Science Literacy Coordinator

Christine Bielski
Ph.D. Student, University of Nebraska

Christine is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the Applied Complex Adaptive Systems Lab in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska. She started her Ph.D. in 2017 following the completion of her M.S. in Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska in 2016 and a B.S. in Biology and Art from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2014.

Christine’s research involves developing new approaches to landscape-scale fire management by taking advantage of recent advances in theoretical ecology and applied fire science. Her research goal is to bridge the gap between scientific theory and its application in rangeland systems through research-based education and extension. Christine is actively involved in many stakeholder groups working towards developing solutions to effectively manage Eastern redcedar invasion throughout the Great Plains.

Principle Investigator

Dirac Twidwell
Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska

Dirac is an assistant professor leading the Applied Complex Adaptive Systems Lab in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska. He earned his Ph.D. in Ecosystem Science and Management from Texas A&M in 2012 following an M.S. in Rangeland Ecology and Management from Oklahoma State University in 2006 and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2003.

Dirac’s research interests include: 1) Social-ecological resilience to extreme disturbance and climatic events, 2) Resilience, hysteresis, and thresholds in alternative states and their applications in ecosystem management, 3) Trade-offs of changing land use and disturbance regimes in couple human-natural systems, 4) Forecasting threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, 5) Disaster avoidance and wildfire management at the rangeland-urban interface, and 6) The integration of science in natural resource policy and management. Dirac’s interdisciplinary work across the Great Plains involves the application of modern ecological theory in practice and developing integrative solutions to woody plant encroachment and wildfire in grassy ecosystems. For more information on Dirac’s research program, visit his lab website at https://agronomy.unl.edu/twidwellresearchteam.

Collaborator

Craig Allen
Leader of the U.S. Geological Survey – Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit, University of Nebraska

Craig joined the University of Nebraska as the leader of the U.S. Geological Survey – Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit in 2004. Prior to joining the University of Nebraska, he was the leader (2002-2004) and assistant leader (1998-2001) of the South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Clemson University and a non-tenure track faculty member of the zoology department at the University of Florida. Craig earned his Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida in 1997, an M.S. in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University in 1993, and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay in 1989.

His research interests include adaptive management, biological invasions, spatial ecology, resilience, ecology, ecosystems ecology, invasive species, and invasion ecology. Craig has advanced both invasion ecology and resilience theory in complex social-ecological systems internationally. For more information on Craig’s research program, visit his website at http://snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/people/faculty-member.asp?pid=647.