Natural Resources, School of


First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Little

Second Advisor

Dr. Chris Chizinski

Date of this Version

Summer 8-8-2022


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Natural Resource Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professors Andrew Little and Christopher Chizinski. Lincoln, Nebraska: June 2022

Copyright © 2022 Morgan L. Register


There is a complex issue by the need for strategic development of agricultural lands to ensure we can feed a growing world, while simultaneously reducing impacts on our natural resources such as water pollution from runoff, soil degradation, and habitat fragmentation. To address these growing concerns, researchers are looking for ways to optimize both agricultural production and natural resource conservation. Precision conservation was developed to ensure sustainable ecosystems for future generations. Our research evaluates conservation specialists’ ability to clearly articulate how precision conservation can help agricultural producers feed a growing world while simultaneously reducing impacts on our natural resources, I convened a panel of 20 conservation specialists to examine the current diverse perspectives on the progression and integration of precision agriculture in conservation management prescriptions through the Delphi Method research approach. Through the evaluation of the Delphi Method through a systematic review, I highlight the areas of agreeance in the field of natural resources, but also note the areas of concern moving forward for researchers looking to apply in their own research. We used the E-Delphi method to gather data through a series of three 3 surveys to test the hypothesis that the use of precision agriculture is becoming increasingly prevalent in the field of conservation. Our results support the hypotheses, suggesting that conservation specialists are, in fact, using precision agriculture practices in their conservation positions, but with noticeable variance in the confinements of which practices were utilized. Furthermore, the results highlight the need to provide a united message when delivering precision agriculture across varying agency and organizational platforms.

Advisors: Andrew Little, Christopher Chizinski