Elkhorn Mountain Conifer Density Survey

In partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Pheasants Forever in Bozeman, MT, our research assistant is using geospatial analysis and remote sensing to determine conifer density and potential encroachment in the Elkhorn Mountain region. Throughout western Montana there are forest communities which have not burned in decades. Lack of fire may lead Read more about Elkhorn Mountain Conifer Density Survey[…]

Western Speaker Series 2020-2021

Each year, UHPSI hosts a western speaker series focusing on conservation and stewardship issues in the American West. The series may be one focused event or several small events spanning several topics. The student assistants are currently working with UHPSI staff to plan presentations, career chats, or training by a series of western conservation professionals. Read more about Western Speaker Series 2020-2021[…]

Collaborative Rangeland Monitoring and Management in Montana

The Range Monitoring Group (RMG), a Montana collaborative that includes ranchers, scientists and non-profit conservation groups, has implemented a pilot project focused on using rangeland monitoring and collective knowledge to inform and improve land management. Our research team has partnered with RMG to identify key indicators to use in range monitoring and operationalize them for Read more about Collaborative Rangeland Monitoring and Management in Montana[…]

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[…]

Innovative Risk & Reward Sharing Between Farmers and the Supply Chain for Biodynamic and Organic Grain, Pulse and Oil Seeds

UHPSI research assistants are working with Vilicus Farms to review and compile strategies for sharing risk and rewards across non-food supply chains and propose ways to implement and adopt them in the food supply chain. Vilicus Farms is a grain, legume, and oilseed farm located in the Northern Great Plains of Montana pioneering organic, ecologically Read more about Innovative Risk & Reward Sharing Between Farmers and the Supply Chain for Biodynamic and Organic Grain, Pulse and Oil Seeds[…]

Stillwater-Rosebud Water Quality Initiative

Our team is working to design and deploy a portfolio of GIS tools for the Stillwater Valley Watershed Council, focusing specifically on the Rosebud Creek. In its headwaters, the Rosebud Creek is a designated National Wild and Scenic River. Land use in the lower reaches of the Rosebud Creek’s riparian corridor has gradually transformed in Read more about Stillwater-Rosebud Water Quality Initiative[…]

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[…]

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[…]

FAQ for Student Research Assistants

Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative typically hires students, undergrad to PhD, to work as paid research assistants during September/October-May to complete conservation work for a western partner. This program is referred to as our Research Assistant program. The projects are selected by UHPSI staff and will be advertised early in the semester. Student applications for Read more about FAQ for Student Research Assistants[…]

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[…]

Balancing Rights in the Context of Outdoor Recreation — Talia Niederman

As the number of outdoor recreationists expands due to a confluence of improved technology and social trends, humans and wildlife increasingly overlap in their demands for natural spaces. Over this past year, our UHPSI project team has explored this issue in the context of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. A dramatic and alluring landscape, this region Read more about Balancing Rights in the Context of Outdoor Recreation — Talia Niederman[…]

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[…]

Climate Vulnerability in the Crown of the Continent

UHPSI students collaborated with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assist with a Landscape Conservation Design (LCD). The Crown Managers Partnership created this design to model spatially-explicit future conditions in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem, which encompasses parts of Montana, Alberta and British Columbia. As a preliminary step in LCD development, our student research Read more about Climate Vulnerability in the Crown of the Continent[…]

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[…]