May 2, 2017
Latest news and updates
Research Forum set for May 11
The third annual Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute Research Forum will be held May 11 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Students will provide brief presentations highlighting their research projects over the past year that align with the institute's focus areas in contributing to a more water and food secure world. The forum is open to the public. Please RSVP by May 4 if you plan to attend. Space is limited, lunch included.
Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute Research Forum
Thursday, May 11
| 8:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
East Campus Union - Arbor Suite
Post-event resources for the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference
In case you missed part of the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference, videos of most of the sessions are available on YouTube

View photos from the event on Flickr and Facebook.

News mention highlights
A Little Lesson on Water Markets |
2017 #Water4Food is a wrap |
Jeff Raikes honored at Water for Food |
Kawamura: 'Successful agriculture sustains civilization' | IANR
Water for Food improving sub-Saharan security |
Global water, food perspectives descend on Lincoln | Lincoln Journal Star
Raikes: Water and food security are pressing global issues | Brownfield Ag News

View social media highlights on during the three-day conference.

Media conference
Watch the media conference courtesy of AgWired.
The Idea of a Land Ethic: The Art of Human Connection to the Land 
In conjunction with the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference and in honor of Earth Day, the institute showcased a short film that examines our connections to the land. The Sheldon Museum of Art hosted "The Idea of a Land Ethic: The Art of Human Connection to the Land" on First Friday and during the opening reception of the conference. DWFI Program Associate Morgan Spiehs and undergraduate intern Madeline Cass created the film. Watch now.
DWFI builds on partnership with UNESCO-IHE
On April 25-26, Executive Director Peter McCornick and Faculty Fellows Dean Eisenhauer and Francisco Muñoz-Arriola visited partners at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, The Netherlands, to sign a new memorandum of understanding that builds on collaborations between IHE and the University of Nebraska established under a previous MOU (2011-2016). The new agreement includes the following activities:
  • Joint field courses, field trips and student exchanges between IHE and DWFI
  • Collaborative research proposals/projects on water for food topics such as the application of hydroinformatics for improved water management, application of advanced technologies for irrigation management, water use efficiency, crop yield models, groundwater modeling, aquifer characterization and others.
  • Continuing implementation of the double Master of Science degree program that emphasizes the development and management of water for food production as detailed in a separate agreement.
  • Fostering opportunities for faculty exchanges between NU and IHE.
Partners sign the new MOU between NU and IHE April 26. Standing (L to R): Laszlo Hayde, Charlotte de Fraiture and Dean Eisenhauer. Seated (L to R): Fritz Holzwarth and Peter McCornick.
Nebraska researchers participate in Indo-U.S. workshop
On April 19-21, a group of University of Nebraska researchers joined Indian colleagues at the Indo-U.S. Workshop on Addressing the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water in Bangalore. The Department of Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science organized the workshop in association with the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, the National Science Foundation, DWFI and the Nebraska Water Center. They shared research and case studies from the U.S. and India on topics including innovations in irrigation, crop productivity and water management, energy use in agriculture, climate change adaptation, biofuel production and more. The Nebraska group included Jonathan Ali, Adam Liska, Bijesh Maharjan, Mesfin Mekonnen, Christopher Neale, Daran Rudnick, Chittaranjan Ray and Karrie Weber. The meeting was led by NWC Director Chittaranjan Ray and Professor Sekhar Muddu of the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science.
Water for Food Processing Specialist joins DWFI
Yulie Meneses Gonzalez (pictured) began a new joint position with DWFI and the UNL Department of Food Science and Technology on April 3. In her new role as Water for Food Processing Specialist, Yulie will split her time between research (75%), outreach (15%) and teaching (10%). Her research will focus on water conservation in water processing and reducing waste in food, water and energy. She will also have an advisory role for graduate students. It is a new field that she would not have discovered without the institute, she said.

“Water conservation and treatment and reuse is an important topic that has growing international attention,” she said. “I like that it is science that has a real impact on society.”

Gonzalez, a former DWFI student support grantee, feels the position will offer new challenges and give her the opportunity to bring people together to develop new projects.

“Right now, I’m working to define a focus area within the topic,” she said. “It’s so broad, and there are a lot of ways we can explore and expand on it. I think there will be excellent grant opportunities, as well.”  
Chicago Council recognizes Nebraska PhD student as an emerging leader in food security
Nebraska Water Center PhD student Pongpun Juntakut (pictured) was selected to serve on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' 2017 Next Generation Delegation, a highly selective group of 20 students from universities throughout the U.S. and across the globe studying agriculture, food, health and related disciplines. Juntakut's research is focused on studying groundwater quality and modeling in the vadose zone. He is working on long-term trends of nitrate contamination in groundwater while pursuing a doctorate in civil engineering (water resources) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Juntakut participated in the council's Global Food Security Symposium March 29-30 in Washington, D.C. 
Mapping Ecosystem Markets
By Christopher Hartley, Deputy Director and Senior Environmental Markets Analyst, Office of Environmental Markets, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Washington, D.C. and Genevieve Bennett, Senior Associate, Ecosystem Marketplace
By Mohamed Bazza, Senior Water Resources Officer, Land and Water Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Italy
Faculty Fellows in the news
Program will help Nebraska's science teachers with water system literacy 
A new program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will provide the state’s science teachers new approaches to teaching about water. The Water Education Leaders for Secondary Science program is designed to foster science literacy about water resource issues. The 15-month continuing education program, led by Faculty Fellow Cory Forbes, will focus on supporting teaching that links food, water, climate, energy and environmental challenges related to questions of water quality and quantity. Learn more.
Here's a way to get kids to eat veggies that isn’t off the wall 
New research from Nebraska behavioral economist and Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute Faculty Fellow Christopher Gustafson shows that creating "buy-in" can lead to kids eating more vegetables. Learn more.
Ge leads USDA-NIFA grant
Faculty Fellow and Nebraska engineer Yufeng Ge (pictured) is the lead principal investigator on a successful grant entitled, "VisNIR-Based Multi-Sensing Penetrometer for in situ High Resolution Depth Sensing of Soils." The nearly $500,000 grant is from the USDA-NIFA. Learn more.
Schnable recognized for excellence in research
The Agricultural Research Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln presented an award for excellence in research to Faculty Fellow and Nebraska plant geneticist James Schnable (pictured far left), along with two other junior faculty. Learn more.
Nebraska's high tech greenhouse puts plants on the right track 
Faculty Fellow and Nebraska plant molecular physiologist Harkamal Walia (pictured)  is featured in a Big Ten Network video about the state-of-the-art greenhouses at Nebraska Innovation Campus. Watch video.  
Cahan to present lecture at Symposium on Water In Israel and the Middle East
Faculty Fellow and Nebraska religious and historical philosopher Jean Cahan will present "Explaining and Resolving Water Security Tensions in the Middle East: What Can the Humanities Contribute?" at the Second Annual Symposium on Water In Israel and the Middle East, to be held May 24 at Northwestern University. Learn more.
Faculty Fellows receive promotions
The following Faculty Fellows were honored April 25 for their recent promotions at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Congratulations!
  • Shannon Bartelt-Hunt Department of Civil Engineering
    Promoted to full professor

  • Ozgur Araz, College of Business 
    Promoted to associate professor and granted tenure

  • Brian Fuchs, School of Natural Resources
    Promoted to associate geoscientist
Recent publications
Prediction of Wheat Yield and Phenological Stages using Neural Network
DWFI Research Technologist Babak Safa published a book in April explaining wheat yield predictions using neural networks. Rain-fed crop production has many variables, especially climatic events. Using data from an artificial neural network that correctly encompasses the relations of climatic factors affecting wheat growth stages can help estimate wheat production for a specific area. In other words, Safa's research can help producers make better management decisions, reducing risk and improving wheat production. Learn more.
Reflectance-based crop coefficients REDUX: For operational evapotranspiration estimates in the age of high producing hybrid varieties
DWFI Postdoctoral Research Associate Ivo Zution Goncalves co-published a new paper in the Journal for Agricultural Water Management examining remote sensing technology and water management strategies developed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's experimental field labs in Mead, Nebraska. Co-authors from DWFI include Isidro Campos and Christopher Neale. Learn more.
Nebraska Water Center updates
Water and Natural Resources Tour registration open
The 2017 Water and Natural Resources Tour will travel through a critical stretch of Nebraska’s Platte River Valley between Holdrege and Ogallala June 27-29. This stretch of the river is vital to many interests in the state, including agriculture, power production, recreation, wildlife habitat and threatened and endangered species. Registration is open now. Space is limited. Contact Holly Rahmann at The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District to register: (+1) 308.995.3560  Learn more.
Well water program gets sampling start at Waverly High
Students at Waverly High School, east of Lincoln, are among the first students from 16 Nebraska schools to participant in a new hands-on program conducted by the Water Sciences Laboratory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "Know Your Well" helps young people understand more about possible groundwater contaminants and how they can affect well water quality, as well as how to test well water and learn the differences between test kits and laboratory methods. The program is funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust.
Ruba Mohamed, visiting student
Ruba Mohamed came to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in September 2016 to complete her PhD dissertation with DWFI’s Director of Research Christopher Neale. Her research includes modeling mass and heat transport in Yellowstone National Park using airborne remote sensing images. She successfully defended her dissertation on March 17, and now holds a doctorate in water resources engineering from Utah State University, where Dr. Neale taught prior to joining DWFI.

Previously, Ruba worked as a teaching assistant at the Department of Civil Engineering in the University of Khartoum and with Khartoum Company for Water Services where she and a team designed a new sewerage network system in Khartoum, Sudan, where she is originally from.  In addition to her doctorate, she holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Utah State University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Khartoum. She looks forward to working in research related to her major and being able to give back to her home country. Ruba’s last day at DWFI will be May 5.

“I’m very grateful to the institute for hosting me during the last eight months — providing me with a desk, computer and the software I needed to complete my research, and most importantly, with a welcoming and friendly environment.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts Challenge Area - Synopsis 1
Deadline: June 28

Deadline: July 13
About us
The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska was founded in 2010 by the Robert B. Daugherty 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. The institute is committed to ensuring a water and food secure world while maintaining the use of water for other human and environmental needs. | (+1) 402.472.5145

The Nebraska Water Center, established by Congress in 1964, focuses on helping the University of Nebraska become an international leader in water research, teaching, extension and outreach by facilitating programs that will result in UNL becoming a premiere institution in the study of agricultural and domestic water use. | (+1) 402.472.3305