The New Frontier: Carbon or Conservation?—Raffa Sindoni

The rapidly expanding carbon-offsetting market casts a shadow across Western conservation movements.  Although carbon markets are praised by some as a leading climate change solution, the morality and efficacy of this free-market phenomenon is hotly debated by academics, Indigenous activists, corporate titans, and environmentalists across the spectrum.  So, what exactly is carbon-offsetting and how does Read more about The New Frontier: Carbon or Conservation?—Raffa Sindoni[…]

Bison Restoration: Pursuing Environmental Justice on the Great Plains—Ross Martin

Bison are a uniquely important species in North America’s past, present, and future. They are a keystone species that maintains and enhances ecological function in grassland ecosystems. Bison long supported Indigenous cultures, and their slaughter enabled the United States’ bloody conquest of the continent. The disappearance of the large herds disrupted human, plant, and wildlife Read more about Bison Restoration: Pursuing Environmental Justice on the Great Plains—Ross Martin[…]

The Vital Role of Working Lands in Western Conservation—Annie Miller

Working lands — the farms, ranchlands, and working forests that support livelihoods —  are a vital component of the western landscape, and their ecological, economic, and social  importance is difficult to overstate. In addition to supplying much of the food we eat, they hold critical wildlife habitat, provide vital ecosystem services, and represent a way Read more about The Vital Role of Working Lands in Western Conservation—Annie Miller[…]

Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai

Roots do everything. They are the connector between plants and soil–the interface at which many of the transactions of life are made. Roots (with the help of their mycorrhizal associates) conduct a plant’s search for nutrients, water, and shelter. They scour the soil for the ingredients of life and support whole ecosystems of microorganisms, plants, Read more about Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai[…]

Augmenting local water supplies in Southern California: Difficult Tradeoffs — Ryanna Fossum

Our day-to-day experience with fresh water varies drastically depending on where in the country we live. This week, as I pulled off a highway in Connecticut to avoid the torrential downpour from Hurricane Henri, I thought about my work back home in Los Angeles to adapt to long-term drought. If I had superpowers, one of Read more about Augmenting local water supplies in Southern California: Difficult Tradeoffs — Ryanna Fossum[…]

Complex Questions of Recreation Narratives about Wildlife Preservation in Jackson, Wyoming—Bea Portela

Over the course of this unprecedented COVID-19 summer, our project has gone through many iterations, though ultimately we decided to build on our interviews from the spring semester and conduct a literature review. By analyzing articles, newsclips, or blog posts, we sought to paint a picture of Jackson Wyoming’s outdoor recreation community and the intersecting Read more about Complex Questions of Recreation Narratives about Wildlife Preservation in Jackson, Wyoming—Bea Portela[…]

Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation—Grace Hilbert

No two conservation projects are the same, which is why the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) developed the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, also referred to as the Conservation Standards (previously the Open Standards). These Standards are an adaptable framework that brings together common concepts, approaches, and terminology to help make conservation efforts more Read more about Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation—Grace Hilbert[…]

Recreation and Conservation Planning for Fishers Peak State Park

In partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Colorado, our research team is working across ecological and recreational decision-making processes to help inform planning and management for Colorado’s new Fishers Peak State Park. The park is located in southern Colorado near the city of Trinidad and comprises 19,200 acres, rich with biodiversity and recreational potential. Our Read more about Recreation and Conservation Planning for Fishers Peak State Park[…]

Small Species, Big Impact: Communicating Biodiversity Conservation across Disciplines—Lauren Sadowski

Often, charismatic species are over-represented in scientific fields, more likely to raise funds, or considered ecologically more important than others. As a result, raising conservation advocacy, support, and awareness for megafauna species like elk, moose, bear, or wolves can be easier compared to rare, small, or uncharismatic creatures. Avians and mammals are some of the Read more about Small Species, Big Impact: Communicating Biodiversity Conservation across Disciplines—Lauren Sadowski[…]

Fishers Peak: A Model For Collaboration—Tony Cisneros

I learned about the nascent Fishers Peak State Park in the fall of 2019, over one year ago today. At the time the land had just been purchased by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and was being transitioned to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), which would be responsible for Read more about Fishers Peak: A Model For Collaboration—Tony Cisneros[…]

A Win for Science and Conservation: Protecting Research in Gothic, Colorado with a Conservation Easement — Margot Buckelew and Abbey Warner

Margot Buckelew and Abbey Warner, 2020 Western Resources Fellows with UHPSI at YSE, contributed to western conservation efforts this summer by lending their skills and support to two Colorado-based conservation organizations. Margot’s field research experience and ability to think critically allowed her to support a research team and analyze in-stream flow water rights for the Read more about A Win for Science and Conservation: Protecting Research in Gothic, Colorado with a Conservation Easement — Margot Buckelew and Abbey Warner[…]

Now Hiring Students and Open House

Ucross High Plain Stewardship Initiative (UHPSI) is now HIRING graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in courses to work as research assistants or speaker coordinators during the academic year (September/Oct 2020– May 2021). Projects focus on applied conservation and stewardship issues in the West and collaborate with western partners. All work will be completed remotely.  Information on how to apply and projects Read more about Now Hiring Students and Open House[…]

Speaker Series Opportunities Available

Conservation Conversations  Visit here to learn more and tune in! Conservation Conversations is a webinar series that will explore the conservation challenges of the future and identify specific policies, programs, and strategies to help secure the long-term health of the nation’s natural resources, wildlife, and landscapes, and broaden the benefits for all Americans. An unprecedented coalition of university centers from throughout the western United States are Read more about Speaker Series Opportunities Available[…]

Exploring New Approaches to Grassland Conservation in Wyoming—Katie Pofahl and Humna Sharif

Two students from the Yale School of the Environment’s Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative teamed up with The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming to deepen the culture of conservation in these iconic grasslands. With over 13.2 million acres, the grasslands of Thunder Basin, Wyoming are part of a patchwork of federal, state, and private land that Read more about Exploring New Approaches to Grassland Conservation in Wyoming—Katie Pofahl and Humna Sharif[…]

Saving Grasslands with Stakeholder Collaboration — Humna Sharif

Preview: Grassland habitats across the world are facing multiple threats due to anthropogenic changes, and species dependent on these ecosystems are suffering as a result. In North America, the Thunder Basin Region represents one of the remaining contiguous expanses of intact grasslands. There are conservation practices already taking place in Thunder Basin, and new approaches are Read more about Saving Grasslands with Stakeholder Collaboration — Humna Sharif[…]