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Database connects public to UNL research

Nebraska

A wealth of water-based research is available from the University of Nebraska. Finding and making sense of it just got a whole lot easier.

An easily accessible and searchable database sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Water Center and the University of Nebraska's Rural Initiative makes it easy for the public, policymakers and others to find out exactly what sorts of water-related research and programming are being done across the state, as well as where it's being done.

"The site is intended as a tool for legislators, government officials and the public alike to keep track of the water-related research and programming university faculty are conducting," said Rachael Herpel, outreach and education specialist at the UNL Water Center.

The database can be found at http://watercenter.unl.edu/researchdb/researchdb.asp. The database can be searched by legislative district, natural resources district, county, congressional district or weed management area.

An "All Nebraska" search key allows for more advanced searching by keyword or individual researcher.

"Water research plays a big part in providing necessary information and data that will be used to help solve Nebraska's current and future water challenges, as well as many other state challenges that are related to water, or have a strong water component, such as agriculture, industry, electric power generation, recreation and others," Herpel said.

"The site lets legislators, government officials and others to keep easy track of university water-related research and extension and education programs, especially research associated with a particular topic of interest or that impacts a particular (legislative) district or NRD," she added.

Included with each project report is contact information for the primary researcher and others involved with the project, as well as links to more detailed information about the project where appropriate.

Many of the research projects and programs listed cross county and district lines and the list isn't comprehensive. "But it continues to grow as individual researchers realize the benefits of having their work listed in the database," Herpel said.

As the database grows, many previously completed state surveys are being made available electronically through the site.

"There is a good deal of public and governmental interest in these surveys, so we thought it was a natural, via this site, to make them easier to access," said Herpel. "It's all part of developing the database into a more comprehensive library for those interested in or working in natural resources areas statewide," she said.

The database project is supported by the university's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and School of Natural Resources.

The database can also be accessed from the research page of http://water.unl.edu.



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