REU: Resilience in Agricultural Working Landscapes

Toward resilient landscape futures

For information contact

Dr. Dan Uden

Assistant Professor School of Natural Resources
402-472-3424

See Projects
Graduate student Katharine Hogan leads other students in surveying plants and bees in prairie restorations. She will serve as a graduate student mentor in Dr. Craig Allen’s project.
Graduate student Katharine Hogan leads other students in surveying plants and bees in prairie restorations. She will serve as a graduate student mentor in Dr. Craig Allen’s project.

Who should apply


Related fields

  • Agronomy
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Ecology
  • Spatial Science

Eligibility

Participation in the Nebraska Summer Research Program is limited to students who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Current undergraduate with at least one semester of coursework remaining before obtaining a bachelor's degree

See Eligibility for more information.

How to apply

Follow the application steps to submit the following materials.

About the Program

Landscapes are all around us, from cities to croplands and rangelands to forests. Agricultural landscapes provide food, water, wildlife habitat, carbon storage, and so much more. To ensure that agricultural landscapes continue providing essential services in the face of stressors and shocks, we must understand and manage their resilience. Participants in this REU will conduct resilience-focused research that addresses challenges in working agricultural landscapes. Along the way, participants will: (1) gain experience working in interdisciplinary teams, (2) learn and apply core concepts from resilience science, and (3) boost their knowledge of and preparedness for opportunities in graduate school. Interdisciplinary research projects will provide opportunities to engage with graduate students and professors from various fields with a common interest in resilient landscape systems, and group field trips will familiarize participants with a variety of cropland- and rangeland-dominated landscapes.

Graduate students play Resilience Jenga, an educational game they developed to teach resilience concepts. REU participants will have the chance to work with graduate students on similar education modules and methods to teach resilience.
Graduate students play Resilience Jenga, an educational game they developed to teach resilience concepts. REU participants will have the chance to work with graduate students on similar education modules and methods to teach resilience.

Benefits

  • Competitive stipend: $5,000
  • Suite-style room and meal plan
  • Travel expenses to and from Lincoln
  • Campus parking and/or bus pass
  • Full access to the Campus Recreation Center and campus library system
  • Wireless internet access

Learn more about academic and financial benefits.

Events

  • Department seminars and presentations
  • Professional development workshops (e.g., applying to graduate school, taking the GRE)
  • Welcome picnic
  • Day trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
  • Outdoor adventures
  • Research symposium

Mentors and Projects

Dr. Craig Allen School of Natural Resources

Collaborative Management for Ecological Resilience

This team will use ecological restoration and management data to better understand how ecological systems are structured and how people might work together to manage them for resilience. This could involve examining relationships between floral resources and native bees in prairie restorations, using citizen science data to evaluate bat responses to invasive species management in oak woodlands, and working with landowners to consider the effects of alternative scenarios of future landscape change.

Dr. Francisco Munoz-Arriola Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Resilience Analytics for Adaptive Resource Management

This team will work with scientists and managers to apply geospatial and predictive climate and phenotype analytics and software to the development of strategies for adaptive resource management. This could involve the redesigning of existing infrastructure for increased resilience to extreme events and more reliable delivery of ecosystem services to people.

Dr. Yi Qi School of Natural Resources

Resilience Analytics for Vegetation Transitions

This team will use remote sensing and spatial analytics to track changes in agricultural and grassland areas over time, to evaluate the ecological effects of disturbances and management, and to conduct assessments of where future changes may occur. Such information could be used for more proactive management that focuses on building the resilience of working landscape systems to approaching disturbances.

Dr. Leen-Kiat Soh Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Analytical Investigations of Plant Structure–Function–Resilience Relationships

This team will use computer programming, simulations, agent-based modeling, and algorithms to increase understanding of relationships between plant structure, function, and resilience. For example, differences in plant water uptake under different root system architectures could affect plant resilience to drought-related disturbance, so simulating how actors interact with one another and the environment can help scientists observe emergent patterns or behaviors of the overall system.

Dr. Dan Uden School of Natural Resources; Department of Agronomy and Horticulture

Citizen Science, Scenario Planning, and Landscape Resilience

This team will link scenario planning and citizen science to understand the collective responses of people to landscape change, as well as the impacts of landscape change and management on the resilience of ecological species and communities of concern. For instance, bats are both widely threatened and poorly understood, but recent citizen science efforts could provide monitoring data for evaluating how bat populations respond to landscape change and management.