Loretta Singletary

Loretta Singletary headshot

Loretta Singletary

Professor of Economics, Interdisciplinary 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.

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.

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.

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.

Selected publications

Book chapters

  • Singletary, L. & Sterle, K. (2018). Collaborative modeling to assess and enhance the climate resiliency of snow-fed river dependent communities (Ch. 8), in 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.
  • Novak, R., Jantarasami, L., (chapter leads) section co-authors alphabetically listed: Delgado, R., Narducci, C., Marino, E., McNeeley, S., Raymond-Yakoubian, J., Singletary, L., & Whyte, K.P.) (2018). Tribes and indigenous people (Ch. 15), in D. Reidmiller et al. (Eds.) Fourth National Climate Assessment. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Global Change Research Program.

Refereed journal articles

  • Sterle, K., Hatchett, B., Singletary, L., & Pohll, G. (2019). Hydroclimatic variability in snow-fed river systems: Local water managers' perspectives on adapting to the new normal. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0031.1, in press.
  • Fillmore, H., Singletary, L., & Phillips, J. (2018). Assessing tribal college priorities for enhancing climate adaptation on reservation lands. Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education. 163(1), 68-74; doi.org/10.1111/j.1936-704X.2018.03270.x.
  • Maletsky, L., Evans, W.P., Singletary, L., & Sicafuse, L. (2018). Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) Fire Science Exchange Network: A national evaluation of initiative impacts. Journal of Forestry. 116(4), 328-335; doi.org/10.1093/jofore/fvy009.
  • Sterle, K. & Singletary, L. (2017). An assessment of drought adaptation to variable water supply in the western United States. Water. 9(10), 768; doi:10.3390/w9100768.
  • Singletary, L. & Sterle, K. (2017). Collaborative modeling to assess drought resiliency of snow-fed river dependent communities in the western United States: A case study in the Truckee-Carson River System. Water, 9(2), 99; doi:10.3390/w9020099.
  • Singletary, L., Emm, S., Hill, G., Brummer, F., Lewis, S., & Hebb, V. (2015). Results of an assessment to identify potential barriers to sustainable agriculture on American Indian reservations in the western United States. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 21(4). DOI: 10.1080/1389224X.2015.1074591.
  • Skelley, J., Hill, G., & Singletary, L. (2014). Probing needs assessment data in depth to more effectively target programs. Journal of Extension, 52(2). 

Refereed curriculum materials (CM) and special publications (SP)

  • Bowman, A., Lott, C., Meenan, C., Rollins, K. S., Stoddard, S., Singletary, L. (2018). Elasticity of Price Demand for Water for Residential and Commercial Sectors in Nevada. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication (SP-18-05).
  • Sterle, K. & Singletary, L. (2017). Adapting to Variable Water Supply in the Truckee-Carson River System: Results of Focus Groups Conducted in 2016 with Local Water Managers. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication (SP-17-15). 
  • Dettinger, M.D., Sterle, K., Simpson, K., Singletary, L., McCarthy, M., & Fitzgerald, K. (2017). Climate Scenarios for the Truckee-Carson River System. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication (SP-17-05). 
  • Sterle, K., Pohll, G., & Singletary, L. (2017). Collaboratively Modeling Water Resources: An Overview of Hydrologic and Operations Models in the Truckee-Carson River System. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication (SP-17-04). 
  • Singletary, L., Sterle, K., & Simpson, K. (2016). Assessing the Climate Resiliency and Adaptive Capacity of the Truckee-Carson River System: Results of a Survey of Local Organizations. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication (SP-16-03). 
  • Singletary, L., Evans, W., Sicafuse, L., & Maletsky, L. (2016). Evaluation Resource Guide for Joint Fire Science Program Fire Exchanges. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Curriculum Material (CM-16-01).
  • Singletary, L., Emm, S., Loma'omvaya, M., Clark, J., Livingston, M., & Kotutwa Johnson, M. (2014). People of the Land: Sustaining agriculture on the Hopi Reservation. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Curriculum Material (CM-14-02).
  • Sicafuse, L., Maletsky, L., Evans, W., & Singletary, L. (2014). Joint Fire Science Program Fire Science Exchanges 2013 evaluation report. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication (SP-14-10).
  • Belonga, J. & Singletary, L. (2014). Assessing youth development needs in Nye and Esmeralda counties. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication (SP-14-08).
  • Baker-Tingey, J., Smith, M., & Singletary, L. (2014). Results of a mailed survey: Priorities for Wells, NV. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication (SP-14-11).
  • Lucas, A. & Singletary, L. (2013). Youth development in Lyon County: A needs assessment. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication (SP-13-10).

Refereed Extension fact sheets (FS)

  • Sterle, K. M., Jose, L., Coors, S., Pohll, G., Singletary, L., Rajagopal, S. (2018). Adapting Truckee River Reservoir Operations to Variable Climate Conditions. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet (FS-18-06).
  • Sterle, K. M., Singletary, L. (2018). Shifts in Local Climate Adaptation Strategies Over the 2015-2017 Water Years: A Case Study in the Truckee-Carson River System. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet (FS-18-04).
  • Yang, Y., Das, K., Barrios-Masias, F., Singletary, L. Detecting Multiwall Carbon Nanotube Uptake and Translocation in Lettuce to Enhance Food Safety Assessment. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet (FS-18-03).
  • Singletary, L. (2016). Collaborative Modeling to Assess and Enhance Community Climate Resiliency. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet (FS-16-04).
  • McCarthy, M., Singletary, L., Sterle, K., Simpson, K., Fitzgerald, K., Pohll, G., Rajagopal, S., Huntington, J., Dettinger, M., Niswonger, R., & Kauneckis, D. (2016). Sustaining Water and Climate Resiliency in the Truckee-Carson River system. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet (FS-16-01).

Technical reports

  • Singletary, L., Evans, W., & Rollins, K. (2018). Evaluating alternative water institutions in snow-dominated basins: Are food production systems at risk from changing water availability? (1246033).
  • Singletary, L. & Pagilla, K. (2016). Addressing human health impacts from emerging contaminants in reclaimed water used for urban and peri-urban agriculture. (942831-1).
  • Evans, W., Singletary, L., & Copp, C. (2016). An evaluation of the process and impacts of the Joint Fire Science Program. (508843-4).
  • Singletary, L., McCarthy, M.I., & Emm, S. (2015). Enhancing climate resiliency for agricultural production on American Indian lands of the Great Basin Desert Area. (638335-2).
  • Singletary, L., Sterle, K., & McCarthy, M.I. (2015). WSC category 2 collaborative: Water sustainability in snowfed arid land river system. (745766-1).
  • Evans, W., Singletary, L., Sicafuse, L., & Maletsky, L. (2015). An evaluation of the process and impacts of the Joint Fire Science Program. (508843-4). 
  • Emm, S. & Singletary, L. (2014). A needs assessment on the Hopi and Navajo reservations. (2014E036).
  • Evans, W., Sicafuse, L., & Singletary, L. (2013). An evaluation of the process and impacts of the Joint Fire Science Program. (S10/11-048).

Selected recent research presentations [*indicates presenter(s)]

  • Sterle, K., Jose, L., Coors, S., Singletary, L.*, Rajagopal, S., Pohll, G.*, & Thomas, J. (2017, October). Adapting to Earlier Snowmelt through Reservoir Reoperation. Oral Presentation. Annual Conference of the Italian Society for Climate Sciences. Bologna, Italy.
  • Singletary, L.* (2016, February). American Indian Land Tenure and Water Rights. Conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC. 
  • Simpson, K., Sterle, K., Singletary, L.*, McCarthy, M.I., Kauneckis, D., & Dettinger, M.D. (2015, May). Role of Collaborative Modeling and Participatory Research in understanding the challenges that water scarcity in a changing climate: International implications for agriculture and food security. Invited Abstract and Oral Presentation, 7th Annual International Edible Alliaceae Conference. Nigde, Turkey.
  • Singletary, L.* & Clark, J. (2014, July). Effective outreach and education are critical to success of IWRM. Submitted Abstract and Presentation. American Water Resources Association: Summer Specialty Conference. Reno, NV. 
  • Sicafuse, L., Singletary, L.*, Evans, W.*, & Maletsky, L.* (2014, May). Writing evaluation impact statements and applying Logic model to program development and evaluation. Invited Presentation. Joint Fire Science Program Annual Consortia Meeting. Tucson, AZ.

Education

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