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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 2002. Department of Natural Resource Sciences.


Copyright 2002, the author. Used by permission.

A public access copy is available at:


Climate and weather play an integral role in the planning and decision-making processes for those involved in agricultural and natural resource fields. This project was conducted to determine whether climate and weather data are being efficiently and effectively used in these processes.

A survey was mailed to those who work in water-related fields in Nebraska and post-survey interviews were conducted to obtain greater detail. Survey results were analyzed in the following three ways: as a whole; stratified by respondent’s agency; and stratified by the educational background of respondents. It was found that climate and weather data are more likely to be efficiently and effectively used in the following situations: in larger agencies (with larger budgets and more staff); and/or by respondents with higher educational backgrounds. These findings were confirmed in post-survey interviews. The most frequently voiced questions during post-survey interviews concerned the availability, accessibility, interpretation, and accuracy of the data. Users and potential users require relevant climate and weather data to reduce uncertainty in planning and decision-making processes. Recommendations include the creation of a climate and weather data ‘clearinghouse’ to guide users to the appropriate data and information (thereby increasing the access to and use of such data); the creation of educational programs with materials that suit the range from novice to expert to reach individuals who work for smaller organizations and individuals who require training in interpretation and integration of data; and collaboration between agencies to address user needs for specialized equipment and increased accuracy in forecasts.

Advisor: Kenneth G. Hubbard and Steven J. Meyer