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Full-Text Articles in Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Human And Hydrologic Influences On Nebraska's Endangered Rainwater Basin Wetlands, Sarah Thompson Dec 2022

Human And Hydrologic Influences On Nebraska's Endangered Rainwater Basin Wetlands, Sarah Thompson

Dissertations & Theses in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Over half of wetlands in North America have been lost or degraded. Rainwater Basin (RWB) wetlands, located in south-central Nebraska, are a primary example of such loss; an estimated 90% have been destroyed by land conversion for agriculture. Remaining RWB wetlands are often embedded in row-crop fields, where they are threatened by altered surface water runoff flow, drainage features, and excess sediment inputs. Efforts at the state and federal level have been made to preserve this wetland complex due to the critical stopover habitat these wetlands provide for migratory birds. Land managers work to maintain sufficient water levels during migratory …


A Long-Term Vision For An Ecologically Sound Platte River, Andrew J. Caven, Melissa M. Mosier, Kristal Stoner, Bill Taddicken, Brice Krohn, Ashley Gramza, Craig R. Allen, Mike Carter, Michelle Koch, Kirk D. Schroeder, Sarah Bailey, Rich Walters, Brian C. Chaffin, Erica Gnuse, Amy Jones, Kate Bird Oct 2022

A Long-Term Vision For An Ecologically Sound Platte River, Andrew J. Caven, Melissa M. Mosier, Kristal Stoner, Bill Taddicken, Brice Krohn, Ashley Gramza, Craig R. Allen, Mike Carter, Michelle Koch, Kirk D. Schroeder, Sarah Bailey, Rich Walters, Brian C. Chaffin, Erica Gnuse, Amy Jones, Kate Bird

Zea E-Books Collection

The Platte River extends about 310 mi (499 km) from North Platte, Nebraska, to its terminus at the Missouri River confluence near Plattsmouth, Nebraska. The Platte River Valley is a continentally significant ecosystem that serves as a major stopover for migratory waterbirds in the Central Flyway including the endangered Whooping Crane (Grus americana) and >1 million Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis) at the peak of spring migration. However, the Platte River Valley also supports a great diversity of avifauna including grassland breeding birds, native stream fish, vascular plants, herpetofauna, mammals, pollinators, and aquatic macroinvertebrates. Despite ongoing conservation …


Using Sentinel-2 Imagery And Machine Learning Algorithms To Assess The Inundation Status Of Nebraska Conservation Easements During 2018–2021, Ligang Zhang, University Of Nebraska-Lincoln, Zhenghong Tang Sep 2022

Using Sentinel-2 Imagery And Machine Learning Algorithms To Assess The Inundation Status Of Nebraska Conservation Easements During 2018–2021, Ligang Zhang, University Of Nebraska-Lincoln, Zhenghong Tang

Papers in Natural Resources

Conservation easements (CEs) play an important role in the provision of ecological services. This paper aims to use the open-access Sentinel-2 satellites to advance existing conservation management capacity to a new level of near-real-time monitoring and assessment for the conservation easements in Nebraska. This research uses machine learning and Google Earth Engine to classify inundation status using Sentinel-2 imagery during 2018–2021 for all CE sites in Nebraska, USA. The proposed machine learning approach helps monitor the CE sites at the landscape scale in an efficient and low-cost manner. The results confirmed effective inundation performance in these floodplain or wetland-related CE …


Analysis Of Soil Change Across Nebraska, Trinity Baker Aug 2022

Analysis Of Soil Change Across Nebraska, Trinity Baker

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

The world’s population is growing and an increasing populace requires more resources. These requirements place increasing pressure on the environment and the soil. Soils serve many important functions throughout the world. These functions range from offering a media for food production, providing a sink for organic carbon, nutrient cycling, and improving water quality. It is important to focus on the human impact on soils and their change over time.

For my research I examined how soils across Nebraska have changed over a time period of roughly 65 years. I sampled and analyzed 39 pedons from four Major Land Resource Areas …


Fossils On The Floor Mosaics In The Rotunda Of The Nebraska State Capitol Second Edition, Robert F. Diffendal Jun 2022

Fossils On The Floor Mosaics In The Rotunda Of The Nebraska State Capitol Second Edition, Robert F. Diffendal

Robert F. Diffendal, Jr., Publications

The idea for this project arose during a field trip to the Nebraska State Capitol led by my long-time friend and colleague, Joe Hannibal, of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, during the Geological Society of America’s North-Central Section Meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday, April 26, 2014. One of Joe’s interests is historical buildings and their building stones. He put together a very useful guidebook to the building and its decorative stones (Hannibal, 2014) that we used on our tour.

One of the many places that we visited was the State Capitol Archives, located in the basement, where the …


The Possibility Of A Land Bridge Across Nebraska In Mississippian Time, E. C. Reed May 2022

The Possibility Of A Land Bridge Across Nebraska In Mississippian Time, E. C. Reed

Papers in Natural Resources

No abstract provided.


Multi-Criteria Evaluation Model For Classifying Marginal Cropland In Nebraska Using Historical Crop Yield And Biophysical Characteristics, Andrew Laws May 2022

Multi-Criteria Evaluation Model For Classifying Marginal Cropland In Nebraska Using Historical Crop Yield And Biophysical Characteristics, Andrew Laws

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

Marginal cropland is suboptimal due to historically low and variable productivity and limiting biophysical characteristics. To support future agricultural management and policy decisions in Nebraska, U.S.A, it is important to understand where cropland is marginal for its two most economically important crops: corn (Zea mays) and soybean (Glycine max). As corn and soybean are frequently planted in a crop rotation, it is important to consider if there is a relationship with cropland marginality. Based on the current literature, there exists a need for a flexible yet robust methodology for identifying marginal land at different scales, which …


Nebraska Statewide Groundwater-Level Monitoring Report 2021, Aaron R. Young, Mark E. Burbach, Leslie M. Howard, Sue Olafsen Lackey, Robert Matthew Joeckel Mar 2022

Nebraska Statewide Groundwater-Level Monitoring Report 2021, Aaron R. Young, Mark E. Burbach, Leslie M. Howard, Sue Olafsen Lackey, Robert Matthew Joeckel

Conservation and Survey Division

This report is a synthesis of groundwater-level monitoring programs in Nebraska. It is a continuation of the series of annual reports and maps produced by the Conservation and Survey Division (CSD) of the University of Nebraska in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since the 1950s. Groundwater-level monitoring began in Nebraska in 1930 in an effort to survey the state’s groundwater resources and to observe changes in its availability on a continuing basis. The CSD and USGS cooperatively developed, maintained, and operated an observation-well network throughout the state. These two agencies were responsible for collecting and archiving this information, …


Feasibility Discussion Of Potential Carbon Offsetting Options For Nebraska, Andrew Mwape Nov 2021

Feasibility Discussion Of Potential Carbon Offsetting Options For Nebraska, Andrew Mwape

Papers in Natural Resources

Conclusion

Highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of carbon offsetting options in the context of the state of Nebraska, this discussion shows that the choice and decisions about which option is better than the other depends on the interests at play and expected outcomes of the participation in carbon markets. However, irrespective of the motive to engage in emission reduction projects for carbon marketing, factors such as cost, and project efficiency can never be overlooked. Given the options discussed in this report, Nebraska has a lot of potential for carbon offsetting or emission reduction projects that would not only reduce and …


The Sandhill Crane State: A Naturalist’S Guide To Nebraska, Paul Johnsgard Oct 2021

The Sandhill Crane State: A Naturalist’S Guide To Nebraska, Paul Johnsgard

Zea E-Books Collection

This book includes the locations, descriptions, and points of biological, historical, geological, or paleontological interest of nearly 350 sites in Nebraska, most of which are free to access. Its 53,000 words include accounts of 9 state historical parks, 8 state parks, 2 national forests, 2 national monuments, and 7 national wildlife refuges as well as 181 wildlife management areas, 56 waterfowl production areas, and 54 state recreation areas. It also includes 48 state and county maps, 18 drawings, 33 photographs, and nearly 200 literature citations.

doi: 10.32873/unl.dc.zea.1305


Geology And Hydrogeology Of Northeastern Nebraska: Geology, Water Management And Geological Hazards, Nebraska Geological Society Field Trip 2021, Robert F. Diffendal, Sue Olafsen Lackey, Douglas R. Hallum Oct 2021

Geology And Hydrogeology Of Northeastern Nebraska: Geology, Water Management And Geological Hazards, Nebraska Geological Society Field Trip 2021, Robert F. Diffendal, Sue Olafsen Lackey, Douglas R. Hallum

Conservation and Survey Division

The 2021 Nebraska Geological Society field trip will provide an overview of the geology and hydrogeology of northeast Nebraska, the groundwater quality and quantity issues unique to the region, water management issues and decision-making, and ongoing work relating to water quality and geologic (hydrostratigraphic) framework, along the lower Niobrara and Missouri rivers Between Spencer Dam and Homer Nebraska. This program will be comprised of an auto tour with multiple stops on Saturday October 16 through Monday October 18 as illustrated in Map 1. The tour will begin with an examination of the Spencer Dam site and several locations in and …


Holocene Records Of Nebraska Mammals, Hugh H. Genoways Mar 2021

Holocene Records Of Nebraska Mammals, Hugh H. Genoways

Zea E-Books Collection

A survey of the archeological and paleontological literature allowed a compilation of Holocene records of mammals in Nebraska. This survey identified Holocene records from 338 sites in 62 of the 93 Nebraska counties. These counties were located throughout state, but there was a concentration of sites in southwestern Nebraska where there were 27 fossil sites in Frontier County and 22 in Harlan County. Fossils sites were underrepresented in the Sand Hills region. Records of fossil mammals covered the entire Holocene period from 13,000 years ago until AD 1850. A minimum of 57 species (with eight additional species potentially present) representing …


Nebraska Statewide Groundwater-Level Monitoring Report 2020, Aaron R. Young, Mark E. Burbach, Leslie M. Howard, Sue Olafsen Lackey, Robert Matthew Joeckel Feb 2021

Nebraska Statewide Groundwater-Level Monitoring Report 2020, Aaron R. Young, Mark E. Burbach, Leslie M. Howard, Sue Olafsen Lackey, Robert Matthew Joeckel

Conservation and Survey Division

The term “groundwater” has come to be all but synonymous with Nebraska. Nearly three-quarters of the total volume of the High Plains Aquifer lies beneath the state. Groundwater maintains our streams, our ecosystems, our people, and our vitally important agricultural economy. Nebraska’s total groundwater resource is vast, yet it is also vulnerable to natural and anthropogenic changes, necessitating a long-term commitment to wise management through informed decision-making. Monitoring, studying, and reporting form the essential basis for such management and, ultimately, for meeting the myriad challenges presented by change.


Whooping Crane (Grus Americana) Family Consumes A Diversity Of Aquatic Vertebrates During Fall Migration Stopover At The Platte River, Nebraska, Andrew J. Caven, Keith D. Koupal, David M. Baasch, Emma M. Brinley Buckley, Jenna M. Malzahn, Michael David Forsberg, Mariah Lundgren Jan 2021

Whooping Crane (Grus Americana) Family Consumes A Diversity Of Aquatic Vertebrates During Fall Migration Stopover At The Platte River, Nebraska, Andrew J. Caven, Keith D. Koupal, David M. Baasch, Emma M. Brinley Buckley, Jenna M. Malzahn, Michael David Forsberg, Mariah Lundgren

Papers in Natural Resources

The Aransas-Wood Buffalo population of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) migrates approximately 4000 km through the central Great Plains biannually, between their breeding and wintering grounds. Whooping Cranes depend on stopover sites to provide secure resting locations and the caloric resources necessary to complete their migration, such as the USFWS-designated critical habitat area in the Central Platte River Valley (CPRV) of Nebraska. This area includes braided river habitat characterized by low-elevation and submerged sandbars, which provide important roosting and foraging opportunities for migrating Whooping Cranes. We used long-range photography, videography, and behavioral scan sampling to document forage items consumed by Whooping …


Impact Of Bank Stabilization Structures On Upstream And Downstream Bank Mobilization At Cedar River, Nebraska, M. Russell, A. Mittelstet, R. M. Joeckel, J. Korus, C. Castro Bolinaga Jan 2021

Impact Of Bank Stabilization Structures On Upstream And Downstream Bank Mobilization At Cedar River, Nebraska, M. Russell, A. Mittelstet, R. M. Joeckel, J. Korus, C. Castro Bolinaga

Papers in Natural Resources

No abstract provided.


The Birds Of The Nebraska Sandhills, Paul A. Johnsgard, Josef Kren Nov 2020

The Birds Of The Nebraska Sandhills, Paul A. Johnsgard, Josef Kren

Zea E-Books Collection

This book provides basic information on all the species of birds that have been reliably reported from the Nebraska Sandhills region as of 2020. They include 46 permanent residents, 125 summer breeders, 125 migrants, and 102 rare or accidental species, totaling 398 species. Information on status, migration, and habitats is provided for all but the very rare and accidental species. There are also descriptions of 46 refuges, preserves, and other public-access natural areas in the region and seven suggested birding routes. The text contains more than 90,000 words and over 250 literature references along with more than 20 drawings, 9 …


Spatial Ecology And Resource Selection Of Bighorn Sheep (Ovis Canadensis) Ewes In A Prairie Badlands Population, Erin Wood Jul 2020

Spatial Ecology And Resource Selection Of Bighorn Sheep (Ovis Canadensis) Ewes In A Prairie Badlands Population, Erin Wood

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

The basic spatial ecology and habitat relationships of female bighorn sheep in Nebraska are poorly understood. Establishing seasonal patterns of space use and resource selection for this population at the margin of their historical and current range addresses a key knowledge gap and provides important baseline information for ongoing conservation efforts in Nebraska. We deployed GPS radio-collars on 56 adult ewes in western Nebraska to quantify seasonal space use, movements, and resource selection of ewes. To investigate spatial ecology, we quantified movements of ewes and the factors that influence home range size, seasonal use, and spatial stability across seasons. Home …


Spatial And Temporal Patterns Of Bat Activity In A Southeast Nebraska Agricultural Landscape, Christopher Fill Jul 2020

Spatial And Temporal Patterns Of Bat Activity In A Southeast Nebraska Agricultural Landscape, Christopher Fill

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

Intensive agriculture is associated with biodiversity loss and species decline. Yet wild species, such as bats, may provide critical ecosystem services to agriculture, even in transformed landscapes. In the United States, bats have been estimated to save the agricultural industry billions of dollars per year. However, white-nose syndrome and habitat loss have led to the decline of many bat species in North America, including the federally threatened northern long-eared bat, Myotis septentrionalis.

To better evaluate the effectiveness of these pest-controlling services, and to increase understanding of bat foraging behavior in these extreme landscapes, I deployed 11 grids of 24 detectors, …


Impacts Of Human Recreation On Nutrient Availability And Periphyton Abundance On The Niobrara River, Matthew Chen, Jessica Corman, Sydney Kimnach, Kayla Vondracek Apr 2020

Impacts Of Human Recreation On Nutrient Availability And Periphyton Abundance On The Niobrara River, Matthew Chen, Jessica Corman, Sydney Kimnach, Kayla Vondracek

UCARE Research Products

In freshwater ecosystems, eutrophication can create many problems. Excess nutrients, like nitrogen or phosphorus, promote algal or cyanobacterial growth. This growth also leads to increased organic matter production and decomposition, a process that can reduce oxygen concentration in the water. When this happens, species diversity declines, transparency of the water declines, and anoxia may lead to fish kills . Of particular concern is the possibility of cyanobacteria blooms that create compounds toxic for humans. Many of the waters across Nebraska receive excessive nutrients from human activities, largely related to agriculture (Dickey 1982). However, there is one river, the Niobrara River, …


Nebraska Statewide Groundwater-Level Monitoring Report 2019, Aaron R. Young, Mark E. Burbach, Leslie M. Howard, Sue Olafsen Lackey, Robert Matthew Joeckel Apr 2020

Nebraska Statewide Groundwater-Level Monitoring Report 2019, Aaron R. Young, Mark E. Burbach, Leslie M. Howard, Sue Olafsen Lackey, Robert Matthew Joeckel

Conservation and Survey Division

The term “groundwater” has come to be all but synonymous with Nebraska. Nearly three-quarters of the total volume of the High Plains Aquifer lies beneath the State. Groundwater maintains our streams, our ecosystems, our people, and our vitally important agricultural economy. Nebraska’s total groundwater resource is vast, yet it is also vulnerable to natural and anthropogenic changes, necessitating a long-term commitment to wise management through informed decision making. Monitoring, studying, and reporting form the essential basis for such management and, ultimately, for meeting the myriad challenges presented by change.

The personnel of the Conservation and Survey Division (CSD) are proud …


Problematic Plant Monitoring In Homestead National Monument Of America, 2006–2017, Craig C. Young Mar 2020

Problematic Plant Monitoring In Homestead National Monument Of America, 2006–2017, Craig C. Young

U.S. National Park Service Publications and Papers

Abstract

Managers are challenged with the impact of problematic plants, including exotic, invasive, and pest plant species. Information on the abundance, distribution, and location of these plants is essential for developing risk-based approaches to managing these species. Based on surveys conducted in 2006, 2009, 2013, and 2017, Heartland Inventory and Monitoring Network staff and contractors identified a cumulative total of 20 potentially problematic plant species in Homestead National Monument of America (NMA). Of the 13 species found in 2017, we characterized 4 as very low frequency, 4 as low frequency, 2 as medium frequency, and 3 as high frequency. Only …


Risk And Cost Assessment Of Nitrate Contamination In Domestic Wells, Pongpun Juntakut, Erin M.K. Haacker, Daniel D. Snow, Chittaranjan Ray Feb 2020

Risk And Cost Assessment Of Nitrate Contamination In Domestic Wells, Pongpun Juntakut, Erin M.K. Haacker, Daniel D. Snow, Chittaranjan Ray

Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute: Faculty Publications

This study combines empirical predictive and economics models to estimate the cost of remediation for domestic wells exceeding suggested treatment thresholds for nitrates. A multiple logistic regression model predicted the probability of well contamination by nitrate, and a life cycle costing methodology was used to estimate costs of nitrate contamination in groundwater in two areas of Nebraska. In south-central Nebraska, 37% of wells were estimated to be at risk of exceeding a threshold of 7.5 mg/L as N, and 17% were at risk of exceeding 10 mg/L as N, the legal limit for human consumption in the United States. In …


Homestead National Monument Of America, Acoustic Monitoring, 2011-2012 Feb 2020

Homestead National Monument Of America, Acoustic Monitoring, 2011-2012

U.S. National Park Service Publications and Papers

Executive Summary

This report presents acoustical data gathered by Student Conservation Association interns and the Natural Resource Specialist at Homestead National Monument of America in 2011 and 2012. Data were collected at four sites to provide park managers with information on the acoustical environment, sources of noise, and the existing ambient sound levels within the monument. The data will also inform the park managers with information regarding the potential impact of traffic on Highway 4.

Monitoring occurred at each site during two different seasons (except HOME002) in order to document seasonal variations. In each deployment, sound pressure level (SPL) was …


Homestead National Monument Of America, Acoustic Monitoring Report, 2017, Emma Brown Feb 2020

Homestead National Monument Of America, Acoustic Monitoring Report, 2017, Emma Brown

U.S. National Park Service Publications and Papers

Executive Summary

This report presents acoustical data gathered by Student Conservation Association interns and the Natural Resource Specialist at Homestead National Monument of America in 2017. Data were collected at one site to provide park managers with information about the acoustical environment, sources of noise, and the existing ambient sound levels within the monument. This deployment also captured acoustic conditions during the total solar eclipse on 8/21/2017. (Results of the eclipse monitoring effort are provided in Appendix B.)

In this deployment, sound pressure level (SPL) was measured continuously every second by a calibrated sound level meter. Other equipment included an …


Nc3 Nebraska Climate Summary, M. Shulski Jan 2020

Nc3 Nebraska Climate Summary, M. Shulski

Papers in Natural Resources

No abstract provided.


Prairie Grouse Population Trends And Their Historical Drivers In The Nebraska Sandhills, Danielle Berger Jan 2020

Prairie Grouse Population Trends And Their Historical Drivers In The Nebraska Sandhills, Danielle Berger

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) has monitored greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) and plains sharp-tailed grouse populations (Tympanuchus phasianellus jamesi), collectively known as prairie grouse, since the 1950s using spring breeding ground counts. My research modeled long-term, species-specific spatial and temporal trends of prairie grouse abundance and potential environmental drivers in the Sandhills of Nebraska using NGPC’s historical monitoring data. Prairie-chicken populations have increased since the 1950s while sharp-tailed grouse populations have remained stable or slightly declined. These population trends arise in the context of a dynamic landscape. I created indices representing raptor predation …


Geographic Distribution Of Chronic Wasting Disease Resistant Alleles In Nebraska, With Comments On The Evolution Of Resistance, H. Vazquez-Miranda, R. M. Zink Jan 2020

Geographic Distribution Of Chronic Wasting Disease Resistant Alleles In Nebraska, With Comments On The Evolution Of Resistance, H. Vazquez-Miranda, R. M. Zink

Papers in Natural Resources

No abstract provided.


Reservoir Characterization And Static Earth Model For Potential Co2 Storage In Upper Pennsylvanian Cyclothems, Nebraska, Usa, V.L. Smith, R.M. Joeckel Jan 2020

Reservoir Characterization And Static Earth Model For Potential Co2 Storage In Upper Pennsylvanian Cyclothems, Nebraska, Usa, V.L. Smith, R.M. Joeckel

Papers in Natural Resources

No abstract provided.


One Step Closer To A Better Starling Trap, James R. Thiele Jan 2020

One Step Closer To A Better Starling Trap, James R. Thiele

USDA Wildlife Services - Staff Publications

European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are an invasive species in the United States that damage agriculture, personal property, and threaten human health and safety. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services provides technical support to mitigate damage by controlling starling populations at concentrated animal feeding operations, landfills, utilities, and urban areas. Wildlife Services uses DRC-1339, a registered toxicant, to reduce starling populations. Trapping can also be an effective tool but requires more time at a higher cost than DRC-1339. Trapping starlings, however, may be needed to provide a viable alternative to mitigate damage in areas where toxicant use may …


Interpretive Geologic Maps And Cross Sections For Phelps, Kearney, And Adams Counties In Nebraska, Dana Divine, Leslie M. Howard Jan 2020

Interpretive Geologic Maps And Cross Sections For Phelps, Kearney, And Adams Counties In Nebraska, Dana Divine, Leslie M. Howard

Conservation and Survey Division

Data from thousands of test-hole and well logs were interpreted to improve understanding and management of the High Plains aquifer in a three-county study area adjacent to the Big Bend reach of the Platte River. Five principal conclusions resulted from these interpretations: (1) the extent of Neogene Ogallala deposits beneath the study area is different than previously mapped; (2) a large paleovalley incised into Cretaceous bedrock probably cuts across Kearney and Adams counties and may be the course of the ancestral Platte River prior to formation of the Big Bend; (3) a groundwater mound created by irrigation canals artificially raises …