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Ogallala Aquifer is focus of new USDA-funded research project
For more than 80 years, the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest freshwater aquifer in the world, has been the main source of agricultural and public water for Nebraska and parts of seven other states. Now researchers from the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska Water Center will play key roles as part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture-funded consortium to address agricultural sustainability on the aquifer.

The consortium has been awarded a USDA Water for Agriculture Challenge Area Coordinated Agricultural Project grant, which will provide $10 million over four years for research and extension activities to address water challenges in the Ogallala Aquifer region. Learn more.

Center Pivot Irrigation

Water for Food Global Conference: Spots are limited!
The 2016 Water for Food Global Conference will feature a diverse group of nearly 60 expert speakers from around the globe. This year's event will focus on the powerful impact that can be achieved through public-private partnerships in water for food research, technology and project development. Register now as spots are filling up fast!

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Call for faculty and partner poster abstracts, photo contest submissions
poster competition
Poster presentations
To recognize current research focused on the many dimensions of Water for Food, graduate students and faculty and university partners will present posters as part of the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference. Learn more.

Faculty and partner abstracts are due April 1
(The graduate student deadline has passed.)
Photography contest
"What does 'Water for Food' look like to you?" The public is invited to participate in our first-ever photo contest leading up to the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference. Enter to be eligible to win free registration and other prizes. Learn more.

Photo submissions are due April 11

Faculty Fellows awarded professorships
Two Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellows were recently awarded professorships at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Congratulations!

Mehmet Can Vuran was named Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. Can Vuran joined UNL as an assistant professor in 2007 and was promoted to associate professor in 2013. During his time at UNL, he has established himself as a highly-regarded researcher in wireless communication networks and has engaged in a large number of successful interdisciplinary collaborations. He received a National Science Foundation Career grant and has been the principle investigator on seven external grants, totaling more than $1.7 million. Can Vuran has a strong record of engaging and mentoring undergraduate students in research.

Martha Mamo was named Aaron Douglas/John E. Weaver Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture. Mamo has received numerous awards recognizing her innovativeness and creativity, including the University of Nebraska Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award in 2015. She has one of the most active teaching programs and has achieved national recognition among soil scientists, crop scientists and science educators. Mamo has made significant contributions to undergraduate, graduate and extended education programming.

Can Vuran Mamo Grapjhic

Cahoon co-led international team exploring use of non-food oilseed crops
Camelina Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow Edgar Cahoon, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and director of the Center for Plant Science Innovation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Professor Li-Hua Zhu from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences co-led an international team of researchers to develop and demonstrate the use of three non-food oilseed crops as metabolic engineering platforms for dedicated production of high-value industrial feedstock. Learn more.

Platte Basin Timelapse recognized for conservation efforts

The North American Nature Photography Association has selected the Platte Basin Timelapse Project to receive its Environmental Impact Award for 2017. The award honors photographic projects undertaken by an individual or team that addresses an important and urgent regional or global environmental problem. WFI Faculty Fellows Michael Farrell and Michael Forsberg will be presented with the conservation award at the Nature Photography Summit March 2-4, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. Learn more.

Research examines water needs of apples using remote sensing
Water for Food Institute postdoctoral researcher Isidro Campos and Director of Research Christopher Neale co-authored a new study about water management in cultivated apple. The goal of this research was to estimate the actual evapotranspiration and irrigation necessities of a drip-irrigated apple orchard in the semi-arid region of Talca Valley in Chile using a remote sensing-based soil water balance model. Read paper.

This publication was authorized by researchers at WFI, the University of Talca (Chile), Chilean Institute for Agronomic Research, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso (Chile).

WFI welcomes visiting scientists working on joint MENA project
Last week, WFI welcomed visitors participating in the science working group for the evapotranspiration and water productivity sub-tasks of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region Drought Management System Project funded by USAID through a sub-contract with the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture.

MENA project visitors
From left: Ivo Zution, WFI; Chris Hain, NOAA - University of Maryland; Isidro Campos, WFI; Christopher Neale, WFI; Hatim Geli, Utah State University and Wim Bastiaanssen, UNESCO-IHE Delft. Also attending were Martha Anderson from USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory and Brian Wardlow from UNL's School of Natural Resources - CALMIT.
Upcoming events

Seminar on California drought, impacts on irrigated ag | March 31
Richard Snyder
The Water for Food Institute will host "Drought in California: Impacts on Irrigated Agriculture," a seminar by Richard L. Snyder (pictured), biometeorology specialist emeritus, Cooperative Extension System, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis. Learn more.

Thursday, March 31
2-3:30 p.m.

Hardin Hall, UNL East Campus
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

'First Friday' exhibition on water security in Jordan | April 1
The public is invited to view a First Friday exhibition featuring photos from the Water for Food Institute's recent student trip to Amman, Jordan. There will also be posters on display with information on the current situation in Jordan in terms of water security and impacts of the refugee crisis. Learn more.

Friday, April 1
6-10 p.m.

Parrish building, Spatium Gallery
1416 "O" St.
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Seminar to explore uranium in groundwater | April 13
Karrie Weber
The Nebraska Water Center/UNL School of Natural Resources will host a seminar by Karrie Weber (pictured far right), Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow and assistant professor in the UNL School of Biological Sciences. She will present, "Mobilization of Uranium in Groundwater."

Wednesday, April 13
3:30-4:30 p.m.

Hardin Hall, UNL East Campus
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Conference on water security, Syrian refugee crisis | April 19
Oxfam photo of children in Jordan with water tap
Karl Schembri/Oxfam, Flickr
As a result of the civil conflict, threats to water and food security in Syria and surrounding nations are a daily reality. Join us as we learn from international experts about the refugee crisis and the ripple of humanitarian concerns.
This event is free and open to the public. Please register by April 11. Learn more.

"Water Scarcity, Human Security and Democratization: Aspects and Impacts of the Syrian Crisis"
Tuesday, April 19
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m
Nebraska Innovation Campus
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Water for Food interns | Syrian conference
Maiya Shahwan, James Garza, Maddie Thorn and Morgan Spiehs are helping the Water for Food Institute prepare its upcoming conference on water and the humanitarian aspects of the Syrian refugee crisis. The four UNL students are collecting data, news articles and reports from international organizations about water, agriculture, infrastructure and the economy in Syria. Using these resources, they are developing infographics and posters that will be used to promote the conference and will be showcased during the day-long event April 19. As part of their internships, they traveled to Jordan over spring break (March 18-26) where they learned first-hand about the impacts of the Syrian crisis on neighboring countries and the difficulties local governments face in providing water and food to thousands of refugees. The students also learned about Jordanian culture and history, including visits to world-famous archeological sites including the city of Petra and the Amman Citadel. The students will engage with other UNL students and the community during the conference where they will describe their experience in Jordan and lessons learned.
Maiya Shawan
James Garza
Maiya Shahwan 
Read bio
James Garza
Read bio 
Morgan Spiehs
Maddie Thorn
Morgan Spiehs
Maddie Thorn

Jordan Drops and Crops Team
Team members (from left): Maiya Shahwan, Paul Noel (WFI staff), Morgan Spiehs, Maddie Thorn and James Garza scan the horizon from the top of the Roman Theater in downtown Amman, Jordan. Their fact-finding trip took place March 18-26.

The Water for Food 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. We are committed to ensuring a water and food secure world while maintaining the use of water for other human and environmental needs.