Community and Regional Planning

Community and Regional Planning Professor Dr. Zhenghong Tang collaborates with the Nebraska Saline Wetland Conservation Partnership (SWCP), the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County, the Lower Platte South Natural Resource District (LPSNRD), and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) to preserve saline wetlands in eastern Nebraska. This three-year project was funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The overall goal of this project is to deploy wireless-based, real-time sensor networks to monitor and evaluate wetland salinity, vegetation and hydrological interactions under the context of rapidly urbanized watersheds in east Nebraska.

Nebraska east saline wetlands are globally unique inland, salt-marsh ecosystems formed by saline groundwater via springs and seeps. Nebraska east saline wetlands serve as federally identified critical habitats for endangered species such as the Salt Creek Tiger beetle and the Saltwort plant- listed by Nebraska as an endangered species and over 260 different bird species. However, these saline wetlands are highly vulnerable ecosystems because they significantly depend on saline ground water discharge at the surface. This research will fill critical data gaps for multiple agencies and raises awareness of the wetland’s value. This project will add an advanced wireless-based monitoring system for wetland managers increasing their capacity to observe and assess wetland conditions.

- Zhenghong Tang