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Nebraska NRD Board: Lower Platte North, Dist 9

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  • Robert J Meduna

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    Nicholas Oviatt

Biographical Information

What steps will you take to prepare for changes in climate trends that affect Natural Resource District management?

What educational actions will you advocate for your district's students and adults regarding the changing climate?

How do you address the concerns of citizens and developers who want access to NRD projects?

Has your district tested its water for nitrate levels? If its concentration is found higher than the federal limit of 10 ppm, how would you recommended remedying the situation?

If elected, what would be your first year priorities? Please detail.

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Occupation Financial Analyst; Part-Time Consultant
Education MS Economics, University of St. Andrews; BA Economics, DePaul University; Certificate of Business and Economics, Sciences Po Paris; Certificate of International Affairs and Strategy, Sciences Po Paris
Current Public Office, dates held None
Past Public Office, dates held None
Military experience None
Volunteer experience The Knights of Columbus; Illinois Republican Party
Address 671 County Road P, Yutan, NE 68073
Marital Status Single
Age 26
Twitter @NickOviatt
The effects from climate change are expected to have an indeterminate impact on much of Nebraska. This is because our State will be situated between a drier and hotter American South and a warmer and wetter Canada. Consequently, more studies are needed in order to better understand how climate change could affect Nebraska. I would be supportive of serious studies that are backed by reputable institutions of higher learning. I would also encourage NRD staff to strengthen existing channels of communication with our farmers and ranchers, in order to keep up to date on current weather-related and economic-related conditions.
Climate change is in many ways both a broad and vague subject. Environmental scientists are not necessarily good statisticians, and nor are either economists. Climate change is an interdisciplinary topic of discussion – one that affects a wide variety of people and places. It is important that the NRD’s educational outreach realizes this. Climate change is a scientific issue, yes, but it is also an economic issue, among many others. Academics and professionals from all backgrounds should be included in any discussion regarding climate change.
I would encourage all residents and developers of the Lower Platte North NRD to reach out to me directly, via email or telephone. It is best to work with these types of requests on an individual basis.
The Lower Platte North NRD is proactively engaged and ready with regards to the management of ground water. If nitrate concentration is found higher than the federal limit of 10 ppm, I would recommend instituting regulations that further limit and restrict the use of nitrate fertilizers. These regulations would be best executed under the coordination and cooperation of other NRD’s and state government officials. Provided our agricultural producers are not able to further reduce their surface runoff, then there really is no other alternative.
My first year priorities include expanding the NRD’s public engagement, increasing operational efficiencies, and promoting honest solutions for real problems. These priorities will only be possible, however, with the support of a majority of the board of directors, and so my absolute number one priority is to build lasting relationships with the other board members, even ones whom I may strongly disagree with on a number of issues. I am not necessarily looking for unanimous board votes, but I am looking for a simple majority.