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
September 2022 
River in Minnesota with fall leaves

Network News

Do you have more time now that harvest has begun throughout much of the region? Or perhaps it is like drinking out of a firehose all year round? 
If you do have a bit more breathing room, we have plenty of professional development opportunities coming up this month for you to be aware of! Here are just a few:
  1. Next week, the Algal Bloom Action Team is hosting their October Webinar on Remote Sensing and Strategic Management of Cyanobacteria
  2. Also next week, The Grassland 2.0 team is kicking off their Digital Dialogue Series with a webinar on Place-making - what it is, how places are created across spatial scales, and closing the knowledge practice gap in sustainable agriculture.
  3. On October 19th, join the Soil Health Nexus for their Digital Cafe on how citizen science is being used to understand cover crop variability in the Great Lakes
  4. The very next day - Thursday October 20th - tune into the second of the last The Current Webinar of the year as we discuss the latest research and programs on youth water education
  5. Finish off the month with a webinar from the North Central Climate Collaborative on October 24th on how soil health can be a tool for climate mitigation and adaption - a hot button issue for sure!
Those are just a few of the opportunities coming up to connect with colleagues, explore new research, and brainstorm new ideas. We hope you can join us!
-Joe Bonnell and Anne Nardi, North Central Region Water Network 
A hand holding an aquatic species

The Current Webinar Series
Engaging the Next Generation of Water Stewards

Water resource management is a field at the nexus of agriculture, natural resources, social science, public health and economics - all of which provide a wealth of professional opportunities. Yet, many students have limited exposure to watershed management as a field of study or a future professional opportunity. This edition of The Current Webinar Series will feature research on environmental education - who we are reaching and who we aren't - and showcase two programs aimed at engaging youth and young professionals in water resource management. Register
A person standing on a rapid ice-out on a southeastern Minnesota reservoir in March 2019.

Leadership Spotlight
Hard winters and lasting floods: Managing Minnesota's water in a changing climate

In March of 2019, at the tail end of a long, hard winter in Rochester, Minnesota, I went for a walk along our local flood control reservoir.  The previous month had been challenging - we’d received close to 50 inches of snowfall without the temperature getting above freezing, and the impacts of that slowly compressing snowpack- collapsed barns, homeowners desperately trying to control the ice dams on their roofs - could be seen everywhere.  Backing our cars out of the driveway became an exercise in hopeful thinking, as the snow piled on either side was too high to see if anyone was walking or driving by. Read on
We are Water Rally in Minnesota.

Network Spotlight
Five Takeaways to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Watershed Management

Watershed management is an inherently participatory process. Achieving clean water goals requires the inclusion of diverse views and considering the equity of impacts and solutions – yet, underrepresented communities aren’t always, well, represented in watershed planning efforts.

Many practitioners and educators who work in watershed management understand the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but there have so far been few spaces for conversation about what it means to advance DEI in watershed management. At the recent Climate Intersections Conference, hosted in July 2022 by the North Central Region Water Network, we organized a symposium to create a conversation space for this important topic. Read on

In The News

Upcoming Events

2022 Eastern South Dakota Water Conference
October 12th

The Eastern South Dakota Water Conference is held annually and features presentations from universities, local, state and federal government agencies, non-profits, and other stakeholder groups. The conference covers the latest strategies and research for water managers and water users on the Northern Great Plains.This year’s theme is “Phosphorus Loss: Local & Global Challenges.” Although a critical macronutrient for plant growth, phosphorous has been making headlines the past few years as one of the primary causes for blooms of algae and toxin producing cyanobacteria. Learn more

Strategies for Preventing and Managing Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms
October 13th and November 8th

The Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms training reviews key information found in the two Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council Guidance Documents, the 2021 Strategies for Preventing and Managing Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms and the 2022 companion document focused on benthic Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms. Learn more
Life Hacks Over Lunch: A Meet-up Series for Watershed Professionals
October 21st

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
2022 Center for PFAS Research Annual Symposium
October 25th

This in-person event in East Lansing is the Inaugural Annual Symposium on Emerging Technologies in PFAS Remediation and Toxicity. The event includes speakers who will address ways to combat this global challenge. Learn more

Funding and Opportunities

Extension Watershed Specialist Position - Kansas State University Research and Extension

The Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE) is seeking an individual to fill the role of extension watershed specialist as part of our state-wide team. This person will provide leadership in the development and implementation of science-based information and education programs aimed at reducing nonpoint source pollution and improving water quality in high priority watersheds. The specialist will focus on the goal of motivating individuals in a group or a one-on-one basis to adopt and implement best management practices (BMPs).  The position is located in a county/district extension office in northeast Kansas or on the Manhattan campus of Kansas State University. The position is eligible for remote or hybrid remote work arrangement. Learn more
Field Research and Outreach Coordinator Position - South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University (SDSU) Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering Department is offering an exciting career opportunity as a Field Research and Outreach Coordinator. We are looking for a creative and innovative professional to join us in coordinating high impact field research projects working across disciplines and with many non-university collaborators.  This position will collaborate with research and extension faculty, technical staff and collaborating producers, field specialists, agency personnel and industry stakeholders for field sampling and applied research related to water management and water quality. Learn more
EPA Postdoctoral Fellowship for Developing Isotopic Indicators to Assess Wetlands as Nitrogen Processing Hotspots
This interdisciplinary effort will explore developing isotopic indicators of nitrogen processing with the National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA). The NWCA is a survey coordinated by the EPA with states and tribes to collect physical, chemical, and biological data from wetlands across the conterminous United States every five years. This research will bring together this existing soil and water stable isotope data and other monitoring data from the NWCA, and the National Nutrient Inventory – a spatial database of N input inventories – to develop isotopic indicators of nitrogen processing in wetlands across regions and the conterminous US. Applications are due November 14th. Learn more


Study shows positive economic returns from no-till and cover crops - Successful Farming

The benefits of no-till and cover crops to soil health are well known. However, the economic advantages of the two practices are harder to quantify. To determine how no-till and cover crops might affect farmers’ bottom lines, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and Datu Research analyzed data from several farms. The analyses suggested that economic benefits to corn and soybean farmers adopting cover crops or no-till can run as high $100 per acre. 
Read on

Cover crops, soil health could help farmers weather drought in the future - KETV Omaha

Helping farmers weather the drought and severe storms like we've had this year may lie below the ground, according to Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska Extension engineer. He believes focusing on soil health can pay off even in bad years."Soil is our factory. It's our warehouse to store water and nutrients. Again, in industry, you don't let the warehouse fail. You pay attention to that just as much as production," Jasa said. Read on

New partnership aims for 2 million acres of regenerative agriculture practices - The Gazette
ADM and PepsiCo are partnering to expand regenerative agriculture practices across 2 million acres of cropland by 2030. Efforts in Iowa will focus around Cedar Rapids and Clinton, where ADM’s facilities are located. Regenerative agriculture refers to farming practices that help restore the health and biodiversity of topsoil — in which most of the world’s food is grown. Read on
New Research on Adaptive Grazing’s Affects on the Soil Food Web
Rancher conversion to adaptive grazing strategies would appear to regenerate soil food web population, structure, diversity and biological functionality helping to improve: carbon flow into plant biomass, buildup of soil carbon, predator/prey nutrient cycling and soil microbial respiration efficiency while offering improved climate resilience and a strategy to increase the capture and storage of atmospheric CO2 in soils of the world’s rangeland. Read on

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