Loretta Singletary

Photo of Loretta Singletary, Extension

Loretta Singletary

Professor, Interdusciplinary Outreach Liaison

Summary

Loretta Singletary is a Professor with the Department of Economics and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, and UNR Interdisciplinary Outreach Liaison; adjunct faculty with Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences and member of UNR graduate faculty. She works with university faculty on teaching and research programs that require an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach to effectively address natural resources issues. Dr. Singletary also works with local, state and federal agencies, groups and organizations to collectively identify and investigate water resource issues through community-based participatory research and outreach programs.

Research interests

Dr. Singletary is nationally recognized for her collaborative research approaches to investigating water resource issues. Currently funded programs feature partnerships with community stakeholders across Nevada, and the western United States, in addition to university faculty and graduate students. She participates transdisciplinary research with input from various levels of community-based decision-making. She is interested in the application of environmental mediation, conflict resolution, and collaborative learning concepts and skills to participatory and collaborative research practices. Her current integrated research and outreach programs include assessing and enhancing community climate resiliency in snow-fed arid land river systems; recycling/reclaiming water resources for food security; enhancing tribal community climate resiliency and planning; and identifying sustainable agriculture and resource management issues unique to indigenous lands.

Cooperative Extension research and outreach programs

  • Evaluating Alternative Water Institution Performance: Are Food Production Systems at Risk from Changing Water Availability? (USDA-NIFA, $4.9m) in collaboration with Desert Research Institute, Colorado State University, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. https://packpages.unr.edu/snowcap/

This project aims to support food production in the intermountain west through a collaborative research framework integrating physical and economic models with stakeholder participation to evaluate outcomes of shifts in snowmelt-derived water supplies. Expected impacts include improved water management policy to support adaptation to changes in water available to agricultural users. The project will determine how changes in the timing of flows constrain agricultural producer decision-making and how water rights institutions can exacerbate or relieve these constraints. A collaborative research and outreach strategy identify and involve stakeholders directly in scientific inquiry and social learning processes. The project will produce a replicable framework that will enhance knowledge co-production and governance processes to result in water allocation outcomes that best represent the role and needs of agriculture and food production.

  • Water for Agriculture Challenge Area: Enhancing the Climate Resiliency of Native American Water and Land Resources (USDA-NIFA, $4.5m) in collaboration with Desert Research Institute, University of Arizona, Utah State University, and First Americans Land Grant Consortium. https://nativewaters-aridlands.com/

Enhancing the climate resiliency of agricultural water resources on reservation lands of the Great Basin and Southwestern US is threatened by the risk of prolonged drought and flash floods and projected declines in surface and groundwater supplies. Native American tribes on arid lands are especially vulnerable to climate change due to marginal soils, geographic isolation, and ongoing challenges to quantify agricultural water rights. Research and extension experts from 1862 and 1994 land grant institutions partner with tribal communities to assess the impacts of climate change on future water supplies, identify barriers and solutions, and evaluate and prioritize actions to enhance the climate resiliency of tribal agricultural water resources and food systems. A participatory research approach ensures that the local knowledge and perspectives of tribal communities remain at the forefront of the project, providing for social learning while protecting Native American cultural traditions and sensitive information. The project goals are to identify and address science information needs to support tribes in efforts to sustain or adopt innovative strategies to enhance the climate resilience of agricultural water resources and food systems as well as to support tribal college efforts to strengthen teaching, research, and outreach expertise on reservation lands.

  • Water Sustainability in Snow-Fed Arid Land River System: (NSF-USDA, $3.8m) in collaboration with Desert Research Institute and U.S. Geological Survey. http://waterfortheseasons.com/

Assessing and enhancing the climate resilience of snow-fed river dependent communities in the arid western United States has taken on critical importance in response to changing climatic conditions. Assessing climate resiliency involves understanding the extent to which snow-fed dependent communities can absorb climate induced variable water supplies while identifying viable adaptation strategies. Participatory research approaches, such as collaborative modeling, are well suited in this context because they are intended to draw upon local stakeholders' knowledge and their diverse, often competing, perspectives to inform science research. A key feature of this program is the collaborative modeling research design, engaging diverse water use communities to address complex public issues surrounding variable water supply, water policy, and climate adaptation.

  • Addressing Human Health Impacts from Emerging Contaminants in Reclaimed Water to Enhance its Use for Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture (USDA-NIFA, $499k)

The main goal of this project is to integrate research, education, and extension to identify, minimize, and mitigate human health impacts from emerging contaminants in reclaimed water, potentially enhancing its use for urban and peri-urban irrigated agriculture. The research team conducts basic research to: identify chemical contaminants in reclaimed water used for urban and peri-urban irrigated agriculture; determines pathways of contaminant entrainment into agricultural products; determines associated human health risks; and develop strategies for mitigation of those risks over the agricultural production chain, particularly focusing on reclaimed water production and point-of-use. Research results are used to enhance the decision-making capacity of: agricultural producers concerning the benefits and risks associated with reclaimed water use; water reclamation facility and water utility staff about the potential risks and mitigation needs and methods to improve suitability of reclaimed water for use in irrigated agricultural production; and affected stakeholder communities and policy makers about the feasibility and benefits/risks of using reclaimed water resources for irrigated agriculture.

Education

1980 B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, University of South Carolina
1982 M.S. Geography, University of South Carolina
1986 M.Ed. Education, University of South Carolina
1991 Ph.D. Applied Economics, Clemson University

Programs

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Calming the Waters: Learning to Manage Western Water Conflict

Conflict has surrounded the Truckee, Carson and Walker River Basins for decades. Key issues include historical use on tribal lands, historical and current water rights, threats to water quality, and wildlife habitat protection. This program teaches youth about Nevada’s water issues and helps them develop the skills needed to address future water conflicts.

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People of the Land

The goal of this program is to train agricultural professionals to better understand Indian culture and make them more effective in helping American Indian producers strengthen sustainable agriculture and natural resource management on the reservations.

News & Journal Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...

Book Chapter(s)
Collaborative modeling to assess and enhance the climate resiliency of snow-fed river dependent communities Singletary, L. & Sterle, K. 2018, Lachapelle, P.R. & D. Albrecht. (Eds.), Addressing Climate Change at the Community Level in the United States. Community Development Research and Practice Series, New York: Routledge.
Fact Sheets
Reclaiming Water for Urban Foodsheds: State of Nevada Regulations and Permitting.
The Reclaiming Water for Urban Foodsheds project integrates basic scientific research with Extension outreach to examine the feasibility of using reclaimed water resources for irrigated agriculture in urban environments.
Sterle, K., Ormerod, K.J., Singletary, L., Pagilla, K., Hanigan, D., Verburg, P. and Yang, Y. 2020, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno, FS-20-11
Four Climate Scenarios Developed to Explore Adaptation Strategies for the Truckee-Carson River System.
This fact sheet reports results from Water for the Seasons, a collaborative modeling research program that partners an interdisciplinary research team with water managers representing the diverse water-use communities in the Truckee-Carson River System in California and Nevada.
Christine M. Albano, Kelley M. Sterle, Michael D. Dettinger and Loretta Singletary 2019, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno, FS-19-09.
Reclaiming Water for Urban Foodsheds: Program Overview
Reclaiming Water for Urban Foodsheds integrates basic scientific research with Extension outreach to examine the feasibility of using reclaimed water resources for irrigated agriculture in urban environments.
Pagilla, K., Hanigan, D., Yang, Y., Verburg, P., Sterle, K., and Singletary, L. 2019, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno, FS-19-08.
Managed Aquifer Recharge in Snow-Fed River Basins: What, Why and How?
Water for the Seasons is a collaborative modeling research program that partners researchers with water managers representing the diverse water-use communities in the Truckee-Carson River System in California and Nevada.
Sterle, K., Kitlasten, W., Morway, E., Niswonger, R., and Singletary, L. 2019, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno, FS-19-10
Shifts in Local Climate Adaptation Strategies Over the 2015-2017 Water Years: A Case Study in the Truckee-Carson River System.
This fact sheet reports results from Water for the Seasons, a collaborative modeling research program that partners researchers with water managers representing the diverse water-use communities in the Truckee-Carson River System of California and Nevada.
Sterle, K., and Singletary, L. 2018, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-18-04.
Adapting Truckee River Reservoir Operations for a Warmer Climate
This fact sheet reports results from Water for the Seasons, a collaborative modeling research program that partners researchers with water managers representing the diverse water-use communities in the Truckee-Carson River System in California and Nevada.
Sterle, K.M., Jose, L., Coors, S., Pohll, G., Singletary, L., and Rajagopal, S. 2018, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno, FS-18-06
Detecting Multiwall Carbon Nanotube Uptake and Translocation in Lettuce to Enhance Food Safety Assessment.
Reclaiming Water for Urban Foodsheds integrates basic scientific research with extension outreach to examine the feasibility of using reclaimed water resources for irrigated agriculture in urban environments.
Yang, Y., Das, K., Barrios-Masias., F., and Singletary, L. 2018, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno, FS-18-03.
Sustaining Water and Climate Resiliency in the Truckee-Carson River system
Water for the Seasons partners scientists with community stakeholders in the Truckee-Carson River System to explore new strategies and solutions for dealing with extreme climate events, such as droughts and floods.
McCarthy, M., Singletary, L., Sterle, K., Simpson K., Fitzgerald, K., Pohll, G., Rajagopal S., Huntington, J., Dettinger M., Niswonger, R., and Kauneckis, D. 2016, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-16-01
Collaborative Modeling to Assess and Enhance Community Climate Resiliency
Creating effective community responses to improve resilience to extreme climate events, such as prolonged drought, requires acknowledging and understanding the interaction between human and natural systems.
Singletary, L. 2016, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-16-04
Needs Assessment for Noxious Weeds in Churchill County: Part 4 of 5 - Criteria for Herbicide Use and Selection
This fact sheet is the fourth in a series of five that reports the results of a needs assessment survey completed by faculty in University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE). The survey attempted to identify the major issues related to the management and control of weeds in Nevada.
Davison, J., Powell, P., Schultz, B., and Singletary, L. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Needs Assessment for Noxious Weeds in Churchill County: Part 5 of 5 - Priority Research and Outreach
This fact sheet is the fifth in a series of five that reports the results of a needs assessment survey completed by faculty in University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE). The survey attempted to identify the major issues related to the management and control of weeds in Nevada.
Davison, J., Powell, P., Schultz, B., and Singletary, L. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Needs Assessment for Noxious Weeds in Churchill County: Part 1 of 5 - Problem Weeds, Approaches and Methods of Control
This publication discusses the results from a needs assessment conducted by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) to identify problem weeds, the approaches and methods for control.
Davison, J., Powell, P., Schultz, B., Creech, E., and Singletary, L. 2011, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-11-72
Needs Assessment for Noxious Weeds in Churchill County: Part 3 of 5 - Spread, Detection and Prevention of Weeds
This publication discusses the results from a needs assessment conducted by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension to discuss the spread, detection and prevention of weeds.
Davison, J., Powell, P., Schultz, B., Creech, E., and Singletary, L. 2011, University of Nevada Extension, FS-2011-74
Needs Assessment for Noxious Weeds in Pershing County: Part 1 of 5 – Problem Weeds and Approaches and Methods of Control
Located in northwestern Nevada, Pershing County has 135 farms and ranches covering more than 244,249 acres, excluding public lands in BLM-administered grazing allotments. The average farm size is 1,809 acres (2008 USDA Agricultural Census).
Foster, S., Schultz, B., and Singletary, L. 2011, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Needs Assessment for Noxious Weeds in Churchill County: Part 2 of 5 - Problems of and Obstacles to Weed Management
This publication discusses the results from a needs assessment conducted by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and looks at the problems and obstacles associated with weed management.
Powell, P., Davison, J., Schultz, B., Creech, E., and Singletary, L. 2011, University of Nevada Extension, FS-2011-73
Working Effectively with American Indian Populations: A Brief Overview of Federal Indian Policy
An understanding of current American Indian issues requires a basic familiarity with federal Indian policy. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of these policies spanning two centuries. The policies are presented as policy “eras” in chronological order.
Singletary, L. and Emm, S. 2011, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Working Effectively with American Indian Populations: Great Basin and Columbia Plateau Indian Culture
American Indians of the western range refers to American Indians who reside in a region of the western U.S. bordered on the west by the Sierra and Cascade mountains and on the east by the Rocky Mountains (Woodhead, 1995). The western range includes the Columbia Plateau and Great Basin cultural and physiographic areas.
Singletary, L. and Emm, S. 2011, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Lyon County Cow-Calf Production Costs & Returns, 2006
This publication is intended to be a guide used to make production decisions, determine potential returns, and prepare business and marketing plans. Practices described are based on the production practices considered typical for a beef cattle cow-calf operation in this region, but may not apply to every operation.
Beaupre, A., Curtis, K., and Singletary, L. 2006, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Professional Papers
Hydroclimatic Variability in Snow-fed River Systems: Local Water Managers’ Perspectives on Adapting to the New Normal.
In the snow-fed Truckee-Carson River System in the northern Sierra Nevada, water managers are adapting to the “new normal” climate inclusive of increased hydroclimate variability, warmer temperatures, and drought and flood extremes.
Sterle, K., Hatchett, B., Singletary, L., & Pohll, G. 2019, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 100: 1031–1048.
Special Publications
Climate Scenarios for the Truckee-Carson River System.
Water for the Seasons partners scientists with community stakeholders in the Truckee-Carson River System to explore new strategies and solutions for dealing with extreme climate events such as droughts and floods.
Dettinger, M.D., Sterle, K., Simpson, K., Singletary, L., Fitzgerald, K., and McCarthy, M. 2017, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno, SP-17-05.
Collaboratively Modeling Water Resources in the Truckee-Carson River System.
Water for the Seasons partners scientists with community stakeholders in the Truckee-Carson River System to explore new strategies and solutions for dealing with extreme climate events such as droughts and floods, using collaborative modeling research design that strategically links scientific research with communities
Sterle, K., Singletary, L., and Pohll, G. 2017, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno, SP-17-04.
Results of a Mailed Survey: Priorities for Wells, Nevada Baker-Tingey, J., Smith, M. and Singletary, L. 2014, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension