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UNL drought forum is Oct. 2

Michael Hayes, director of UNL's  National Drought Mitigation Center at the School of Natural Resources, discusses the 2012 drought as UNL Extension educator Sharon Skipton looks on during a briefing earlier this year.
Michael Hayes, director of UNL's National Drought Mitigation Center at the School of Natural Resources, discusses the 2012 drought as UNL Extension educator Sharon Skipton looks on during a briefing earlier this year.

Lincoln, Neb. — With the 2012 drought still in full-effect, a panel from the School of Natural Resources' National Drought Mitigation Center will convene at UNL's East Campus Tuesday, Oct. 2, to discuss the issues and impacts. "Tracking the 2012 Drought: Nebraska and Beyond," is part of the SNR outreach program and is free and open to the public.

The panel will discuss the evolution of the current drought and how citizens can be involved as observers. The talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Hardin Hall auditorium on the corner of 33rd and Holdrege Streets. The panel discussion will run about an hour, and then take questions from the public.

Parking for the event is free in all unmarked spaces adjacent to Hardin Hall. Refreshments will be served in the lobby at 6:30 p.m.

The scheduled panelists are Center director Michael Hayes, climatologist Mark Svoboda, and drought resources specialist Kelly Helm Smith.

Michael Hayes will provide an overview of the Center and how it serves Nebraskans, Americans, and the world.

Mark Svoboda, leader of the Center’s monitoring program area, will talk about the making of the U.S. Drought Monitor and the recent drought.

Kelly Helm Smith will talk about drought impacts and how the public can contribute observations that help scientists and policymakers understand the effects of drought.

The NDMC, founded in 1995 to reduce societal vulnerability to drought, launched the U.S. Drought Monitor in 1999 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. Drought Monitor is now the basis for distributing billions of dollars of drought relief to agricultural producers.

In 2005, the NDMC launched the U.S. Drought Impact Reporter, a national archive of drought impacts.

The NDMC has also produced a variety of drought planning guides that have been used by countries around the world as well as states and tribes. Most recently, the NDMC has released Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch, a drought planning guide for ranchers, and Drought Ready Communities, a drought planning guide for communities.

SNR Outreach has planned two more events in 2012. On Oct. 30, authors Paul Johnsgard and Mary Bomberger Brown will present "The Biodiversity of Nebraska within the Great Plains." On Nov. 4, "NaturePalooza" will present a hands-on learning experience for the entire family.



Related websites:
National Drought Mitigation Center: http://drought.unl.edu
U.S. Drought Monitor: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
U.S. Drought Impact Reporter: http://droughtreporter.unl.edu
Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch: http://drought.unl.edu/ranchplan
Drought-Ready Communities: http://drought.unl.edu/Planning/PlanningProcesses/DroughtReadyCommunities.aspx
SNR's real-time groundwater monitoring network: http://snr-1349.unl.edu/index.aspx
SNR Outreach Schedule: http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/what/newsarchive/2012/outreach_sked_fall.asp