2016 Spring Conference Recap


By: Rebecca Power

Across the North Central Region, conference season has peaked and is now quieting down as the field season moves northward. The North Central Region Water Network is following suit, having completed our second conference as of March 23. You can see and listen to conference plenary presentations on our website. Our University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosts provided inspirational examples of how universities organize for impact, providing science and education that will help ensure sustainable water supplies for agriculture, communities, and ecosystems that supply diverse and valuable services.

Network participants attending the conference organized and participated in break-out sessions on climate change, irrigation, nutrient and manure management, stormwater management, watershed leadership, youth water literacy and stewardship, volunteer stream monitoring and several other topics. Look for more information and useful products from these groups as they continue to grow and develop. You can stay up to date by checking the Network Initiatives section of our website or by contacting initiative leaders listed on their respective web pages.

As valuable as these conversations with our colleagues are, seeing and experiencing the agricultural and natural resources we are researching and teaching about is critical to our success. One of learning opportunities we enjoyed while in Nebraska is the breathtaking sandhill crane migration along Nebraska’s Platte River valley. Over 80% of the world’s population of sandhill cranes pause on their journey north to rest and refuel and “conference” loudly with one another. Not much different than our conference really – just better scenery!

Thanks also to the many University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty, educators, and partners that made our trip stand out. You are clearly on the forefront of integrating food, water, and energy systems for a resilient and abundant future.