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Natural Resources and Conservation

2018

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Articles 1 - 30 of 790

Full-Text Articles in Physical Sciences and Mathematics

An Acoustic Monitoring Method For Assessing River Dolphin Presence And Changes In The Context Of Anthropogenic Development, Charles A. Muirhead Dec 2018

An Acoustic Monitoring Method For Assessing River Dolphin Presence And Changes In The Context Of Anthropogenic Development, Charles A. Muirhead

Graduate Masters Theses

Populations of river dolphins throughout Asia are in decline as a direct result of intensified anthropogenic activity along river systems. Water development projects, land use change, contamination, and intensified fishing practices are known factors contributing to the probable extinction of the Yangtze river dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer) and declining populations of the South Asian river dolphin (Platanista gangetica spp.), Irrawady dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), and finless porpoise (Neophocaena a. asiaeorientalis). Although not yet as extensive, river system development in South America is following a similar path as that of Asia, with impacts on dolphin species likely to follow. Currently, the Amazon river ...


Quantifying Bee Assemblages And Attractiveness Of Flowering Woody Landscape Plants For Urban Pollinator Conservation, Bernadette M. Mach, Daniel A. Potter Dec 2018

Quantifying Bee Assemblages And Attractiveness Of Flowering Woody Landscape Plants For Urban Pollinator Conservation, Bernadette M. Mach, Daniel A. Potter

Entomology Faculty Publications

Urban and suburban landscapes can be refuges for biodiversity of bees and other pollinators. Public awareness of declining pollinator populations has increased interest in growing plants that provide floral resources for bees. Various publications and websites list “bee-friendly” plants, but such lists are rarely based on empirical data, nor do they emphasize flowering trees and shrubs, which are a major component of urban landscapes. We quantified bee visitation to 72 species of flowering woody landscape plants across 373 urban and suburban sites in Kentucky and southern Ohio, USA, sampling and identifying the bee assemblages associated with 45 of the most ...


Simulating Detection-Censored Movement Records For Home Range Analysis Planning, Lyndsie S. Wszola, Victoria L. Simonsen, Lucía Corral, Christopher J. Chizinski, Joseph J. Fontaine Dec 2018

Simulating Detection-Censored Movement Records For Home Range Analysis Planning, Lyndsie S. Wszola, Victoria L. Simonsen, Lucía Corral, Christopher J. Chizinski, Joseph J. Fontaine

Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit -- Staff Publications

Home range estimation is an important analytical method in applied spatial ecology, yet best practices for addressing the effects of spatial variation in detection probability on home range estimates remain elusive. We introduce the R package “DiagnoseHR,” simulation tools for assessing how variation in detection probability arising from landscape, animal behavior, and methodological processes affects home range inference. We demonstrate the utility of simulation methods for home range analysis planning by comparing bias arising from three home range estimation methods under multiple detection scenarios. We simulated correlated random walks in three landscapes that varied in detection probability and constructed home ...


Why Lincoln Needs To Get Ahead Of The Emerald Ash Borer Outbreak, Bryce Meyer Dec 2018

Why Lincoln Needs To Get Ahead Of The Emerald Ash Borer Outbreak, Bryce Meyer

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

The emerald ash borer was recently sighted in Lincoln, Nebraska this August. This was to be expected as they were also located in Douglas and Cass county. The emerald ash borer has been making its way west from Michigan and has also been detected in 61 counties in Iowa.

The emerald ash borer is a metallic green colored beetle that feeds on green ash, black ash, blue ash, and white ash trees. The insect can kill up to 99% of the ash trees that they come in contact with. The beetle is native to north-eastern Asia and is considered an ...


“On-Bill Financing: A Bright Idea For Nebraska”, Lauren Taylor Dec 2018

“On-Bill Financing: A Bright Idea For Nebraska”, Lauren Taylor

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

In over 29 states, a program called On-Bill Financing (OBF) is being utilized to improve the energy efficiency of homes and livelihoods of the people living in them. These programs have been implemented all over the country for many years, in states like Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, and Michigan. According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), OBF has been wildly successful, reducing energy inefficiency, cutting energy bills, and improving the comfort of homes across the country with no upfront costs.

But what exactly is this mysterious money-saving program, and why hasn’t Nebraska tapped into it yet?

The Department ...


Looking At The True Costs Of Environmental Degradation, Zachery Sehnert Dec 2018

Looking At The True Costs Of Environmental Degradation, Zachery Sehnert

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

Progress is why we change, and innovation drives that progress. It is already very clear to scientists around the globe that our current framework for living is not sustainable. 97 percent of climate scientists are in consensus that there is a major threat to our ecosystem and action needs to be taken. Overpopulation, pollution, water scarcity, natural disasters, overfishing, deforestation are all issues that must be reevaluated with sustainability in mind. However only 49 percent of the general population share this belief, and even less, only 29 percent of CEOs are actively addressing climate change. The shortcoming for the general ...


“Renewable Energy Implementation”, William Newcomb Dec 2018

“Renewable Energy Implementation”, William Newcomb

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

Finding and providing ways to produce energy in an environmentally clean way is becoming a major push for countries all around the world today. Renewable energy provides a clean way to produce energy efficiently without using our planets non-renewable resources. Renewable energy has been growing substantially in the United States in the last decade and is making its way towards becoming a major energy production method. So, what is stopping the United States from implementing renewable energy production into our country at a mass scale?

There are many barriers that are keeping renewable energy from becoming a main source of ...


Nebraska’S Public Power Is Proof That Renewables Are (Literally) In The Public’S Best Interest, Jacob Monti Dec 2018

Nebraska’S Public Power Is Proof That Renewables Are (Literally) In The Public’S Best Interest, Jacob Monti

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

Nebraska is the only state that has every electric utility publicly owned. This gives Nebraska a unique advantage of serving its customers rather than out-of-state shareholders. Since the goal is cheap power instead of profit margins and keeping shareholders happy, Nebraska rates are 16.8% below the national average. (EIA.gov)

So what does that mean for Renewable sources of electricity if cheap power is the main focus? Does cheap but dirty coal reign supreme?

Some might think that’d be a death blow for Renewables. Renewables (wind, solar, and hydro-electric power) are expensive and not profitable, right? WRONG.

Renewables ...


Recycling Just Got More Expensive. Can It Be Done Better?, Zachery Homolka Dec 2018

Recycling Just Got More Expensive. Can It Be Done Better?, Zachery Homolka

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

There was a time in history that America led the world in recycling. In World War Two, Americans were asked to recycle tin, steel, paper, and rubber for the war effort. The University of Southern Carolina states that children were so eager to participate, they went door to door collecting recyclable scraps to turn in to be made into tanks, planes, and ammunition. Yet, in 2017 the National Geographic estimated about 91% of plastic produced globally has not been recycled and instead is landfilled or littered into the environment. America is no longer leading the recycling charge, the World Economic ...


Social Change For A Global Problem, Isabella Catalano Dec 2018

Social Change For A Global Problem, Isabella Catalano

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

Recently, the United Nations' International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report[1], warning us that storms are becoming more volatile, sea surface temperatures are getting higher, global environment as a whole growing less predictable: in other words, things are about to get a whole lot worse than we predicted.

Unless, of course, we do something about it. The IPCC recommends cutting CO2 emissions by 45% in order to curb just the worst of climate change's many effects.

There are a plethora of articles on the topic of just what, exactly, we as individuals can do ...


Wave Energy In America, Chris Sukstorf Dec 2018

Wave Energy In America, Chris Sukstorf

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

The United States has an untapped energy goldmine: our shores. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States his home to over 95,000 miles of shoreline. This shoreline is home to beaches, homes, and wildlife, but it could be home to more: wave energy.

Wave energy comes in many forms: some use the bobbing up and down motion of waves to generate energy in a similar motion of a piston; others store water during high tide and then release it during low tide like a dam. All said and done, the United States has the ...


Lift On E15 Ban: Should Nebraskan Farmers Be Cheering?, Samantha Wattier Dec 2018

Lift On E15 Ban: Should Nebraskan Farmers Be Cheering?, Samantha Wattier

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

The common gasoline-ethanol mixture available at gas station pumps is 10% ethanol (E10). The Environmental Protection Agency had a ban on 15% ethanol (E15) during summer months. The news has been covering the talks of President Trump to lifting this summer ban and supporters in Iowa are excited.

Should Nebraska shout Hoorah, too? It is common knowledge Nebraska is better than Iowa. We should be excited, too, right?! NO.

Iowa has been tracking Fuel Revenue sales including those from ethanol blends and has been pushing for the E15 ban lift. Considering Iowa produces MORE corn and MORE ethanol than Nebraska ...


Preface: Earth Observation For Integrated Water And Basin Management: Challenges For Adaptation To A Changing Environment, María J. Polo, Maria P. González-Dugo, Christopher M.U. Neale Dec 2018

Preface: Earth Observation For Integrated Water And Basin Management: Challenges For Adaptation To A Changing Environment, María J. Polo, Maria P. González-Dugo, Christopher M.U. Neale

Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute: Faculty Publications

Integrated river basin management involves a sound knowledge of water and land interactions, and impacts from and feedbacks to human activity. Remote sensing has been an efficient and increasingly promising means of gathering direct information of the Earth surface, as well as information on water and energy fluxes. The recent generation of high-resolution sensors offers a huge potential for monitoring, assessing, and modelling our changing environment in a context of uncertainty about how future climate conditions will affect the current water resource and basin management framework. Moreover, large amounts of data are now available posing a challenging opportunity to the ...


Riverbank Filtration Impacts On Post Disinfection Water Quality In Small Systems—A Case Study From Auburn And Nebraska City, Nebraska, Matteo D'Alessio, Bruce Dvorak, Chittaranjan Ray Dec 2018

Riverbank Filtration Impacts On Post Disinfection Water Quality In Small Systems—A Case Study From Auburn And Nebraska City, Nebraska, Matteo D'Alessio, Bruce Dvorak, Chittaranjan Ray

Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute: Faculty Publications

Small water systems can experience a fluctuating quality of water in the distribution system after disinfection. As chlorine is the most common disinfectant for small systems, the occurrence of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) represents a common problem for these systems. Riverbank filtration (RBF) can be a valuable solution for small communities located on riverbanks. The objectives of this study were to evaluate (i) the improvements in water quality at two selected RBF systems, and (ii) the potential lower concentrations of DBPs, in particular, trihalomethanes (THMs), in small systems that use RBF. Two small communities in Nebraska, Auburn and Nebraska City, using ...


Triple Bottom Line As A Method To Increase Business Value And Foster Positive Social And Environmental Change, Jayleene West Dec 2018

Triple Bottom Line As A Method To Increase Business Value And Foster Positive Social And Environmental Change, Jayleene West

Master's Theses

The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) business model has transformed the business world by changing the way businesses operate. By focusing on the people and the environment, businesses have grown to see substantial profit and avoid risks along the way. Companies are using the TBL to build their brand and customer loyalty by enhancing the environment and society. This paper analyzes four companies that are leaders in their industry and are founded on the TBL; Seventh Generation, New Belgium Brewing, Patagonia, and Ben & Jerry’s. Recommendations have been made by performing a literature review on the advantages and disadvantages of the ...


Jefferson Currents: Fall Volume 17, Issue 2, 2018 Dec 2018

Jefferson Currents: Fall Volume 17, Issue 2, 2018

Jefferson Currents: The Energy Conservation Newsletter

Jefferson Currents: Fall Volume 17, Issue 2, 2018


Jefferson Currents: Spring Volume 17, Issue 1, 2018 Dec 2018

Jefferson Currents: Spring Volume 17, Issue 1, 2018

Jefferson Currents: The Energy Conservation Newsletter

Jefferson Currents: Spring Volume 17, Issue 1, 2018


Assessing Responses Of Betula Papyrifera To Climate Variability In A Remnant Population Along The Niobrara River Valley In Nebraska U.S. Through Dendroecological And Remote Sensing Techniques, Evan Bumann, Tala Awada, Brian Wardlow, Michael Hayes, Jane A. Okalebo, C. Helzer, Anastasios Mazis, J. Hiller, Paolo Cherubini Dec 2018

Assessing Responses Of Betula Papyrifera To Climate Variability In A Remnant Population Along The Niobrara River Valley In Nebraska U.S. Through Dendroecological And Remote Sensing Techniques, Evan Bumann, Tala Awada, Brian Wardlow, Michael Hayes, Jane A. Okalebo, C. Helzer, Anastasios Mazis, J. Hiller, Paolo Cherubini

Papers in Natural Resources

Remnant populations of Betula papyrifera have persisted in the Great Plains after the Wisconsin Glaciation along the Niobrara River Valley, Nebraska. Population health has declined in recent years, and has been hypothesized to be due to climate change. We used dendrochronological techniques to assess the response of B. papyrifera to microclimate (1950-2014), and satellite imagery [Landsat 5 TM (1985-2011) and MODIS (2000-2014)] derived NDVI as a proxy for population health. Growing-season streamflow and precipitation were positively correlated with raw and standardized tree-ring widths and basal area increment increase. Increasing winter and spring temperatures were unfavorable for tree growth while increasing ...


Flow Analysis Through Collectorwell Laterals: A Case Study From Sonoma County Water Agency, California, Matteo D'Alessio, John Lucio, Ernest Williams, Donald Seymour, Jay Jasperse, Chittaranjan Ray Dec 2018

Flow Analysis Through Collectorwell Laterals: A Case Study From Sonoma County Water Agency, California, Matteo D'Alessio, John Lucio, Ernest Williams, Donald Seymour, Jay Jasperse, Chittaranjan Ray

Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute: Faculty Publications

The Sonoma County Water Agency (SWCA) uses six radial collector wells along the Russian River west of Santa Rosa, to provide water for several municipalities and water districts in north-western California. Three collector wells (1, 2, and 6) are located in the Wohler area, and three collector wells (3, 4, and 5) are located in the Mirabel area. The objective of this paper is to highlight the performance of the three collector wells located in the Mirabel area since their construction. The 2015 investigation showed a lower performance of Collectors 3 and 4 compared to their original performances after construction ...


Assessing The Feasibility Of Soil Infiltration Trenches For Highway Runoff Control On The Island Of Oahu, Hawaii, Martina Sobotkova, Jaromir Dusek, Ghasem Alavi, Laxman Sharma, Chittaranjan Ray Dec 2018

Assessing The Feasibility Of Soil Infiltration Trenches For Highway Runoff Control On The Island Of Oahu, Hawaii, Martina Sobotkova, Jaromir Dusek, Ghasem Alavi, Laxman Sharma, Chittaranjan Ray

Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute: Faculty Publications

The coastal waters of Hawaii are extremely important for recreation as well as for the health of the marine environment. Non-point source pollution from storm runoff poses a great threat to surface water quality in Hawaii. The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) includes infiltration trenches as a best management practice (BMP) option to reduce pollution caused by stormwater runoff. HDOT guidelines state that the implementation of BMPs is needed to reduce sediment and pollutant loads to streams and the ocean. In this study, the suitability of soils adjacent to highways on Oahu for the siting of infiltration trenches ...


Dynamics Of Postfire Aboveground Carbon In A Chronosequence Of Chinese Boreal Larch Forests, Yuan Z. Yang, Wen H. Cai, Jian Yang, Megan White, John M. Lhotka Dec 2018

Dynamics Of Postfire Aboveground Carbon In A Chronosequence Of Chinese Boreal Larch Forests, Yuan Z. Yang, Wen H. Cai, Jian Yang, Megan White, John M. Lhotka

Forestry and Natural Resources Faculty Publications

Boreal forests store a large proportion of the global terrestrial carbon (C), while wildfire plays a crucial role in determining their C storage and dynamics. The aboveground C (AC) pool is an important component of forest C stocks. To quantify the turning point (transforming from C source to C sink) and recovery time of postfire AC, and assess how stand density affects the AC, 175 plots from eight stand age classes were surveyed as a chronosequence in the Great Xing'an Mountains of Northeast China. Linear and nonlinear regression analyses were conducted to describe postfire AC recovery patterns. The results ...


Understory Community Assembly Following Wildfire In Boreal Forests: Shift From Stochasticity To Competitive Exclusion And Environmental Filtering, Bo Liu, Han Y. H. Chen, Jian Yang Dec 2018

Understory Community Assembly Following Wildfire In Boreal Forests: Shift From Stochasticity To Competitive Exclusion And Environmental Filtering, Bo Liu, Han Y. H. Chen, Jian Yang

Forestry and Natural Resources Faculty Publications

Understory vegetation accounts for the majority of plant species diversity and serves as a driver of overstory succession and nutrient cycling in boreal forest ecosystems. However, investigations of the underlying assembly processes of understory vegetation associated with stand development following a wildfire disturbance are rare, particularly in Eurasian boreal forests. In this study, we measured the phylogenetic and functional diversity and trait dispersions of understory communities and tested how these patterns changed with stand age in the Great Xing'an Mountains of Northeastern China. Contrary to our expectation, we found that understory functional traits were phylogenetically convergent. We found that ...


An Evaluation Of Extended Producer Responsibility (Epr) As A Policy Option For Compostable Plastics In California, Amy Franz Dec 2018

An Evaluation Of Extended Producer Responsibility (Epr) As A Policy Option For Compostable Plastics In California, Amy Franz

Master's Projects and Capstones

This research project evaluates Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in California as a viable option to address the end-of-life management challenges identified for compostable plastics. The evaluation is done in three ways (1) review the main challenges identified for managing compostable plastics against the existing California EPR laws for mercury thermostats, agricultural pesticide containers, carpet, paint and mattresses to look for overlap in issues EPR has been used to address, (2) review compostable plastics in the context of the Product Selection Criteria used by California, (3) Look at the California Framework for setting up an EPR program to lay out what ...


Why The Endangered Species Act Shouldn’T Be Endangered, Ryan Kendall Dec 2018

Why The Endangered Species Act Shouldn’T Be Endangered, Ryan Kendall

Op-Eds from ENSC230 Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policies

The Trump Administration has announced that they intend to rework the endangered species act. Unsurprisingly, they plan to rework in ways that have the potential to undermine its effectiveness.

One would think that reworking the act would potentially increase its effectiveness, given the nearly fifty years that we have had to advance our knowledge since it was passed. Unfortunately, the opposite may very well be true.

The new changes to the act would allow for the decision of whether or not to list an animal to be made not just by scientific data, but also by determining the economic impact ...


Treatment Of Plastic Wastes Using Plasma Gasification Technology, Zachary A. Homolka Dec 2018

Treatment Of Plastic Wastes Using Plasma Gasification Technology, Zachary A. Homolka

Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Theses

Plasma gasification (PG) complements traditional recycling when applied to contaminated or

mixed plastics. Without PG these plastics cost recyclers more to process than they are worth on the market, and sometimes they are landfilled or incinerated instead of being recycled. Plasma gasification can take plastic not suitable for traditional recycling and break it down into high-quality syngas for use in electricity generation, chemical manufacturing, or hydrogen production. The technology can be implemented without changing the behavior of consumers, which is a major advantage over attempting to decrease contamination or reduce use of low-value plastic. Due to high capital requirements and ...


Factors Perceived By Multifamily Property Owners And Managers As Beneficial In Improving Energy Efficiency, Alex David Arneson Dec 2018

Factors Perceived By Multifamily Property Owners And Managers As Beneficial In Improving Energy Efficiency, Alex David Arneson

Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Theses

Maintaining the existence of affordable housing stock is an important goal for most cities and

communities, as well as at the state and national level. Compared to single-family housing, the multifamily housing sector poses a unique set of challenges and barriers related to investments in energy efficiency. With more than 50 million Americans, many of whom are low income, living in multifamily housing, this sector presents vast opportunities to reduce energy consumption. Reducing our carbon footprint has become an important issue in today’s society. More than ever, there is increased demand to incorporate ‘green’ sustainable design elements and technologies ...


Landscape Structure And Dynamics Of Recreational Fisheries, Christine N. Ruskamp Dec 2018

Landscape Structure And Dynamics Of Recreational Fisheries, Christine N. Ruskamp

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

Angler populations and the waterbodies they use are patchily distributed, creating putatively complex user-resource dynamics on the landscape. Spatially and temporally dynamic relationships between anglers and waterbodies can be difficult to track, understand, and manage. We often focus our efforts on the angler (directly or indirectly) with far less attention devoted to understanding the spatial structure and dynamics of fisheries on the landscape. Waterbodies serve as dynamic attractors on the landscape, shaping landscape patterns in angler participation. We surmise that by understanding the spatial structure and dynamics of recreational fisheries we can gain tremendous insight to cross-scale patterns that shape ...


Managing For Vegetation Heterogeneity On Rangelands: An Exploration Of Rancher Attitudes, Stephanie Marie Kennedy Dec 2018

Managing For Vegetation Heterogeneity On Rangelands: An Exploration Of Rancher Attitudes, Stephanie Marie Kennedy

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

Grasslands provide food, fiber, and numerous ecosystem services to human populations as well as habitat for wildlife. They are also some of the most endangered ecosystems in the world because of their productive soils and open topography. This problem is exacerbated by the accelerating conversion of grassland to cropland and encroaching trees and shrubs. The quality of remaining grasslands will be of increasing importance because of the biodiversity and vital ecosystem services they provide. Heterogeneity is a term specific to rangeland science that is illustrative of grassland health. Grassland species require very specific and differing habitats and without the variation ...


Spatial And Temporal Structure Of A Canid Community In Nebraska, Lucia Corral Hurtado Dec 2018

Spatial And Temporal Structure Of A Canid Community In Nebraska, Lucia Corral Hurtado

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

Understanding patterns of space-use by individuals, their distribution, and how they coexist with ecologically similar species is crucial to address various issues in ecology, evolution, conservation biology, and wildlife management. However, the study of such patterns challenging because the relationship among species and their environment is shaped by multiple ecological processes, many of which are acting at different scales, often in a hierarchical manner. In the Canidae family, for instance, where interference competition appears critical, larger species such as coyotes (Canis latrans), can often affect smaller species, such as red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and swift fox (Vulpes velox), by killing ...


The Biological Significance And Utility Of Feeding By Dermestes Maculatus, Braymond Adams Dec 2018

The Biological Significance And Utility Of Feeding By Dermestes Maculatus, Braymond Adams

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

With their efficient feeding habits and tolerance to very low moisture and humidity, beetles in the Family Dermestidae are especially adapted to variable environments and habitats. Dermestid cultures have been in use since 1922 in cleaning tissue and flesh from bones, and proven benefit in multiple fields, including zoology, ornithology, and forensics. Dermestid feeding behaviors when coupled with known life stage and insect succession information aids in providing significant entomological evidence. However, the feeding activities of insects, like those of vertebrate scavengers and predators, change remains and may leave artifacts that can be sometimes be difficult to assign to a ...