Read the latest water-related news and events!
Read the latest water-related news and events!
A monthly e-newsletter from the North Central Region Water Network
October 2022 
Leaves floating in water

Network News

As we head into the busy holiday season we are busy thinking and planning for 2023.
Applications are now open for the 2023 Summer Watershed Management Research and Outreach Internship Program, so be sure to share the word with undergraduate students in your network!
And the Algal Bloom Action Team is once again gearing up for their annual Virtual Harmful Algal Bloom Research Symposium.  The free symposium is set for January 5-6, 2023 and will feature the latest harmful algal bloom research, provide examples of effective bloom management, and gather over 600 water professionals from across the region and beyond to discuss how to tackle this global issue. The Call for Abstracts is now open so be sure to submit your work - whether research of examples of bloom monitoring, prevention and treatment by Friday, November 4th!
We are also excited to share our new report which provides recommendations, shares accomplishments and lessons learned from a multi-state project that worked to build "human capital" for watershed management.
Here's to making the best of the last two months of the year!
-Joe Bonnell and Anne Nardi, North Central Region Water Network 
A group reveiwing an ACPF output map on the hood of a truck

The Current Webinar Series
Precision Conservation: Tools for Improving Agricultural Conservation Decision-Making

Would enrolling these acres into a conservation program prove more profitable than keeping it in production? Where is the best location for a structural conservation practice on my land, or in my watershed?

Precision conservation tools can help us answer these questions and more. Tune into this webinar to hear about the Mississippi State University Precision Conservation Tool and the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework - two precision conservation tools that leverage map data to help improve conservation decision making. Register
2022 Watershed Interns standing in front of the Duluth Lift Bridge

Network Spotlight

Summer State of Mind: Watershed Management Outreach and Research Internship Programs Looks ahead to Summer 2023

While most of us are thinking about Halloween costumes, family gatherings, and dare I say it – holiday shopping – a team of extension professionals in the North Central Region are already looking ahead to next summer. The mentors for the Watershed Management Outreach and Research Internship Program are busy planning the internship program for summer 2023.  The project, led by John McMaine, Griffith Chair in Agriculture and Water Resources at South Dakota State University, is a Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates (REEU). It is funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to help students from all backgrounds pursue careers in water resource management. Read on
NRCS staff at the South Dakota Watershed Academy meeting in August 2022

Leadership Spotlight
Educating Conservation Professionals on Water Quality and Water Resource Management

Conservation planning and watershed planning – to the outside eye the processes can look similar, but take a closer look and you’ll find different goals, different tools, and even a remarkably different lingo. For Dave Kringen, South Dakota State University Extension Water Resources Field Specialist – it’s important to understand both planning processes.

“Most conservation planners working for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or other agencies will likely have a soil science, agronomy, or range management background. But they may not have a complete understanding of what the South Dakota water quality standards and beneficial uses are, how lakes and streams end up on a 303d list, or what a Total Daily Maximum Load is,” notes Kringen. “Knowing this information and how to use hydrologic modeling tools can make conservation planning on an area-wide scale more robust. That’s what we were trying to do with the South Dakota Watershed Academy.” Read on

In The News

Upcoming Events

Gathering Stories: Protecting Manoomin/Psiη (Wild Rice) and Food Sovereignty Through Cultural Exchange

November 1st
This edition of the Grassland 2.0 Digital Dialogue Series will feature Dr. Mae Davenport, Professor and Director of the Center for Changing Landscapes at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Davenport will discuss a unique research collaborative comprised of tribes, inter-tribal organizations, non-profit environmental organizations and the University of Minnesota who have come together to address tribal needs and sustain wild rice ecosystems. Mae will share stories from across our research collaborative and communities about protecting wild rice and food sovereignty through cultural exchange and learning. Learn more
Soil Health Digital Cafe: Cover Crop Profitability
November 16th

How long does it take for cover crops to become profitable?  In this presentation, Dr. Rob Myers of University of Missouri will share insights on how different management scenarios can impact the time it takes for cover crops to provide a positive economic return, based on data from the SARE/CTIC national cover crop survey. Learn more
Life Hacks Over Lunch: A Meet-up Series for Watershed Professionals
November 18th

This free, virtual meet-up series is a peer-learning opportunity for watershed professionals to share ideas and advice for solving real-life challenges of watershed projects. If you work with farmers and communities on watershed-scale projects to improve water quality and have ever found yourself thinking, “I don’t want to recreate the wheel,” this meet-up series is for you. Learn more
Soil Management Summit 
December 15th and 16th

The Soil Management Summit emphasizes proven farmer experience and applied science. Straight from the fields, learn how heavier, colder soils aren’t necessarily the challenge they’re made out to be. Hear from long-time no-till, reduced tillage, and cover crop farmers as they share their experiences, so you can be spared the same hard-learned lessons. The summit - which will be held in-person Waite Park, Minnesota, features presentations and Q & A with researchers, farmers and agricultural advisors, information from sponsors, and conversations with farmers experienced in different soil health practices. Learn more

Funding and Opportunities

North Central Extension Risk Management Education Grants

The North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, in conjunction with the Northeast, Southern and Western regional ERME centers announces the availability of grant funds and requests the submission of applications. This funding opportunity focuses on educational projects designed to help agricultural producers improve their economic viability through targeted risk management strategies. Proposed educational programming should address any of the five areas of risk: production, marketing, financial, legal or human. The maximum amount of requested funding shall not exceed $50,000. Applications are due November 17, 2022. Learn more

Assistant Professor of Cropping Systems Water Quality at UW-Madison
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is seeking to hire a tenure track Assistant Professor of Cropping Systems Water Quality, to be appointed jointly in the Departments of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the Division of Extension. Position responsibilities will be a split of 60% Extension duties and 40% research/teaching duties. The incumbent will provide leadership in research and Extension activities related to cropping systems water quality in Wisconsin and engage in teaching in related areas. An integrative and applied approach to research is expected, working with multidisciplinary teams of research scientists, Extension specialists, and community partners. Leadership is needed in the development, evaluation, interpretation, and application of new approaches for effective field, watershed and regional applications of multi-scale research. Learn more


Boundary Waters algae blooms spark questions, concern - MPR News

Adam Heathcote has been studying blue-green algae blooms for more than 15 years, including a lot of work in lakes in Iowa and southern Minnesota surrounded by farms and other development, where it’s common to see severe algae blooms. But that didn't prepare him for what he saw last month in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, when he paddled into Burnt and Smoke Lakes — two small lakes off Sawbill Lake, a popular BWCA entry point north of Tofte, Minnesota. 
Read on Launches New Map Feature for Tribal Nations - NIDIS

While drought is a normal part of climate, it presents many challenges, especially as we face rising temperatures and increasing instances where water supply is no longer meeting demand. Tribal Nations contend with barriers and drought data gaps, such as the lack of monitoring on tribal lands, but nonetheless, have long shown their resilience to drought and have communicated the need for tools and resources to help manage it. Read on

Mississippi River record-low water levels ease some, but long-term forecast is dry - Yale Climate Connections
The shrunken Mississippi River, flowing at its lowest rate on record along much of a 270-mile stretch, will receive a minor short-term bump in water levels this week from Hurricane Roslyn’s rains. However, with another La Niña winter in the cards, the long-term outlook for the river is unfortunately very dry. Read on

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