662
Web Page http://www.southeast.unl.edu/staffdir/Skipton_Sharon
Project Information
Title Southeast Research and Extension Center
Other(s) Gary Zoubek, York County Extension, gzoubek@unl.edu 
Description Each day University of Nebraska Extension makes a difference in the lives of adults and youth. The faculty and staff in the Southeast Research and Extension Center and the 28 County Offices work to bring relevant researched based information to people in communities, towns and urban centers. Our efforts rely increasingly on partnerships with government agencies, business, industry, schools and community organizations. Working together with our partners Extension strives to strengthen the social, economic and environmental base of Nebraska's communities. Our programs must be ever-changing as Extension listens and responds to issues as they evolve. The Southeast Research and Extension District is unique because it serves both urban and rural communities Nebraska. The faculty and staff are committed to bringing the resources of the University and its research based information to the individuals and communities of Southeast Nebraska.
Project Support Varies according to program and project - for more information see http://www.southeast.unl.edu/
Project Website http://www.southeast.unl.edu/
Report
Current Status Continuous
Topic Hydraulics
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Guo, Junke
Unit Civil Engineering, UNO
Email jguo2@unl.edu
Phone 402-554-3873
Web Page http://www.engineering.unl.edu/civil/faculty/JunkeGuo.shtml
Project Information
Title Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Flow Simulation Lab at UNL
Description The FHWA Flow Simulation Lab at UNL is a trilateral collaboration between the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the Department of Energy Argonne National Lab, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The FHWA provides research funding and experimental facilities through the FHWA Hydraulics Lab in Washington D.C., the Argonne provides supercomputing facilities, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provides expertise. The study of bridge hydraulics is important because flood-related threats are the primary threats to highway infrastructure in both Nebraska and the United States. Current projects include: 1) drag and lift of bridge deck in inundated flows; 2) drag and life of bridge deck in wave environments; 3) bridge pressure flow scour; 4) initiation of cohesive sediment; 5) nonuniform sediment transport. All these studies are conducted experimentally and computationally simultaneously.
Project Support Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Department of Energy Argonne National Lab
Project Website
Report
Current Status Continuous
Topic Hydrology
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Korus, Jesse
Unit Conservation and Survey Division
Email jkorus3@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-7561
Web Page http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/staff-member.asp?pid=1010
Project Information
Title Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA)
Other(s)

Paul Hanson, School of Natural Resources / Conservation and Survey Division, phanson2@unl.edu; Sue Lackey, School of Natural Resources / Conservation and Survey Divison, slackey1@unl.edu; Matt Marxsen, School of Natural Resources / Conservation and Survey Division, mmarxsen2@unl.edu

Dana Divine, ENWRA Project Coordinator, ddivine@lpsnrd.org

Visit the Nebraska Maps and More website (http://nebraskamaps.unl.edu/home.asp) to order an excellent publication that describes this project more in-depth, Bulletin 1: Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA) Introduction to a Hydrogeological Study.

 
Description

Eastern Nebraska contains 70% of the state's population, but is most limited in terms of the state's groundwater supplies. The population in this region is expected to increase; thus the need for reliable water supplies is paramount. Natural resources districts (NRDs), charged with ground water management in Nebraska, seek to improve their management plans in response to growing populations, hydrologic drought, and new conjunctive management laws. Detailed mapping and characterization is necessary to delineate aquifers, assess their degree of hydrologic connection with streams and other aquifers, and better predict water quality and quantity.

In a collaborative effort between local, state, and federal agencies, the ENWRA project has been initiated to gain a clearer understanding of the region's groundwater and interconnected surface water resources. These resources can be difficult to characterize because of the complex geology created by past glaciations. Acquiring geologic and hydrologic data in the eastern, or glaciated, part of Nebraska requires the use of multiple, innovative techniques. Currently, little is known about which techniques are most effective and feasible. Once identified, the most effective and feasible tools will be used to provide data, interpretations, and models for improved water resources management.

The ENWRA group has established three pilot test sites for intensive study using a variety of investigative techniques. The goal of the initial work being done at the three pilot test sites is to determine the location, extent, and connectivity of aquifers with surface waters, with the hope of expanding these investigative techniques across other portions of eastern Nebraska. The pilot test sites are located near Oakland, Ashland, and Firth with each site exhibiting differing geologic conditions. The techniques that will be utilized in the study include: 1) helicopter electromagnetic (HEM) surveys; 2) ground-based geophysical surveys; 3) test hole drilling; and 4) geochemical analysis, just to name a few. So far HEM surveys were completed over approximately one township at each site. Other techniques were used to provide "ground truth" data to support the HEM interpretations.

The agencies involved in the ENWRA are:

  • Lower Platte South Natural Resources District
  • Lower Platte North Natural Resources District
  • Papio Missouri River Natural Resources District
  • Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District
  • Lewis and Clark Natural Resources District
  • Nemaha Natural Resources District
  • United States Geological Survey
  • University of Nebraska Lincoln Conservation and Survey Division
  • Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
  • Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Project Support Nebraska Department of Natural Resources Interrelated Water Management Plan/Program
Project Website http://www.enwra.org/
Report
Current Status HEM surveys are complete and 3-D aquifer diagrams have been prepared. Report Status: Ashland area report has been prepared and is under review and the Firth area report is being written.
Pic 1 Project Image
Pic Caption 1 Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA) Study Sites. 
Topic Hydrology
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Rundquist, Donald
Unit Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies
Email drundquist1@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-7536
Web Page http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/faculty-member.asp?pid=103
Project Information
Title Nebraska Airborne Remote Sensing Program
Other(s) Rick Perk, CHAMP Project Manager, rperk1@unl.edu; Anatoly Gitelson, gitelson@calmit.unl.edu; Sunil Narumalani, sunil@calmit.unl.edu; Merlin Lawson, mlawson@calmit.unl.edu 
Description

CALMIT has joined forces with the UNL Department of Electrical Engineering and the UNO Aviation Institute to develop an aerial remote sensing research platform known as the Nebraska Airborne Remote Sensing Program (NARSP). A specially modified Piper Saratoga aircraft is being used as the base platform for deployment of a number of research grade remote sensing instruments. CALMIT's airborne remote sensing activities are centered around a suite of instruments associated with an AISA Eagle hyperspectral imaging system. This specific program is identified as CALMIT Hyperspectral Aerial Monitoring Program (CHAMP).

This technology has contributed to several projects:

  • To determine the condition and monitor the changing quality of Nebraska's 2500+ lakes and ponds - funded by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • To conduct a retrospective assessment of several different remote sensing platforms, with an emphasis on those remote sensing methods (e.g., airborne, Landsat, MODIS and MERIS) that most likely can be used for monitoring lakes routinely and operationally over a regional spatial extent - in collaboration with the North American Lake Management Society and the Universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin
  • To conduct remote sensing of coral communities.
  • To identify and delineate areas of noxious weeds and invasive species by using satellite imagery, hyperspectral aerial imagery, and GPS technology to aid in inventory surveys and mapping of these areas and assess the effectiveness of ongoing weed management actions.
  • To use airborne and satellite remote sensing systems to investigate and improve approaches to managing wheat streak mosaic (WSM), the most severe disease of winter wheat in the Great Plains.
Project Support Platform Development - National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; specific project support noted above when possible.
Project Website calmit.unl.edu/champ/index.php
Report
Current Status Continuous
Topic Invasive Species
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Allen, Craig
Unit Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Email callen3@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-0229
Web Page http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/faculty-member.asp?pid=647
Project Information
Title Monitoring, Mapping and Risk Assessment for Non-Indigenous Invasive Species in Nebraska
Other(s) Karie Decker, Nebraska Invasive Species Project Coordinator, invasives@unl.edu 
Description

Biological invasions are a growing threat to both human enterprise and ecological systems. This project provides resources to the public and private sector on: 1) the potential spread and impact of non-indigenous species in Nebraska; 2) actual and potential maps of non-indigenous species range (habitat specific maps at high resolution); 3) information regarding identification and management of potential invaders; 4) centralized information on management and impacts and potential spread of currently established non-indigenous species (a web portal); and 5) outreach within Nebraska to county-level governments and individual stakeholders regarding the management, surveillance and control of non-indigenous species. On February 7-8, 2008 a conference on non-indigenous species impacts, spread and management was held, focusing on state-of-our-knowledge and coordination of disparate management and information-provisioning efforts with a goal towards unification of disparate efforts.

This project is meant to build momentum towards a cohesive non-indigenous species biosecurity and management system in Nebraska that is integrated and relatively seamless across institutional boundaries. Spatially - based risk assessments that focus on non-indigenous invasive species impacts on at - risk native species and communities in Nebraska have been initiated with funding from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The results and predictive models generated by this project will be delivered and made widely available to policy makers, management practitioners and landowners in Nebraska. Additional general information about potential invasive species and their impacts will be made easily accessible. Most of the goals listed above will produce and disseminate products that are dynamic, with interactive elements for the public and managers, including mapping of habitat-specific current and potential distributions of invasive species as well as a portal through which the public can inform the entities responsible for management of invasive species occurrence and spread - and vice versa.

Project Support U.S. Geological Survey, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Environmental Trust
Project Website http://snr.unl.edu/invasives
Report
Current Status Continuing
Topic Property Values
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Shultz, Steve
Unit UNO Real Estate Research Center
Email sshultz@mail.unomaha.edu
Phone 402-554-2810
Web Page http://cba.unomaha.edu/dir/HomePageBio.cfm?id=347
Project Information
Title How Water Resources Limit and/or Promote Residential Housing Developments in Douglas County
Other(s) Nick Schmitz, UNO Real Estate Research Center 
Description

Hedonic price models (HPMs) indicate that homes within Douglas-Papio Creek floodplains 100-year floodplains have sold for 3.9% less than otherwise similar but non-floodplain homes over the 1996 to 2007 time period. Based on these hedonic price impacts in conjunction with the estimated market value of all 1,123 Douglas-Papio floodplain homes, a hypothetical set of upstream flood mitigation projects which would remove all of these homes from the floodplain, would generate $5.3 million in increased property values. However flood mitigation benefits based on avoided flood insurance premiums and/or associated only with home-owners who non-voluntarily purchased floodplains properties are significantly lower.

A second set of HPMs focused on four different man-made lakes in the Omaha area. Lake views increase housing values by between 7% and 18% at the four different lakes and has created $26.7 million in increased housing values. Most of these premiums appear to be captured by landowners and/or developers at the time the lakes are first constructed. It is also evident that increased levels of exclusivity increase the premiums that homebuyers are willing to pay for both lake views and access.

A third set of HPMs found that homeowners:

  1. Willing to pay more for a home near open space if the open space is owned and/or managed by private versus a public entity;
  2. Open space dominated by trees and mowed grasses is preferred over non-mowed areas, and/or sports based recreation areas; and
  3. Homebuyers are willing to pay 1.1% more for clustered open space (LID) designs, and, 2.74% more for open (contiguous) open space (LID) designs than they would for conventional sub-division designs.
Project Support Douglas County, Nebraska Board of Commissioners, U.S. Geological Survey 104B Program (through the UNL Water Center)
Project Website http://unorealestate.org/pdf/UNO_Water_Report.pdf
Report Wtr Res Housing Dev Study Douglas Co.pdf
Current Status Completed - Final Report Available
Topic Wastewater
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon
Unit Civil Engineering
Email sbartelt2@unl.edu
Phone 402-554-3868
Web Page http://www.engineering.unl.edu/civil/faculty/ShannonBartelt-Hunt.shtml
Project Information
Title The occurrence of illicit and therapeutic pharmaceuticals in wastewater effluent and surface waters in Nebraska
Other(s) Daniel D. Snow, School of Natural Resources, dsnow1@unl.edu; Teyona Damon; Johnette Shockley; Kyle Hoagland, School of Natural Resources, khoagland1@unl.edu 
Description The occurrence and estimated concentration of twenty illicit and therapeutic pharmaceuticals and metabolites in surface waters influenced by wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharge and in wastewater effluents in Nebraska were determined using Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Samplers (POCIS). Samplers were installed in rivers upstream and downstream of treated WWTP discharge at Lincoln, Grand Island, and Columbus, downstream of Hastings' WWTP discharge, and from Omaha's effluent channel just prior to it being discharged into the Missouri River. Based on differences in estimated concentrations determined from pharmaceuticals recovered from POCIS, WWTP effluent was found to be a significant source of pharmaceutical loading to the receiving waters. Effluents from WWTPs with trickling filters or trickling filters in parallel with activated sludge resulted in the highest observed in-stream pharmaceutical concentrations. Azithromycin, caffeine, 1,7 - dimethylzanthine, carbamazepine, cotinine, DEET, diphenhydramine, and sulfamethazine were detected at all locations. Methamphetamine, an illicit pharmaceutical, was detected at all but one of the sampling locations, representing only the second report of methamphetamine detected in WWTP effluent and in streams impacted by WWTP effluent.
Project Support n/a
Project Website
Report Bartelt-Hunt_Wastewater.pdf
Current Status Published in Environmental Pollution 2009 157:786-791
Topic Water Quality
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Comfort, Steve
Unit School of Natural Resources
Email scomfort1@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-1502
Web Page http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/faculty-member.asp?pid=21
Project Information
Title Testing the Efficacy of Permanganate to Remediate RDX in the Field
Other(s) Jeffrey Albano, CH2M Hill, Vitaly Zlotnik, Department of Geosciences, vzlotnik1@unl.edu, Todd Halihan, University of Oklahoma State, todd.halihan@okstate.edu, Mark Burbach, School of Natural Resources, mburbach1@unl.edu, Chanat Chokejaroenrat, Department of Civil Engineering, chanat@huskers.unl.edu, Sathapom Onanong, Nebraska Water Center, sonanong2@unl.edu, Wilson Clayton, Aquifer Solutions 
Description

The former Nebraska Ordnance Plant (NOP, Mead, NE) was a military loading, assembling, and packing facility that produced bombs, boosters, and shells during World War II and the Korean War. Ordnances were loaded with TNT, amatol (TNT and NH4NO3), tritional (TNT and Al), and Composition B (approx 60% RDX and 40% TNT). During ordnance production, process wastewater was routinely discharged into sumps and drainage ditches. These ditches became grossly contaminated with TNT and RDX with soil concentrations exceeding 5000 mg kg-1 near the soil surface. When rainfall exceeded infiltration rates, ponded water that formed in the drainage ditches literally became saturated with munitions residues (i.e., reached HE solubility limits) before percolating through the profile. Considering this process proceeded unabated for more than 40 years, it is no surprise that the ground water beneath the NOP eventually became contaminated. Further complicating groundwater concerns were the extensive use of trichloroethylene (TCE) to degrease and clean pipelines by the U.S. Air Force in the early 1960s. As a result, the RDX/TCE contaminant plume under the NOP facilities is estimated at several billion gallons and covers several square miles.

To prevent the contaminated plume from migrating offsite and in the direction of municipal well fields, an elaborate series of eleven extraction wells and piping networks were constructed to hydraulically contain the leading edge of the RDX/TCE plume. Currently this $33 million dollar facility treats approximately 4 million gallons of ground water per day with granular activated carbon (GAC). Annual operating costs are approximately $800,000/year with an estimated treatment time of 125 years. It should be noted that additional remediation efforts will be required in order to remediate the groundwater plumes within 125 years. This will include not only containment but treatment of "hot spots." Future costs will involve the installation of additional wells to contain a larger than originally anticipated plume under one of the load lines.

This project, which builds on previous UNL treatability studies, will test whether permanganate can effectively mineralize RDX to CO2 under in situ conditions. Although chlorinated solvents have been routinely treated with permanganate in the field, very limited data is available on the efficacy of permanganate to remediate RDX in the field. Hence, our research will quantify the effectiveness of permanganate to remove RDX in the field and provide initial cost/benefit data for future scale up considerations and applicability to other sites. Given that a biological treatment of RDX has already been completed at the NOP at the same location (i.e., Biologically Active Zone Enhancement (BAZE) pilot study), a cost/benefit comparison of these two technologies should be feasible once UNL's study is completed.

Project Support U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VII, U.S. Department of Defense's Environmental Security Technology Certification Program
Project Website
Report Comfort RDX Contamination.pdf
Current Status Published in the Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation 2010 30: 96-106
Topic Water Quality
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Gitelson, Anatoly
Unit Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies
Email agitelson2@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-8386
Web Page http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/faculty-member.asp?pid=39
Project Information
Title Using Remote Sensing to Detect the Threat of Blue-Green Algae
Description

Remote sensing is a useful tool for providing regulatory officials with the data necessary to make decisions regarding recreational waters. In 2005, CALMIT scientists undertook a collaborative effort with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality aimed at developing a tool to identify lakes where blue-green algae populations are present. The overall purpose was to incorporate those affected lakes into a toxic-algae alert procedure to provide early warnings to the public about the potential danger. This project also served to promote coordination and information sharing about toxic-algae issues among local units of government, lake associations, lake owners, and the public.

Both in-situ (close-range) and remote techniques were employed to detect and quantify in real-time the algal phytoplankton pigment concentration and composition (i.e., chlorophyll-a and phycocyanin in the water column). Two criteria were used to identify lakes and reservoirs with high probability of toxic algae: 1) chlorophyll concentration above 50 mg/m3; and 2) existence of blue green algae (the phycocyanin absorption feature has been used to indicate remotely the presence of blue-green algae). These criteria were tested by analytical assessment of toxic algae and the tests were positive: when the sensor systems indicated high probability of toxins, they were found in water samples.

Project Support Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Project Website http://www.calmit.unl.edu/research.php
Report
Current Status Completed
Topic Wildlife
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Harvey, F. Edwin
Unit School of Natural Resources
Email feharvey1@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-8237
Web Page http://eas.unl.edu/people/faculty_page.php?lastname=Harvey&firstname=Ed&type=ADJ
Project Information
Title Salt Creek Tiger Beetle Research Project
Description

This extensive research project intends to determine the reproductive habitat parameters and develop rearing procedures for the federally endangered Salt Creek Tiger Beetle (SCTB). The SCTB is endemic to the saline wetlands of Lancaster County, Nebraska and was first described in the early 1900s. Based on museum records, it was apparently abundant in its type locality of the Capital Beach area of Lincoln, Nebraska. However, by the late 1980s, surveys indicated a dramatic decline in beetle populations, following corresponding losses in saline habitats upon which the beetle depends. Currently, the majority of beetles are limited to a single area along the banks of Little Salt Creek in Lancaster County. This means that in order to successfully recover the SCTB, it will be necessary to reestablish populations at restored historic sites and at new sites. This will require data on the appropriate management of the sites to provide reproductive habitat.

Although the basic life history and habitat requirements of the SCTB is known, much detailed biological information on the SCTB biology is lacking, and this information is essential for developing appropriate conservation and recovery plans. A well-defined group of beetle species occur exclusively in saline wetlands; however, physiological basis for these habitat preferences are not known. Considerable speculation surrounds the association of soil salinity with SCTB oviposition (laying eggs).

Harvey and his students are conducting research to characterize the hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of the alluvial and bedrock aquifers beneath eastern Nebraska's saline wetlands. They are also attempting to quantify the mixing relationship between fresh surface and shallow groundwater, and the deeper saline groundwater that moves to the surface under artesian pressure Their research is aimed ultimately at assessing the impact of both spatial and temporal hydrological changes across the wetland on the SCTB.

Dr. Harvey's portion of the larger research project will contribute to the conservation of the SCTB by identifying suitable release sites and developing habitat management guidelines for existing and restored habitat sites. The project will also use existing information to further refine and develop practices and protocols in order to successfully and efficiently captive-rear the SCTB.

Three Master's theses have been completed and a third is in progress:

  • Coke, Gordon R., (2008) Groundwater Dynamics Within the Saline Wetland Alluvium of the Little Salt Creek Valley, Lancaster County, Nebraska, MS Thesis, UNL School of Natural Resources. 79 p.
  • Gilbert, James, (2008) Groundwater Mixing Dynamics in the Saline Wetlands of the Little Salt Creek Watershed, Lancaster County, Nebraska, MS Thesis, UNL School of Natural Resources, 148 p.
  • Kelly, Bridget, (2011), Using Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) to Map Saline Groundwater and Subaqueous Spring Discharge: An Example From the Saline Wetlands of Eastern Nebraska, MS Thesis, UNL Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, 150 p.
Project Support Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Project Website http://snr.unl.edu/harvey/projecttiger.htm
Report
Current Status Continuing
Pic 1 Project Image
Topic Wildlife
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Pope, Kevin
Unit Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Email kpope2@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-7028
Web Page http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/faculty-member.asp?pid=759
Project Information
Title Population Assessment of Channel Catfish in Nebraska
Other(s) Lindsey Chizinski, Graduate Assistant 
Description

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is an important sport fish, particularly in the Great Plains. In Nebraska, a majority of anglers target channel catfish, and fishing activities are a vital part of the state’s economy. Lentic water bodies provide the primary fishing opportunity for catfish anglers in Nebraska. Despite the popularity and economic importance of channel catfish, little is known of its population dynamics or habitat requirements, and existing studies often profile river populations.

Current standards for sampling channel catfish in lentic systems often yield inadequate catch to assess populations. The objective of this study was to utilize a recently developed sampling method, tandem-set hoop nets, to collect channel catfish in sufficient quantities to describe the effects of stocking and habitat variability on populations in lentic ecosystems. Three lentic ecosystems common to the Great Plains were considered: sand pits, flood-control reservoirs, and irrigation/power-generation reservoirs.

The influence of stocking on abundance and condition of channel catfish varied with ecosystem type. In sand pits, stocking negatively influenced fish condition, and only stocking on an annual basis positively influenced abundance. In flood-control reservoirs, stocking did not influence fish condition, but was associated with greater abundance. In irrigation/power-generation reservoirs, stocking did not influence fish condition or abundance. Additionally, there was evidence that mortality and growth rates varied with ecosystem type. In general, channel catfish from irrigation/power-generation reservoirs were predicted to experience slower growth and lower mortality, whereas channel catfish from sand pits were predicted to experience the fastest growth and highest mortality.

Catch rates of channel catfish were substantially less in this study compared to previous records of tandem-set hoop net surveys, but hoop nets were more efficient than the current standard gear, experimental gill nets, at capturing channel catfish. That is, 100 channel catfish could be captured with fewer sets of hoop nets than gill nets. However, catch rates and size structure of channel catfish in tandem-set hoop nets varied within the sampling season and between years. Furthermore, length-frequency distributions of channel catfish were dissimilar between hoop nets and gill nets.

Click here to read Lindsey Chizinski's Master's Thesis on Channel Catfish Population in Nebraska

Project Support Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Project Website http://snr.unl.edu/necoopunit/research.main.html#channel_catfish
Report
Current Status Completed
Topic Wildlife
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Stansbury, John
Unit Civil Engineering, UNO
Email jstansbury2@unl.edu
Phone 402-554-3896
Web Page http://www.civil.unl.edu/faculty/John-Stansbury
Project Information
Title Multi-Criteria Assessment of Habitat Restoration for the Missouri River Project
Other(s) Istvan Bogardi (retired), ibogardi1@unl.edu 
Description

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in cooperation with other agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently planning, designing, and constructing projects designed to restore habitat in and along the Missouri River. The primary focus of the projects is restoration of habitat for three endangered or threatened species: pallid sturgeon, least tern, and piping plover. Management and restoration of the Missouri River is a complex endeavor that affects many people with many and often conflicting priorities. In addition, restoration of habitat is a complex process with many and often conflicting objectives. For example, habitat restoration activities for one species may interfere with habitat needs for another species. Finally, habitat restoration success is difficult to measure, in part because there is often a significant lag time between the restoration activity and the response by the target species. Therefore, a method is being developed, using multi-criteria assessment tools, to help the USACE and cooperators assess the status and the progress of the habitat restoration program.

The goal of this project is to develop a multi-criteria assessment tool that can be used to assess the overall status and progress of the habitat restoration efforts on the Missouri River. To achieve this goal, the first step will be to determine the requirements for habitat (e.g., water depths, velocities, bottom substrates, etc) for the endangered species. Then measurement criteria (i.e., what data will need to be collected to assess the availability of the required habitat) will be established. Finally, a multi-criteria assessment tool will be developed and used to integrate the conditions of the various measurement criteria (depths, velocities, etc.) to gain an understanding of the overall quality and quantity of habitat at different points in time.

Project Support U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Project Website
Report
Current Status Continuing