On December 7th, 2016, the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters and Nebraska Conservation Education Fund hosted the Third Annual Nebraska Conservation Summit. More than 350 attendees joined us for discussions about the various ways climate change could impact Nebraska.

We are excited to announce that videos of the conference are now on YouTube >> 

Below, you will find the agenda for the 2016 Nebraska Conservation Summit. The title of each session is hyperlinked to its YouTube video. The Summit featured some of Nebraska’s top experts on climate issues – be sure to check out their presentations!

Third Annual Nebraska Conservaiton Summit

Wednesday, December 7

Creighton University Harper Center, Omaha


12:30 – 1:00 Registration and Welcome


1:00 Panel Discussion: Overview of Climate Change’s Impacts on Nebraska

Featuring Nebraska State Climate Director Martha Shulski and Dr. Clint Rowe, co-author of Understanding and Assessing Climate Change, Implications for Nebraska



2:00 Breakout session 1

Climate Change and National Security

Moderator: Dr. Elizabeth Chalecki

Dr. Chalecki came to the Unversity of Nebraska Omaha in August 2014. She earned her Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, and also earned an M.Sc. in Environmental Geography from the University of Toronto.  She is a Non-Resident Research Fellow at the Stimson Center. Dr. Chalecki recently concluded a fellowship at Goucher College as the Visiting Mellon Scholar for Environmental Studies. She has taught at Boston College, Boston University, California State University-Hayward and the Monterey Institute of International Studies.  She has also worked for the Pacific Institute, Environment Canada, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Brookings Institution.

Climate Change and Nature in Nebraska

Join the Nature Conservancy of Nebraska for a discussion about how climate change could impact Nebraska’s landscape and natural systems.

Panelists: Dr. Mace Hack, Nature Conservancy; Dr. Rick Schneider, Nebraska Game and Parks, and Sarah Sortum, Switzer Ranch and Calamus Outfitters and field representative for the Great Plains Eco-tourism Coalition.



3:00 Breakout session 2:

Climate Change, Food Security, and Agricultural Production

Moderator: Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska

Panelists: Dr. Terry Mader and Dr. Tala Awada

Climate Change and Public Health

Discussion with Dr. Ali Khan

Dr. Khan’s professional career has focused on emerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism and global health security.  He founded the Public Health Matters blog and has been personally engaged in guinea worm and polio eradication activities. While directing global infectious disease activities, he designed the laboratory component of the CDC’s field epidemiology and training program. He also helped design and implement the CDC component of the $1.2 billion, 5-year President’s Malaria Initiative. He co-founded a novel center at the CDC to champion a one health strategy and ensure health security from a myriad of zoonotic, vector-borne, and food-borne infectious diseases.



4:00 Breakout Session 3

Water and Climate Change

The Groundwater Foundation will lead us through a discussion about how Nebraska’s water resources will be impacted by climate change, and how we can effectively manage our resources and adapt for the future. Speakers include Kim Morrow, Verdis Group; Bob Swanson, Director, USGS Nebraska Water Science Center; Mike Sousek, General Manager, Lower Elkhorn NRD, and Karen Griffin, VP Water Resources, Olsson Associates

Climate Smart Solutions, Building Blocks and Actions

A discussion will be led by Verlon Barnes and Michael Wilson of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) concerning how agriculture is contributing and responding to climate change, while maintaining productivity. The Soil Health initiative is focused on increasing conservation of soils through different management practices, and results of this program mitigate greenhouse gases, build climate resiliency, and benefit other resource concerns such as water quality and quantity.  Other efforts include nitrogen stewardship, pasture and range management, energy generation and efficiency, and manure management.  Agriculture is addressing climate change and many of our natural resource issues that we are facing today with the result of protecting natural resources for future generations.



6:30: Keynote

Keynote Speaker, Secretary Dennis McGinn

The Honorable Dennis McGinn was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment) on September 3, 2013.  In this position, Mr. McGinn develops Department-wide policies, procedures, advocacy and strategic plans.  He also oversees all Department of the Navy functions and programs related to installations, safety, energy, and environment.  This includes effective management of Navy and Marine Corps real property, housing, and other facilities; natural and cultural resource protection, planning, and compliance; safety and occupational health for military and civilian personnel; and timely completion of closures and realignments of installations under base closure laws.  You can learn more about Secretary McGinn here.