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Daugherty Water for Food Institute preparing for next phase of development, leadership transition
The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska (DWFI) is entering its second five-year phase of development and 2016 will bring a planned leadership transition. The University of Nebraska will convene an international search committee to recruit the next executive director at the end of this year. Read more.

'Transdisciplinary Conversations' to begin Feb. 18
Transdisciplinary Conversations graphic
DWFI and the Rural Futures Institute will host a series of events intended to spur new directions in transdisciplinary research and collaboration. The first event is Feb. 18 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center. Light food and drinks will be served. To attend, please RSVP.
Save the dates:
  • March 16, 5-6:30 p.m. | UNO's Community Engagement Center 
  • April 22, 4:30-6 p.m. | UNL's Morrill Hall 
Water Symposium and Water Law Conference March 19-20
Water use, sustainability and supply in the critical High Plains aquifer will be the theme for presentations and discussions at the Nebraska Water Center's annual Water Symposium and Water Law Conference this spring. "High Plains Aquifer: Sustainability for Food Production and Water Supply" will be March 19. The symposium will be followed by a one-day law conference on March 20. Both events will be held at the University of Nebraska College of Law on UNL's East Campus. Register now.

Poster session: Call for abstracts
Deadline: Feb. 16
Poster displays and a poster competition will part of the symposium. Contact the NWC at pliedle@nebraska.edu or 402.472.3305 for more details. Submit abstract.

NWC Symposium and Law Conference graphics

Other news and events

Aaron Young UNL SNR
Groundwater monitoring seminar
Aaron Young
Feb. 25, 3:30 p.m.
Hardin Hall, UNL East Campus

Dr. Young, survey geologist with the UNL School of Natural Resources, will present, "Monitoring Groundwater Levels in Nebraska: Trends in Statewide Rises, Declines and the Impact of Recent Drought." Learn more.

Livestock research seminar
Max F. Rothschild
Feb. 20, 1 p.m.
UNL East Campus Union

Dr. Rothschild, CF Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, will present, "Role of Livestock Research in Reducing Food Insecurity." Learn more.
Buffett Price Visit
Carrick D at NARD poster session
Howard W. Buffett & Edwin Price present seminar
On Feb. 3, the Water for Food team had the opportunity to learn about social value investing from Howard W. Buffett, currently teaching a global ag/development course at UNL, and Edwin C. Price, director of the Center on Conflict Development at Texas A&M and former founding director of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture.

Nebraska Association of Resources Districts Legislative Conference
The 2015 NARD Legislative Conference was held Jan. 27-28 at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln. DWFI and the Nebraska Water Center participated in this two-day event focused on giving Nebraska policymakers a forum to discuss proposed legislation and learn about a variety of natural resource issues in the state. View photo gallery.
Planning moving ahead for June Water and Natural Resources Tour to Republican River basin
Water Tour Th 2015 Water and Natural Resources Tour will explore the Republican River basin in Nebraska and Colorado June 23-25. "This is a great opportunity to visit a very unique area of southwest Nebraska and eastern Colorado that share, with Kansas, the unique challenges of dividing and cooperating in use of the basin's waters," said tour co-organizer Steve Ress of the Nebraska Water Center. The tour last visited the basin seven years ago, so it's time for a thorough update on the myriad of issues in the basin that effect water users, producers, communities and economies in the three states that share its water.

Dvorak and NWC's Ray collaborate on project to help small community water systems
Three UNL faculty, including UNL Department of Civil Engineering professor Bruce Dvorak and NWC director Chittaranjan Ray, are part of the Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems, a national project that hopes to bring up-to-date technology and safer water to America's small communities. Learn more.


Isidro Campos, post-doctoral researcher
Isidro Campus Isidro Campos joined DWFI in July 2014 as a post-doctoral researcher. He earned a doctorate at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. His background includes the development and validation of remote sensing-based methodologies for the calculation of crop evapotranspiration and irrigation requirements at plot and regional (river basin) scales. He also uses remote sensing methodologies for the assessment of natural vegetation dynamics and water status and the estimation of vegetation canopy biophysical parameters.

His current research at DWFI focuses on the assimilation of remote sensing data in crop growth and production models. The assimilation of remote sensing data in these models allows for calibrating and adjusting the mathematical algorithms modeling crop growth to the conditions in the field. In a first step, the analysis is centered on the relationship between the values of evapotranspiration and radiation absorption derived from remote sensing and grain/biomass production in annual crops. These experiences also include the study of the effect of water stress and other environmental limitations in the production of biomass and grain. Future analysis are the assimilation of these data in more advanced models that consider the dependence of production with respect to other environmental and operating conditions such as the use of fertilizers. The ultimate goal of these approaches is to determine the relationship between the main inputs (water and fertilizer) and actual production to compare scenarios of resource input optimization and improve water productivity. Contact Dr. Campos.
Sandra Dizdarevic, intern
Sandra Dizdarevic Sandra Dizdarevic is an undergraduate student working on a bachelor's degree in management information systems in the College of Information Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She came to Omaha from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but is originally from Bosnia and spent several years in Serbia prior to moving to the U.S. She is fluent in Serbo-Croatian and English.

Sandra is helping build a dynamic and highly functional website for an oral history project about Nebraska's Natural Resources Districts (NRD). The website will allow users to search and filter through more than 80 audio interviews and transcripts. She is proud to be a part of DWFI's team and honored to work on the project, particularly because she will be able to help make the NRD's rich history accessible to a broad audience.

In the previous WFF Digest, the wrong location was listed for NWC director Chittaranjan Ray's Ramiah Memorial Lecture. It took place at Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology in India Jan. 9. His visiting professor appointment is with the Indian Institute of Technology's Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering.
Water funding opportunities

International Wheat and Maize Improvement Center
The International Wheat Yield Partnership is initiating its first competitive funding call by inviting creative, forward-looking proposals that seek to discover approaches to substantially increase the genetic yield potential of wheat, as defined by grain yield under the absence of stress. It is anticipated that wheat yield potential can be enhanced.
Concept paper deadline: March 15
Award amount: Period of one to three years, but should not exceed a maximum cash and in-kind request of $2 million over three years.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Food Security Challenge Area
Letters of intent deadline: April 2
Applications deadline: June 4
Award amount: varies by type of application, amount anticipated to be available for support of this challenge area in FY 2015 is approximately $16.8 million.

U.S. Agency for International Development
India Partnerships Program - Annual Program Statement 386-13-000003
The India Partnerships Program is designed to catalyze, facilitate, and support such collaboration toward shared objectives in such important areas as maternal and child health, control of infectious diseases, the promotion of clean and renewable energy, early literacy, water access, and food security.
Concept paper closing date: Sept. 30
Submit concept papers electronically to: indiapartnerships@usaid.gov
Award amount: Have an overall program value of at least $1 million; must include a minimum matching 1:1 contribution of private, non-U.S. Government resources; and a period of performance of no more than 60 months.
Additional funding opportunities may be found at grants.gov, a single access point for individuals to search competitive funding opportunities from more than 900 grant programs offered by the 26 federal grant-making agencies.

The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska was founded in 2010 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 sustaining the use of water for other human and environmental needs.