SNR in the News - Winter 2023

SNR in the news
SNR in the news

Jessica Corman, an associate professor and head of the aquatic ecology lab was quoted in 1011 News story about ‘Toxic algae’ fouling Nebraska lakes, raising water quality concerns.

Mark Svoboda, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center, was interviewed for a Sept. 10 article on a low Mississippi River possibly stalling farmers’ deliveries. “Yes, we have that normal water cycle,” he said. “But we’re seeing an acceleration of how fast water moves through the cycle due to warmer temperatures in general.” A warming climate is expected to tighten and amplify existing cycles of flood and drought, he said.

Eric Hunt, Nebraska Extension educator, was interviewed for a Sept. 7 Harvest Public Media story on how recent heat and drought might affect corn yields. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s August estimates put the national corn crop at about 175 bushels per acre, he expects that number to be lower. “The weather has been more of an impact this year than it’s been realized,” he said, noting that Nebraska has seen its worst drought since the 1950s. KCUR picked up the story.

The Applied Wildlife Ecology & Spatial Movement Lab (AWESM) was part of IANR’s “2023 Strategic Discussions for Nebraska” booklet. Andy Little's quote is found at the bookend. “Collaborative research and Extension projects benefit both farmers and wildlife by helping landowners best manage their farm to fee a growing world while ensuring conservation of Nebraska’s important natural resources.” Electronic version is on line

Little was also quoted in a Nov. 23 New York Times article on scientists working to understand why wild turkeys are on the decline in the South and Midwest. According to the article, scientists generally agree that there are multiple reasons for the decline and that the specifics might vary from place to place. “It’s kind of like death by 1,000 cuts,” Little said. “There’s a lot of different things, and there are a lot of different factors.” (This article requires a subscription.)

A 2022 study led by Steve Hu, SNR and Earth and atmospheric sciences, was cited in an Oct. 8 Washington Post article on a worldwide project to map underground fungi. The study found that desert climates have spread north by up to 62 miles in parts of central Asia, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and northwestern China, since the 1980s. “Those areas would be experiencing more frequent drought and also hotter temperatures,” Hu said. (This article requires a subscription.)

Hu was also interviewed for a Nov. 10 Scientific American article on whether farmers’ almanacs can be trusted for weather predictions. Two almanacs predict colder weather and more snowfall than last year, but the NOAA says that the northern U.S. will be warmer than usual and the southern U.S. has even odds of cooler, average or warmer weather. “When you have so many things out there, and some of them are in conflict or totally opposite, which ones do you use?” Hu said.

A 2012 study led by Karl Reinhard, School of Natural Resources, was highlighted in a Nov. 8 Live Science article on discoveries made from fossilized human poop. The study found that Indigenous people in the American Southwest had a diet that was 20 to 30 times more fibrous than a typical modern diet and that the rapid change from high-fiber to low-fiber processed foods may explain why many Indigenous people have Type 2 diabetes today.

A 2022 report by the Conservation and Survey Division on Nebraska’s groundwater levels was cited in a Nov. 30 New York Times article on the push to replace jet fuel with ethanol to combat global warming. The report showed that pockets of western and southwestern Nebraska saw aquifer levels fall due to irrigation, prompting local regulators to restrict use. (This article requires a subscription.)