2018 - Science Literacy

Using Research-Based Facts To Make Real-World Decisions

Science Literacy and the Next Generation Michael Boehm looks at the university's role in the world's grand challenges

As the next generation of leaders is entering the educational pipeline, it’s important to have an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to solve the grand challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050. 

Read the full Interview with Michael Boehm

What is Science Literacy and Why is it Important? Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources focus on science literacy opens the doors to the university

All eyes are on the future, when there is more and more information to consume, available through a voice-activated device or the click of a touch-sensitive button, with only the human brain determining whether that information is fact or fiction. 

Read the full Interviews with Kathleen Lodl and Mark Balschweid

Solving Challenges One Partnership at a Time international programs focus on education, leadership

Solving grand challenges, like a growing world population, requires the combined efforts of great minds from different backgrounds, according to Tiffany Heng-Moss, interim dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Read the full Interview with Tiffany Heng-Moss

Nebraska Extension Goes Global China partnership focusing on sustainable, productive farming

Nebraska Extension has a goal of making agricultural practices more efficient in countries around the world so even more safe food is available for a growing population. 

The Nebraska (Yangling) Sci-Tech Park is a demonstration farm in China in a partnership to improve agricultural practices. The farm is 164 acres and is located west of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, which is Nebraska’s sister province. 

Read the full Interview with Charles Hibberd

Local Action, Global Impact Agricultural Research Division scientists work to solve the world's challenges

Imagine a triple-digit-degree summer day or a raw winter storm. Today, luxuries such as air conditioning or heating combat nature’s extremes. Unlike human beings, plants are uniquely exposed to all types of weather without an escape from harsh extremes. 

Tala Awada’s interest in science sparked from her fascination of plants’ ability to withstand many environmental stresses. 

Read the full Interview with Tala Awada

Questioning the Culture of Planting an Invasive Tree loss of grassland is at stake in Nebraska Sandhills

The Eastern redcedar can be seen everywhere across Nebraska, especially in the Nebraska Sandhills. Many travelers drive past without knowing that this species of tree poses one of the biggest threats to the Nebraska Sandhills. 

Read the full Interview with Dirac Twidwell

Studying Water For Food 'There is no Place like Nebraska'

Nebraska has more irrigated acres of cropland than any state in the United States; even more than most other countries. As a result, Nebraska has a long history of water use and of designing systems to manage agricultural and other water uses for current and future generations. People from around the world come to Nebraska to learn about its Natural Resources Districts (NRDs), water research at the University of Nebraska and the agriculture – and irrigation – that are the strengths of the state’s economy.

Read the full Interview with Nicholas Brozović

The Ripple Effect of Generative Leadership how the transfer of leadership and wealth will affect Nebraska

The United States is poised to experience one of its largest transfers of leadership in its history, as evidenced by 56 percent of management occupations currently being held by individuals age 45 and older.

Simultaneously, Nebraska will experience a large transfer of wealth. 

Read the full Interview with Lindsay Hastings

Changing Childhood Eating Behaviors education, technology combine to help parents and kids

More than 75 percent of young children are cared for in child care or other non-parental settings. Research shows that early childhood is a formative development period for impacting children’s eating habits and setting them on a path of a lifetime of good health. Focusing on early childhood behaviors is critical in Nebraska, because the state ranks fourth in the United States in childhood obesity.

Read the full Interview with Dipti Dev

New Opportunities in Nebraska Nebraska Extension working to create makerspaces across the state

A makerspace, like a community, is about people. It’s about leaders who teach and lead and mentor; it’s about building community capacity. 

Read the full Interview with Brad Barker

Streaming Science Creates Interest in Stem Career new online program brings education opportunities to schools

Few people ever go inside a wind turbine. But through video technology, students throughout Nebraska saw the inside of one of these massive machines and learned from a Nebraska Extension educator how electricity is generated from the wind.

Read the full Interview with Jamie Loizzo

Improving Water Quality and Quantity for Everyone Messer works on issue that cut across engineering, ecology, income levels

Water quantity and water quality are not just environmental issues; they are people issues. “Every morning when someone wakes up, they should be able to say, ‘I have clean water to drink and food to eat.’ That shouldn’t be something that anyone must question,” according to Tiffany Messer, University of Nebraska–Lincoln assistant professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and the School of Natural Resources.

Read the full Interview with Tiffany Messer

Writing, Talking to the Public about Science Schrage shares tips, scientific understanding

Scott Schrage knows how to write. He can use the right words, in the right order, for the people who likely will read what he writes. He is skilled with punctuation and with the Associated Press Stylebook. But his job as science writer and editor with University Communication at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln requires more than wordsmithing and style.

Read the full Interview with Scott Schrage

Inviting the World to Farm Through a Video Game game for middle school and high school students promotes learning about ag decisions and processes

There’s a new video game in town – one that educators actually want students to play. 

The “AgPocalypse” game helps students understand agriculture, natural resources and make decisions that affect outcomes of both. Jeyam Subbiah, Kenneth E. Morrison Distinguished Professor of Food Engineering, Biological Systems Engineering and Food Science and Technology, formed the game idea, then created a team of University of Nebraska–Lincoln colleagues to pull it all together.

Read the full Interview with Ashu Guru, Jenny Keshwani and Jeyam Subbiah

Encouraging Everyone to Join STEM Career Fields Cultivate ACCESS focuses on women, underrepresented minorities in high school

Researchers like Jenny Keshwani are finding ways to increase diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields by incorporating curriculum into high school classrooms. Cultivate ACCESS (Agricultural Career Communities to Empower Students in STEM) encourages women and minorities to consider STEM careers by showing they are capable of pursuing these fields.

Read the full Interview with Jenny Keshwani

Merging State and University for Nebraska's Ag Students Kreifels' mission to improve and expand agricultural education programs

Today, fewer than 2 percent of people in the United States are farmers and ranchers, but more than 300 career opportunities are related to agriculture, representing a spectrum of opportunities for Nebraska’s young people.

Read the full Interview with Matt Kreifels

Science and Decision-Making for a Complex World knowledge, competency and contexts for today's students

Science Literacy 101 is a course for almost 600 students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources each year. Through this course, students are challenged to think about what science is and why it is necessary. Students are introduced to scientific, social, economic, political, cultural and ethical dimensions of current food, energy and water issues. 

Read the full Interview with Jenny Dauer

Developing Learners While Building Leaders

“I think everybody deserves the chance to have their story be a good one. As an educator, if I can help in that story-writing process, I think that’s a win for me. I feel like I’ve made a difference.” 

Read the full Interview with Deepak Keshwani

How Do Students Learn Biology Combining biology, education and cognitive psychology helps students connect knowledge 'chunks'

Experts in a discipline can easily access information from memory within their field of study. An expert’s brain can easily sort and store information, building bigger “chunks” of knowledge, but students are still developing this skill. Joseph Dauer’s research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is working to equip students with a skill he refers to as “chunking.” 

Read the full Interview with Joseph Dauer

Plant Pathologist and Mentor for Sydney Everhart, they go together

Sydney Everhart is known as a quantitative ecologist to some; to others, a plant disease epidemiologist. And to many more, she is known as a role model and mentor. 

Everhart is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She studies diseases and disorders of plants, how they occur and what management practices can be used to stop them. 

Read the full Interview with Sydney Everhart

Tomorrow's Scientists Improving Communities, Improving the World Basche teaches students to communicate their science

Policy affects everything – and Andrea Basche is teaching her University of Nebraska–Lincoln students to understand the role of policy in the agriculture that helps to feed the world.

Basche believes science supports the policies that promote conservation of water, soil and other natural resources. “Policy matters because all the rules govern what we do,” Basche explained.

Read the full Interview with Andrea Bashce

Ag, Natural Resources Career Focus on Science college's Obermeyer helps students prepare, stays current on jobs, internships

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicate there are more jobs available than there are students in the educational pipeline to fill them. Another statistic indicates that by the time a student graduates from college, there will be 60 percent more jobs available than when the student started college.

But how do college students prepare for and learn about these careers?

Read the full Interview Julie Obermeyer