Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

A quantitative method for determining soil texture by feel

School of Natural Resources
Faculty Advisor
Judith Turk
Contact Email
Start Date
5/1/2018
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 18-19

Evaluating the soil texture by feel is an important field skill in soil science, but it is difficult to learn.  Most texture-by-feel methods use flow charts for keys to guide the user to identify the correct textural class.  This project focuses on the development of quantitative methods for texture by feel, which guide the user to determine percentages of sand, silt, and clay.  There are opportunities for the student to be involved in soil analysis and/or studies of student learning.

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Depressional soils in eastern Nebraska

School of Natural Resources
Faculty Advisor
Judith Turk
Contact Email
Start Date
5/1/2018
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 18-19

Loess-filled depressions are common in eastern Nebraska, but little is known about the soil-forming processes associated with these features.  The goals of this study are to evaluate the variation of soil horizons within depressions, the expression of E horizons, and evidence of recent sedimentation.  There are opportunities for the student researcher to be involved in field sampling and description of soils, as well as laboratory analysis.

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Biodiveristy and Change in Nebraska's Forests

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Advisor
Sabrina E. Russo
Contact Email
Start Date
5/7/2018 but flexible
Paid or Volunteer
Paid, can also apply for UCARE
Hours Per Week
10-20 (academic year); 40 (summer)

Nebraska's forests house a diversity of herbs, trees, and wildlife, but they are rapidly changing due to environmental stresses, such as altered fire and climate regimes, invasive species, and drought.  The goal of this project is to monitor these changes in order to develop effective conservation and management strategies. The work involves mapping trees in Nebraska's forests and taking measurements in order to monitor the growth and survival of trees and and herbaceous understory plants, so that the responses to environmental stress can be quantified.

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Streams and Ecosystem ecology in Nebraska

School of Natural Resources
Faculty Advisor
Jessica Corman
Contact Email
Start Date
5/15/2018
Paid or Volunteer
Paid, can also apply for UCARE
Hours Per Week
40

Streams in Nebraska not only provide important habitats for birds and fish, but they also carry water used for irrigation and recharge groundwater that can be used for drinking water. The quality of stream water is dependent, in part, on the nutrients in it. High levels of nitrogen and phosphorus – often from surrounding fields or rangeland – can impair stream water, as well as lead to eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems. However, streams can also process these nutrients, minimizing the risks to eutrophication.

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Data Trends Driving Food Waste

Food Science and Technology
Faculty Advisor
Angela Anandappa
Contact Email
Start Date
1/1/18 but flexible
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 18-19
Hours Per Week
20

Two students are needed for this project that will include gathering and formatting data into a usable format, creating reports of data and seeking out novel ways to gather new data using social media, public databases and crowdsourcing. Students will be involved in literature reviews of scientific journals and publications.

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Examining fatty acid metabolism through genetically modified animals and using small compound inhibitors

Biochemistry
Faculty Advisor
Concetta C. DiRusso, Ph.D.
Contact Email
Start Date
1/16/2017
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 17-18
Hours Per Week
10-40

Two undergraduate students will serve as research assistants in ongoing projects in the laboratory.  Each will assist with studies involving mice (feeding, breeding, etc) and tissues.  There will be the opportunity to learn various biochemical and molecular biology lab skills, including tissue culture.  Students must major in biochemistry or a related STEM field.  Preference will be given to students interested in pursuing advanced training in biochemistry post baccalaureate.

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Sand Hills Stream Water Quality: implications for downstream users

School of Natural Resources/Biological Systems Engineering
Faculty Advisor
Troy Gilmore
Contact Email
Start Date
5/9/2017
Paid or Volunteer
Paid or apply for UCARE
Hours Per Week
20+

The export of DOC from the Sand Hills may have major implications for downstream water quality. Recent studies have shown an inverse relationship between organic carbon and nitrate across a wide range of environments (Taylor and Townsend, 2010), including streams draining a broad range of terrestrial settings. We hypothesize that water originating in the Sand Hills is relatively low in nitrate due to sufficient DOC supply.

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Enhancing Diagnosis of Veterinary Livestock Pathogens

School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Advisor
Dustin Loy
Contact Email
Start Date
1/1/2017
Paid or Volunteer
Paid
Hours Per Week
10-15 during the school year, 40 over the summer

This project focuses on enhancing diagnosis and diagnostic testing for respiratory and ocular pathogens of cattle and enteric pathogens of swine.  The student would work to develop and validate proteomic and molecular diagnostic techniques including MALDI-TOF Mass spectrometry, Real Time PCR, and other immunodiagnostic tools.  A student with an interest in microbiology and/or veterinary medicine that would have summer availability is sought.  Potential for a UCARE project is encouraged but not required.

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Controls on Permeability Heterogeneity in Sand Bars of the Loup River, Nebraska

School of Natural Resources
Faculty Advisor
Jesse Korus
Contact Email
Start Date
6/1/16
Paid or Volunteer
Paid via UCARE
Hours Per Week
20

The spatial distribution of permeability in sand bars is key to the hydrologic function of river beds.  The goal of this project to develop an understanding of the sedimentary processes that control permeability heterogeneity.  The project will involve field and laboratory work.  Field work will be conducted in central Nebraska in the Loup River system.  This work will involve wading through shallow water, installing tubes for permeability testing, making measurements, and operating

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Spatial Variability of Streambed Hydraulic Conductivity across Multiple Stream Orders

Biological Systems Engineering
Faculty Advisor
Aaron Mittelstet
Contact Email
Start Date
6/1/2017
Paid or Volunteer
Paid via UCARE
Hours Per Week
20

This project will be testing a hypothesis that streambed conductivity will vary between the same and multiple stream orders as a function of soil type of the contributing watershed.  The student will have the opportunity to perform both field and lab work. In the field, the student will help measure streambed conductivity and collect streambed samples at multiple streams within the Frenchman Creek watershed. In the lab, the student will conduct sieve analysis for multiple samples to determine the grain-size distribution, which will then be used to estimate streambed conductivity.

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