Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter

During the month of August, I was unfortunate enough to be impacted by two extreme weather events associated with climate change. In Wyoming, multiple field days were cut short due to hazardous air quality resulting from the ongoing wildfires in California and Oregon. While 2020 saw the second highest acreage burned since 1960 (the highest Read more about Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter[…]

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[…]

Impact of Variable Grazing Pressure and Climate Change on Big Sagebrush Plant Communities

Associated with rising temperatures, altered precipitation patterns are predicted to create novel climates contributing to changes in the distribution of potential vegetation. This is especially true in drylands across the American West, where the annual distribution of precipitation influences water availability, which is directly related to the competitive advantage of grasses or shrubs. Alongside shifting Read more about Impact of Variable Grazing Pressure and Climate Change on Big Sagebrush Plant Communities[…]

Exploring Inherding as a Grazing Practice for Conservation and Rangeland Health in West

UHPSI research assistants have partnered with Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a Wyoming ranch to study the feasibility of implementing inherding in the western U.S. Inherding is the practice of strategically herding cattle in a manner that prevents rangeland overuse, promotes livestock well-being, and facilitates natural-resource conservation. Unlike more conventional grazing strategies, inherding requires handlers to Read more about Exploring Inherding as a Grazing Practice for Conservation and Rangeland Health in West[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Annual Report 2019 — Michelle Downey

Please find our 2019 annual report below. We are incredibly grateful for all the partnerships and collaborations that have allowed UHPSI to provide over 65 students with experiential learning opportunities during 2019. Thank you to our students, partners, and supporters! Full PDF 2019 Annual Report here.

Wildlife-Friendly Ranching in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Rory Jacobson and Anna-Sophia Haub are working with partners at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and the University of Pittsburgh to study ranchers’ perspectives on conservation and wildlife management in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. To understand the economic, social, and cultural drivers behind these perceptions and management strategies, they are Read more about Wildlife-Friendly Ranching in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem[…]

Development of a Feasibility Tool to Evaluate Grassbank Potential in Thunder Basin, Wyoming

Our team worked with The Nature Conservancy Wyoming to research the feasibility of a creative approach to grassland conservation in the Thunder Basin region of Wyoming. The approach is called “grassbanking” and it brings together ranchers and conservation organizations to enhance environmental performance and ranching livelihoods by offering access to discounted grazing leases in exchange Read more about Development of a Feasibility Tool to Evaluate Grassbank Potential in Thunder Basin, Wyoming[…]

Urbanization & Human-Wildlife Conflict in the West —Amy Zuckerwise

Black bear at a bird feeder Carnivores have become social media sensations when they enter into urban areas. Hundreds of videos of bears breaking into houses and raiding the refrigerators or mountain lions lying under an unsuspecting resident’s back porch can be found with one quick online search. After a predator shows up in a Read more about Urbanization & Human-Wildlife Conflict in the West —Amy Zuckerwise[…]

Grasslands Can Help Fight Climate Change —Jeffrey Conti

A significant amount of carbon is locked up underneath the ancient grasslands of North America. Grasses naturally absorb carbon during their lifecycle, and over time can sequester that carbon into the underlying soils. Grasslands carbon is considered safely locked away and out of the picture when it comes to rapidly accelerating global greenhouse gas emissions Read more about Grasslands Can Help Fight Climate Change —Jeffrey Conti[…]

Ranch Crew: 2018 Overview — Caleb Gray (a Uni. of WY student)

Ranch Crew was an excellent opportunity that I was able to take ahold of, but I was not entirely prepared for what all it entailed. When first glancing over the flyer for it I thought that it might be working as a ranch hand for part of the two weeks, but it was not to Read more about Ranch Crew: 2018 Overview — Caleb Gray (a Uni. of WY student)[…]

The Forks and Fire — Brendan Boepple

Throughout our two weeks with Ranch Crew we became intimate with the Forks Ranch. Assessing ground cover and clipping grasses to measure biomass, we came to understand the natural characteristics of the ranch. We also came to appreciate the deep history of the place through our hosts Cole and Elaine Benton of Grizzly Outfitters. Cole Read more about The Forks and Fire — Brendan Boepple[…]

A Change of Perspective — Nat Irwin

For the past few months, my project partner, Seila De Leon, and I have been given the challenge of creating a soil-drying field device for the Ucross Quick Carbon project. As Seila explained in her first blog post, we were initially given this assignment as a final project last fall semester. We then chose to Read more about A Change of Perspective — Nat Irwin[…]

Changing Perspectives: The Enemy is Everywhere — Reid Lewis

I had the pleasure of arriving to Sheridan, Wyoming via road trip. My father, recently retired, proposed to turn the drive into a camping trip, and he and I spent three great days traveling the plains and mountains of Utah and Wyoming. Passing through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, the drive was extraordinary. Coming Read more about Changing Perspectives: The Enemy is Everywhere — Reid Lewis[…]