UNL Spring Semester Water Seminar Series Returns for 2013

Computer modeling for water, invasive plant species and the politics of water are just some of the topics.

Published on: Dec 27, 2012

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's spring semester water seminar will feature more than a dozen lectures covering a variety of timely water-related topics.

The public lectures are free and begin Jan. 16 and continue weekly through April 24, except for March 20, during spring break.

The 14 lectures are Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the first floor auditorium of

Hardin Hall, at the northeast corner of North 33rd and Holdrege streets  on UNL's East Campus.

"Weekly topics run the gamut of timely and provocative water and water-related subjects, which broadens the scope of the lecture series and ensures that there are at least one or two lectures that anyone interested in water can relate to and have interest in," says Lorrie Benson, assistant director of the Nebraska Water Center. The NWC is part of the University of Nebraska's Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute.

Computer modeling for water, invasive plant species and the politics of water are just some of the topics.
Computer modeling for water, invasive plant species and the politics of water are just some of the topics.

Andrea Brookfield of the University of Kansas opens the lecture series with a talk on integrating hydrologic models, building new tools for managing water.

"Modeling is an essential and critical tool, both for water quantity and quality, for current and future water management, so it's not unusual to use the lecture series to increase our knowledge of the latest practices in that field," Benson says.

Other speakers and lectures include a talk on estimating and measuring global precipitation in the 21st century by George Huffman of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Feb. 6 and the new local politics of water by Megan Mullin of Temple University on Feb. 20. Invasive species is another issue of increasing importance in managing water and water systems and David Strayer of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies will speak on the effects of the Zebra Mussel invasion on aquatic ecosystems in the Hudson River and other areas on March 13.

The complete January through April schedule appears below and is posted online at

watercenter.unl.edu. Videos of most lectures, along with speaker PowerPoint presentations, will also be posted at that web address within a few days after the lecture.

Jan. 16: Integrated Hydrologic Models: Building New Tools for Water Management--Andrea Brookfield, University of Kansas

Jan. 23: The Niobrara River Basin Study: Using Various Models to Assess Water Supplies and Demands--Brandi Flyr, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources

Jan. 30: Participatory Water Governance: Experiences & Issues from Around the World--Kate Berry, University of Nevada, Reno.

Feb. 6: Global Precipitation in the 21st Century George Huffman, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Feb. 13: Do We Really Have Too Much Water Pollution? The Nexus Between Economic Science and Physical Science--Steven J. Taff, University of Minnesota.

Feb. 20: The New Local Politics of Water--Megan Mullin, Temple University.

Feb. 27: Resistance and Resilience of Aquatic Communities to Low Flow Disturbance-- Annika Walters, University of Wyoming.

March 6: Adaptive Governance of Urban Watersheds--Ahjond Garmestani, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

March 13: Effects of the Zebra Mussel Invasion on Aquatic Ecosystems: the Hudson River and Beyond--David Strayer, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

March 27: Dynamics of Transport and Fate of Solutes in Hydrologic Landscapes--Adam Ward, University of Iowa.

April 3: Implications for Water, Food and Energy from the Latest IPCC Climate Simulations--Lawrence Buja, National Center for Atmospheric Research.

April 10: Recent Variations in Low-Temperature and Moisture Constraints on Vegetation in the Southwestern U.S.--Jeremy Weiss, University of Arizona.

April 17: The U.S. Drought of 2012: Once-in-a-Generation Crop Calamity--Brad Rippey, USDA.

April 24: The High Plains Groundwater Availability Study: Abundant Groundwater Doesn't Necessarily Mean Abundant Surface Water--Steven Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey.