Water for Food Digest Header 1-6-15
New partnership will educate, advance research of next generation of Indian water scientists in Nebraska
Tom Farrell, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor on International Affairs, UNL; Nishritha Bopana, Principle Science Officer, Indo-US Science and Technology; Sanjay Bajpai, Associate Head/Scientist 'F',Technology Mission Cell-Indo-US Science and Technology Forum; Harvey Perlman, Chancellor, UNL; Rajiv Sharma, Executive Director, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum; Roberto Lenton, Founding Executive Director of the Daugherty Water for Food Institute
Water is a vital neces sity for food, ecosystems and life. Because of its global importance, the Robert B. Daugh erty Wa ter for Food Institute (WFI) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) have partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Government of India and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) to advance collaborative water sciences research between PhD students and post-doc researchers from India and the United States. The Water Advanced Research and Innovation Fellowship Program (WARI) is a dynamic and transformative 3-year renewable mentorship program for individuals who want to pursue advanced academic research and water-related careers.

With the WARI initiative the Government of India seeks to provide opportunities for high performing Indian graduate students and scientists to gain exposure and access to world-class research facilities; promote research and capacity building in the area of water; encourage and motivate outstanding individuals to take up research as a career path; and, pave the way for the next generation of scientists and technologists from India and the United States to interact with each other, fostering long-term R&D linkages and collaborations.  Read the news release.

New Website Tells Stories from Nebraska Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) Early Leaders
The Natural Resources Districts (NRD) Oral History Project is a collaboration between the Daugherty Water for Food Institute,
the Nebraska Association of Natural Resources Districts, the Nebraska State Historical Society  and several dedicated former and current stewards of Nebraska's Natural Resources.

Since its inception in April 2013, the project has recorded and transcribed over eighty
45-minute oral histories spanning former and current staff and leadership of all 23
NRDs and key individuals that helped ensure their formation. Read more and hear the stories at nrdstories.org.

Yield gap study highlights potential for higher crop yields in Africa
Agronomists Patricio Grassini (left) and Ken Cassman are part of the UNL team that developed the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas through an international research collaboration. (Craig Chandler/University Communications)
Agricultural yields could more than triple in a number of African countries, suggesting that tremendous improvements in food security are possible, according to new findings by the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas.
A collaboration led by UNL agronomists and Water for Food Faculty Fellows Ken Cassman and Patricio Grassini and Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the atlas estimates the difference between actual and potential yields as well as water productivity for major food crops worldwide. The international team recently released results at a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which are available at  yieldgap.org

Additionally, Cassman was one of two UNL faculty to be honored in the 2015 Thomson Reuters' list of Highly Cited Researchers for exceptional impact in their fields.  The Highly Cited Researchers list represents some of world's most influential scientific minds across 21 fields in the sciences and social sciences. About 3,000 researchers earned this distinction by writing the greatest number of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers - ranking among the top 1 percent most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact.
NU faculty share research at Nebraska Water Center Faculty and Partner Retreat in Kearney
University of Nebraska faculty members joined with current and potential partners for a day of discussions at the University of Nebraska, Kearney (UNK) on Oct. 7.
F aculty from a variety of disciplines gave four-minute presentations on current research projects and some of their future collaborative interests.

After lunch and a poster session, federal, state, regional and local partners delivered short presentations on where potential opportunities for collaboration with NU faculty may exist.

Many of the state's 23 Natural Resources Districts were also represented, as was The Nature Conservancy, Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, Field to Market and the Lower Platte River Corridor Alliance. Learn more.
New report shows effects of over-pumping
A new research report, "Drying Wells, Rising Stakes: Towards Sustainable Agricultural Groundwater" discusses the role of groundwater in providing benefits to agriculture irrigation in semi-arid OECD countries, but how its intensive use beyond recharge in certain regions has depleted resources and generated significant negative environmental externalities. The report provides a characterization of the diversity of groundwater systems, reviews policies in OECD countries, and proposes a package of recommendations to ensure that groundwater can sustain its services to agriculture and contribute to climate change adaptation. Water for Food Institute Director of Policy Nick Brozovic authored a chapter that includes a number of Nebraska and High Plains examples. See the report online.

Innovation Campus grand opening dazzles state, community leaders
Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets listens as Jesse Starita, education and outreach associate, explains the work of the Water for Food Institute.
Governor Pete Rickets and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler were among many leaders attending the grand opening celebration of Nebraska Innovation Campus last Thursday. Even the ribbon cutting exemplified the pioneering spirit of Innovation Campus with a custom manufactured sculpture of the NIC logo that rotated, sending an electrical current to burn through the ribbon. 

The Water for Food Institute had a booth at the event, sharing information about research projects that are improving water and agricultural productivity.

Learn more onlineSee the ribbon cutting on Twitter .
Upcoming events

2016 Water for Food Global Conference | April 24-26, 2016

Save the Date! The 2016 Water for Food Global Conference:   Catalytic Collaborations: Building Public-Private Partnerships for  Water and Food Security, will be held  April 24-26 at Nebraska Innovation Campus.  Through compelling keynote addresses, panel discussions, poster presentations, tours and side events, the conference will showcase how PPPs can be a catalyst for change in approaching water and food security now and in our future.
Climate Change and Agriculture Roundtable | Oct. 20
Neil Palmer, CIAT, flooded field

Oct. 20, 2015

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

East Campus Union, UNL

With support from the Water for Food Institute, this roundtable will  address the implications of climate variability, change and extremes on the agriculture sector in Nebraska. We will bring together critical stakeholders - faculty, senior executives from the private sector, and leaders of governmental and non-governmental organizations - for a one day meeting to identify key adaptation and mitigation actions in response to climate variability, change, and extremes, and economic issues critical to shaping sound public policies to manage and maintain Nebraska's agriculture sector now and into the future. Learn more and register online.
Seats available for Jay Famiglietti keynote at 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference
University of California, Irvine hydrologist Jay Famiglietti will present a keynote at the Groundwater Foundation's 2015 National Conference
Renowned hydrologist and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Water Scientist Jay Famiglietti will present a keynote address at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 21 as part of the Groundwater Foundation's 2015 National Conference. The conference will be held at Embassy Suites, 1040 P Street. Famiglietti is a leading international figure in raising awareness about the  global water crisis , and in particular, about global groundwater depletion.

There are 25 seats available - at no charge and on a first come, first serve basis - for Famiglietti's keynote address. To RSVP, please reply to this email with your name.

Implications of a Changing Arctic on Water Resource and Agriculture in the Central U.S. | Nov. 10-12
Evidence is showing that changes in the Arctic climate are influencing mid-latitude weather patterns around the world. Although much remains to be determined, new research shows that reductions in snow and sea ice, and warming temperatures in the Arctic may be influencing the behavior of the jet stream and severe and extreme weather in the mid-states. As the US is currently chairing the Arctic Council, greater attention is now being given to this critical part of the globe.

Dr. Jennifer Francis, a research professor with the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University is presenting a public keynote "Crazy Weather and the Arctic Meltdown: Are They Connected," at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at Nebraska Innovation Campus.

Come to this workshop to contribute to future research, planning decisions and the identification of possible adaptation and mitigation strategies in response to these critical changes.  More information and registration is available online.

Transdisciplinary Conversations | Nov. 15
The National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska will be hosting a Transdisciplinary Conversations event on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. in the UNMC Sorrell Center Small Ballroom, 1001 BCD. General Hinson will give opening remarks, with Dr. Ken Bayles giving an informal 10-15 minute talk on the work he's doing with NSRI, incorporating the use of cross-disciplinary connections. The remainder of the time is built in for networking to allow attendees time to make cross-disciplinary connections they may not otherwise make. Food and refreshments will be served by Upstream Catering. Register online.

Food Security Implications of a Changing Arctic | Nov. 12-13
Together with Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., WFI is co-hosting addendum workshops titled, "Food Security Implications of a Changing Arctic" November 12-13, 2015, to further explore the impact of climate change in the Arctic on food producing regions in the Midwest.
Session #1: Impacts of Arctic Climate Change on Agriculture and Food Security.  12:30-17:00 Thursday, November 12, 2015, Nebraska Innovation Campus, Lincoln, Nebraska
Session #2: Satellite Remote Sensing of the Arctic. 08:00-12:00, Friday, November 13, 2015, Marriott Courtyard Conference Room, Lincoln, NE
Registration is required for attendance in "Implications of a Changing Arctic on Water Resources and Agriculture in the Central U.S" but there are no fees. Learn more online .

Celebrating five years of growth | Dec. 4

Friday, Dec. 4
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
The Link at NIC

Join us for food, music and camaraderie as we celebrate the institute's fifth anniversary and the many accomplishments of its staff, faculty fellows, students, partners and colleagues.

Spotlight: Featured faculty and students

Haishun-Yang, researching and developing agricultural innovations
Haishun Yang develops decision support tools to help farmers improve crop management and conserve water. His research activities include crop growth and yield modeling, soil nutrient management and carbon cycle modeling, life cycle analysis of bioenergy systems on energy balance and greenhouse gas emissions, field research on crop water use efficiency and software development for crop management decision-making, called CornSoyWater.

See a short video interview with Dr. Yang and learn more about his work on the Water for Food Institute website.
Interns bring journalistic talents to the institute
Cara Oldenhuis is a senior advertising and public relations major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A native of Shawnee, Kan., she plans to graduate in May 2016 and pursue a career in public relations. As  a public relations intern this fall at the Water for Food Institute, Cara will create content that furthers  the mission of WFI. She will also assist the various needs of the communications team. Cara is excited  to learn more about agricultural and research communications through this internship experience.
Gloria Kimbulu is  pursuing  an advertising and public relations major and Spanish minor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This summer she worked as a new student enrollment leader and is currently the racial affairs representative and a member of the OASIS Leadership Board. Gloria is passionate about using social media to create awareness on social justice issues and is sharing her skills with the institute.She plans to study abroad in Spain next summer and graduate in May 2017. 

Water funding opportunities
Indo-U.S. 21st Century Knowledge Initiative 
Deadline: November 2

The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) announces an open competition for the support of projects through the Indo-U.S. 21st Century Knowledge Initiative awards (formerly known as the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative). Announced by the U.S. and Indian governments, Knowledge Initiative aims to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education.

Deadline: December 31, 2015

USAID/India's invitation to prospective implementing partners (e.g. NGOs, private sector concerns, and others) who can engage and work with resource partners (e.g. corporations, local businesses, foundations, and others). USAID/India is specifically seeking Indian implementing organizations (for-profit and not-for-profit) and non-traditional Indian development partners, to reach out to Indian resource partners and explore ways in which collaboration with USAID/India might help each partner - private sector, NGO, and public sector contributors - to more effectively address key issues, advance shared development goals, and achieve exceptional development results and impacts in India and beyond.

The Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska was founded in 2010 by the Robert B. Daugherty Charitable Foundation to address the global challenge of achieving food security with less stress on water resources through improved water management in agricultural and food systems. We are committed to ensuring a water and food secure world while maintaining the use of water for other human and environmental needs.