NU Water-Related Research in Congressional District

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 13 records found for Congressional District 2


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 Crop Nutrient Use
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Wortmann, Charles
Unit Agronomy and Horticulture
Email cwortmann2@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-2909
Web Page http://agronomy.unl.edu/wortmann
Project Information
Title Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Irrigated Corn for Three Cropping Systems in Nebraska
Other(s) Charles Shapiro, Agronomy & Horticulture, cshapiro@unl.edu; Richard Ferguson, Agronomy & Horticulture, rferguson1@unl.edu; Gary Hergert, Panhandle Research & Extension Center, ghergert1@unl.edu 
Description

Overview Nitrogen fertilizer will continue to be indispensible for meeting global food, feed, and fiber needs. Voroneyand Derry (2008) estimated that 340 million Mg yr-1 N is fixed by natural means, including lightning and biological N fixation, and 105 million Mg yr-1 is fixed by human activities, including burning of fossil fuels and N fertilizer production, with N fixation by human activities expected to continue to increase. Townsend and Howarth (2010) estimated the amount of N fixed by human activities to be about 180 million Mg yr-1, with most used as mineral fertilizer. Fertilizer N production has important environmental implications with an average of ~2.55 kg CO2 emitted per kg fertilizer N fixed and transported (Liska et al., 2009). Th e amount of N applied is associated with emission of N2O (IPCC–OECD, 1997) and N accumulation in sensitive aquatic, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems (Groffman, 2008; Malakoff , 1998). Th e challenge is to produce more grain to meet growing global needs with high NUE.

Conclusions Across diverse production environments, high corn yields can be achieved with efficient use of soil and applied N and without high risk of NO3 -N leaching to groundwater. With excellent farm management, recovery of applied fertilizer-N in high-yielding corn fields of Nebraska was well above 60 to 70% at the economically optimal nitrogen rate (EONR), resulting in low residual soil nitrate nitrogen (RSN) levels. Agronomic efficiency and crop partial factor productivity (PFP), the Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) components most closely related to profitability of production, can also be high at EONR. Less preplant and more in-season N application may be especially important for drybean (CD) which had low recovery efficiency (RE) and much postharvest RSN compared with corn (CC) and soybean (CS). The levels of NUE achieved in our study for CC and CS far exceed current national or regional means, demonstrating the potential for high NUE with high yield corn production. Further NUE efficiency may be gained through more accurate in-season N application such as with use of the presidedress NO3 test (Andraski and Bundy, 2002) and spatial variation in N rate in response to variation in crop need, such as through use of reflectance sensors (Scharf and Lory, 2009; Barker and Sawyer, 2010; Roberts et al., 2010).

Project Support Nebraska State Legislature, Nebraska Agricultural Business Association
Project Website
Report Wortmann_NUE.pdf
Current Status Completed
Topic Crop Water Use
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Kranz, Bill
Unit Northeast Research and Extension Center
Email wkranz1@unl.edu
Phone 402-475-3857
Web Page http://bse.unl.edu/web/bse/wkranz1
Project Information
Title Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network - Northeast Activities
Other(s) Suat Irmak, Biological Systems Engineering, sirmak2@unl.edu; Ralph Kulm, rkulm1@unl.edu 
Description

This project is an extension of the Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network and demonstrates the use of ETgages as a means of estimating potential crop water use in a local area. Because the closest weather station may be more than 20 miles away, weather data becomes less accurate; farmers within a 8-10 mile square area of a local ETgage could use the readings to get more accurate estimates of crop water use. Soil water sensors are used to ensure that irrigation amounts are appropriate for the field site. Crop water use estimates are supplied to local radio stations for broadcast on a daily basis.

Field sites near O'Neill, Pender, Schuyler and West Point include a demonstration and field testing of the ETgage and soil water sensors. Field data is being collected to determine how well a modified atmometer and watermark soil water sensors work in the sandy soils in this area. Some natural resources districts are providing cost share on this equipment. Eventually this network could be similar to the NeRAIN internet delivery program.

Project Support Nebraska Natural Resources Conservation Service
Project Website http://water.unl.edu/NAWMN
Report
Current Status Continuing
Topic Crop Water Use
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Wortmann, Charles
Unit Agronomy and Horticulture
Email cwortmann2@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-2909
Web Page http://www.agronomy.unl.edu/newfacultystaff/directory/wortmann.html
Project Information
Title Improving Water Use Efficiency for Rainfed Production
Other(s) Steve Mason, Department of Agronomy & Horticulture, smason1@unl.edu, Richard Ferguson, Department of Agronomy & Horticulture, rferguson1@unl.edu 
Description

Research on skip-row planting of sorghum in western Nebraska and on improvement of no-till systems in eastern Nebraska is providing information on improving water use efficiency for rainfed production. A series of trials across southern Nebraska are underway to develop agronomic practices for sweet sorghum and to compare sweet sorghum to corn and grain sorghum as ethanol producing crops. Research on limited irrigation of corn, grain sorghum, and sweet sorghum in western Nebraska is being planned with field research in western Nebraska beginning in 2008. Research on improving the efficiency of nitrogen use for corn and grain sorghum has been completed. Other research focuses on the management of manure application including work on vegetative filter strips and non-application setbacks. A watershed level study is using a watershed model, SWAT, to improve criteria for targeting conservation practices in watersheds, to assess the impact of current practices, and to facilitate the adoption of additional conservation practices.

Research includes assessing the value of non-application setbacks for reducing nutrient loss in runoff, assessing the use of vegetated filter strips for reduced nutrient loading, and evaluating the rate of organic nitrogen mineralization for different manure types under different conditions in the field as a means to improve nitrogen management for reduced leaching of nitrate to groundwater.

Project Support n/a
Project Website
Report Wortmann_Sorghum.pdf
Current Status Completed
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 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 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 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 Fate and bioavailability of steroidogenic compounds in aquatic sediment
Other(s) Daniel Snow, School of Natural Resources, dsnow1@unl.edu; Alan Kolok, UNO School of Public Health, akolok@mail.unomaha.edu 
Description

Objective: To improve understanding of the role of sediment in the environmental fate, transformation and subsequent bioavailability of steroidogenic compounds. The central hypothesis of this study is that sediment-associated steroids remain bioavailable.

Research Questions: Are sediment-associated steroids bioavailable? How do sediment characteristics influence steroid fate? What biologically active steroid metabolites are produced in sediment?

Project Support National Science Foundation
Project Website
Report
Current Status Ongoing
Pic 1 Project Image
Pic Caption 1 A model of the project's experimental design 
Topic Water Quality
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Burgin, Amy
Unit School of Natural Resources
Email aburgin2@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-3491
Web Page http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/faculty-member.asp?pid=1454#tab1
Project Information
Title Fremont State Lakes Renovation Study: The Effects of Alum Application and Fishery Renovation on Water Quality
Other(s) Mark Pegg, School of Natural Resources, mpegg2@unl.edu; Steven Thomas, School of Natural Resources, sthomas5@unl.edu; Kevin Pope, School of Natural Resources, kpope2@unl.edu 
Description

The Fremont State Lake System (FLS) is made up of 20 sandpit lakes adjacent to the Platte River near Fremont, Nebraska and is used by 800,000 visitors annually. These lakes were created as early as the 1940’s and many are now experiencing water quality problems related to eutrophication. High nutrient concentrations in the water column are driven primarily by internal loading from nutrient-rich sediments accumulated through deposition of leaves fallen from trees, shoreline vegetation, fish excrement, and decaying remains of fish and aquatic vegetation. Eight of the lakes in the Fremont State Lakes are on Nebraska’s 2012 section 303(d) list of impaired waters with 30 different impairments. Recent renovations to Freemont Lake #20 and Carter Lake, through the application of aluminum sulfate (alum), produced an immediate and dramatic improvement to the water quality.

GOALS:

The goal of this study is to understand how physical drivers (e.g., lake-basin structure and groundwater flow) and biological drivers (e.g., fish community composition) interact to affect the longevity and effectiveness of alum additions for improving water quality. This will be addressed through three major tasks:
  1. Physical and chemical water quality monitoring
  2. Analyzing the internal and external phosphorous (P) budgets
  3. Discerning how altered fish communities indirectly affect water-quality dynamics

Fish community composition and structure data will be collected using a boat electrofisher and sediment traps to discern how alteration of the fish community affects rates of sedimentation and subsequent water quality. Certain lakes will have fish removed in addition to alum treatments, while others will receive no fish treatments. Using these methods will help determine which set of treatments will work best on these types of impaired lakes. Data will be collected on 16 lakes in 2012 prior to any fish removal or alum treatments, and again in 2013 after treatments have been made to determine how the treatments affected the fish communities and water quality. The information collected during this project will be useful in designing future lake renovation projects and developing long-term management plans for renovated lakes.

Project Support Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Project Website http://snr.unl.edu/necoopunit/research.main.html#fremont
Report
Current Status Underway
Topic Water Quality
Project's Primary Contact Information
Name Spalding, Roy
Unit Agronomy and Horticulture
Email rspalding1@unl.edu
Phone 402-472-8214
Web Page http://agronomy.unl.edu/spalding
Project Information
Title Enhanced In Situ Denitrification for a Municipal Well
Description

In 37% of small community water systems in Nebraska, at least one sample exceeded the drinking water standard for nitrate (10 parts per million) during the period from 1982 to 1998, and since then, nitrate levels have generally risen across the state. Currently there is not an economical treatment for the nitrate problem in small communities. Treatment processes using ion exchange or reverse osmosis are available, but the disposal of brine and waste concentrates to secured landfills, membrane foulings, the requirement of skilled and trained operators, and high capital equipment costs are some of the disadvantages that make these processes less appealing to small towns. Enhanced in situ (in the ground) biodenitrification is an emerging technology that offers a cost effective and environmentally friendly solution to the nitrate contamination problem; however, this technology has been ignored because of problems of clogged injection wells due to biofouling.

This project studied the practicality of in situ biodenitrification for an off-line municipal well in Wahoo with 12 ppm nitrate. An eight-well daisy system was installed to completely encircle the municipal well and provided the mechanism for pressure injection of organic-carbon into the nitrate-contaminated aquifer. Within two weeks from the start of injection, denitrification was observed; after two months, nitrate concentrations were reduced to 3 ppm throughout most of the denitrified zone. In situ biodenitrification was sustained for three months during Nebraska's warm season without injection well clogging. The cost of treatment was comparably less, especially when waste disposal costs are considered. Additional research is needed to address potential long-term operational concerns.

Project Support Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Central Platte Natural Resources District, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Section 319 Non-Point Source Pollution Prevention Grant
Project Website
Report Spalding_Denitrification.pdf
Current Status Completed
Topic Wetlands
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 Missouri River Mitigation: Implementation of Amphibian Monitoring and Adaptive Management for Wetland Restoration Evaluation
Other(s) Martin Simon, Benedictine College; Michelle Hellman, School of Natural Resources, michelle.hellman@huskers.unl.edu; Ashley Vanderham, School of Natural Resources, avanderham@huskers.unl.edu 
Description

Data are being collected to determine what constitutes a successful wetland restoration, given the desired goals of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Herpetofauna primarily amphibians are being used as indicators of wetland success. This will be accomplished by quantifying the occurrence and recruitment of amphibians at existing mitigation sites and formulating models of quality wetland restorations. These models will be used by managers in future restorations and for adaptive management approaches to the design of new wetland restorations. The study area is the Missouri River corridor of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

This project is a multi-institutional monitoring program that focuses on tightly linking monitoring with hypothesis testing in an adaptive framework. The design consists of frog call surveys to determine occupancy rates for a large number of wetlands on numerous restoration properties, coupled with intensive sampling of frogs, turtles and salamanders to assess abundance and recruitment on eight restored wetland complexes in four states. The focus areas for the Nebraska Coop Unit are three Missouri River wetland complexes located from Falls City to Omaha, Nebraska. Project collaborators at Benedictine College in Kansas are focusing on the Benedictine Wetlands in Kansas.

Click here to read a fact sheet on this project

Project Support United States Geological Survey, United States Army Corps of Engineers
Project Website http://snr.unl.edu/necoopunit/research.main.html#missouririvermitigation
Report
Current Status Underway
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
Location

Congressional District 2

Statewide Research

You can also view records for research applicable statewide that may affect your district.

Statewide Research Projects

Select District