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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Current Projects

Drought Planning Using Community Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

This project utilizes climate data from the Platte River basin to develop and implement a decision-support model for drought planning using the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process. THIRA is a Federal Emergency Management Agency-mandated risk assessment process to identify threats and develop capability targets to inform planning and preparedness. The Platte […]

Early Learning Contexts in Rural and Urban Nebraska

This project investigates cumulative influences on early learning and achievement for young children at economic disadvantage across rural and urban settings in Nebraska through three complementary and prospective studies. This research will provide reliable information for policymakers and practitioners to understand variations in practices that augment transitions and early learning; determine malleable factors that improve […]

CLOUD-MAP: Collaboration Leading Operational UAS Development for Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) can revolutionize the study of the atmosphere, but their routine application for studying and surveilling the atmosphere requires careful consideration of the public response to such proposed use in the United States (US) national airspace system. The Public Policy Center will help CLOUD-MAP project researchers understand likely public reactions to large-scale […]

Public Health Surveillance System Evaluations

Center researchers, working closely with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health developed a Brief Evaluation Protocol for use in evaluating public health surveillance systems. Two systems were evaluated during the development of this protocol: the Nebraska State Immunization Information System (NESIIS), and the Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS). Public […]

Prosper Lincoln

Prosper Lincoln is an initiative that follows up on the results of Lincoln Vital Signs project reports, which provide a unique and timely opportunity to build conversations and collaborations for addressing community issues in Lincoln. As part of this initiative, the Public Policy Center synthesized data gathered from citywide engagement events that culminated in an […]

Development of a Suite of Demonstration Videos for Introductory Astronomy

In this NSF funded project (DUE-1245679), PPC researchers designed a study consisting of a series of tests to apply to videos developed by UNL’s Department of Physics and Astronomy that teach basic concepts in astronomy and physics. These videos are intended for use in introductory undergraduate courses. Approximately 150 students participated in this study, which […]

Developing a Social-Cognitive, Multilevel, Empirically-Based Model of Public Engagement for the Shaping of Science and Innovation Policy

Public engagements involving residents, scientists, and policymakers are increasingly being used to shape policy in the US. Despite the attention paid to such engagements, there is a lack of knowledge and theory concerning which forms, features, and contexts of public engagements are meaningful to participants and produce insightful information that is useful to scientists and […]

Lincoln Vital Signs

In 2014, leaders of Lincoln’s largest public and private charitable organizations commissioned the Lincoln Vital Signs report to help inform decisions, spark connections, and spur collaboration. Since then, Lincoln Vital Signs reports (2014, 2015, and the 2016 Behavioral Health Supplement; all available at lincolnvitalsigns.org) authored by the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, have been […]