Urban Water Issues - Alan Kolok, Professor, Biology, UNO


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Presented at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, College of Public Affairs & Community Service, Conference on Implementing a Sustainable Future in Nebraska

Alan Kolok, Professor, Biology, UNO

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Urban Water Issues - Alan Kolok, Professor, Biology, UNO

  1. 1. Alan S. Kolok Director, Nebraska Watershed Network Water quality in Omaha: From nuisance to resource. Implementing a More Sustainable Future in Nebraska: Urban water quality. September 25, 2013 NWN[the network]
  2. 2. The city of Omaha has some interesting water features …
  3. 3. … however Omaha’s most visible interactions with water have been negative.
  4. 4. Omaha Missouri River Platte River Elkhorn River Papillion Creek Omaha – A city surrounded by water.
  5. 5. Omaha’s urban water quality challenge ? How do you change urban water from a nuisance… … to a resource ?
  6. 6. http://omahacso.com/program/sustainability/ Economic Affordability Regulatory Compliance Community Acceptance
  7. 7. NWN[the network] The mission of the Nebraska Watershed Network is to involve students, in conjunction with local stakeholders, in projects that focus on the environmental stewardship of freshwater resources and the biota that those waterways support. http://omahacso.com/program/sustainability/ Community Acceptance and the Nebraska Watershed Network
  8. 8. Crowdsourcing Environmental Stewardship
  9. 9. Wildlife Roadkill www.wildlifecrossing.net
  10. 10. Crowd Hydrology
  11. 11. Platte River Elkhorn River Missouri River The Elkhorn River Research Station
  12. 12. Crowdsourcing water quality: “What’s in your Watershed Day 2011” Omaha Boy Scout Troop 597 at the Elkhorn River Research Station. Platte River Elkhorn River Missouri River
  13. 13. The presence of the atrazine can be used as a first-tier screening tool for agrichemical runoff. Immediate reporting time Inexpensive ($10 per sample) Increased sample size Reduced resolution (3 ppb)
  14. 14. A healthy dose of IT
  15. 15. Omaha Boy Scout Troop 597 at the Elkhorn River Research Station. - Omaha Boy Scout Troop 597 - Norfolk Boy Scout Pack 124 -Ewing Public Schools - Audubon Society of Omaha - Nebraska Master Naturalists - Sierra Club Missouri Valley - Keep Fremont Beautiful - Keep Norfolk Beautiful - Upper Elkhorn River NRD Volunteer Organizations : www.unomaha.edu/envirotox
  16. 16. May 21, 2011 Watershed Day 2 96 tests, 53 positive hits. 0/15 0% 4/12 33%
  17. 17. Omaha What’s in your Watershed Day 2013 Papillion Creek Five Groups of students from Omaha North High School paired with Network Interns. Five sampling points along Papillion Creek Global Youth Service Day April 26, 2013
  18. 18. What’s in your Watershed Day 2013 Papillion Creek
  19. 19. Measurements taken: pH Temperature Nitrates Phosphates Atrazine Dissolved oxygen Coliform bacteria
  20. 20. New Orleans Arkansas River Ohio River Missouri River Illinois River Minneapolis What’s in your Watershed Day 2014 Li’l Miss Atrazine
  21. 21. “In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” - Baba Dioum
  22. 22. “So… by looking at all the stuff that we alone have done, we’re just going to be seniors in High School, other kids our age or even maybe a little bit younger can look into this and go… …if they can they can do it why can’t we?”
  23. 23. “So, by our little small experiment we can get generations of kids, you know, to get involved in this stuff and really just….. ... make a difference in the world that we live in today.”
  24. 24. Funding Agencies Collaborators: Daniel Snow University of Nebraska – Lincoln Shannon Bartelt-Hunt University of Nebraska - Lincoln Tim Cowman University of South Dakota Graduate Students : Marlo Sellin-Jeffries Lindsey Sherretts-Knight Ashley Jessick Undergraduate Students : Jason Weigel Kate Oien Bethany McAcy Molly HartmanKelty Abbott Josh Krajewski Debbie Akerly Erica Anderson Racine Rangel Nicole Alexander Nick Conoan Lucas Harrison
  25. 25. NWN[the network] unonwn@unomaha.edu