Thursday, March 30, 2017

National Drought Mitigation Center

Planning and Social Science at the NDMC

Climatology helps us anticipate and recognize drought. Knowing what to do about it requires many different kinds of expertise, including understanding decision-making processes and public administration, and the interrelationships between human communities and natural resources.

The NDMC's Planning and Social Science team primarily focuses on drought planning, research, education, and facilitating stakeholder involvement. The team has experience helping planners learn exactly how drought has affected an area in the past, how it's likely to affect them in the future, and what steps can be taken to implement best management practices and develop drought plans. NDMC staff have helped in developing and reviewing drought plans for several states and tribes in the United States, as well as international agencies.

The team also carries out a great deal of research, such as investigating how farmers and ranchers deal with drought, how states can better estimate drought losses, and designing the most appropriate drought planning methods. In 2007-2008, Dr. Cody Knutson worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to review drought planning activities in North Africa and the Middle East and develop a drought planning guide for the region.

Using the latest methods and technologies, the team also has extensive experience conducting workshops and facilitating public participation to increase public involvement in NDMC projects. To complement these efforts, staff are also developing new educational materials and games about drought to make the topic more accessible to children and people of all ages.

Current and Past Projects

Near East Drought Planning Manual How to Reduce Drought Risk cover

Drought Impact Reporter

Economic Impacts of Drought

Republican River Water and Drought Portal

Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch

Stakeholder Needs for


Dr. Cody Knutson (lead), environmental geographer, water resources scientist

Dr. Deborah Bathke, climatologist

Tonya Bernadt, stakeholder interaction, environmental education

Tonya Haigh, rural sociologist, community organizer

Kelly Helm Smith, community planning, communications

Nicole Wall, public participation facilitator, human dimensions of natural resources, forensic scientist

Dr. Donna Woudenberg, human dimensions of natural resources

The National Drought Mitigation Center | University of Nebraska-Lincoln
3310 Holdrege Street | P.O. Box 830988 | Lincoln, NE 68583–0988
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