Stepping Out of the Steppe—Rachel Renne

As temperatures climbed this summer, so did the elevations of the plots that I visited. My gradual ascent was an attempt to capture the plant community of each site at a time when I would be able to detect and identify most of the plant species. Higher elevations mean lower temperatures, and while many grasses Read more about Stepping Out of the Steppe—Rachel Renne[…]

Improving Model Outputs and Recommendations Through Field Work—Rob Anderson

As I write this, while sitting in my 82-degree New Haven apartment, I cannot help but feel some nostalgia for the two summers I have now spent in Pinedale, WY doing research for my Master’s degree. I have spent the vast majority of my life in New England. Prior to the past two field seasons, Read more about Improving Model Outputs and Recommendations Through Field Work—Rob Anderson[…]

Why study outdoor recreation in the American West?—Mara MacDonell

Industry, based on landscape, has been foundational to the American West’s cultural and ideological underpinnings since the beginning of colonization. While natural resource extraction industries (mining, logging, ranching, agriculture) spurred westward expansion and continues to be a significant industry in the West, a new industry is of increasing importance, outdoor recreation. Both the extraction and Read more about Why study outdoor recreation in the American West?—Mara MacDonell[…]

Place, People, and Politics: A Short Reflection on a Summer of Research and Rivers in the American West—Mara MacDonell

Over the course of 14 days this August, I traveled down the calm waters of Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons of the Green River and the raucous and roiling waters of Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River. I went on this journey after a summer of conducting interviews and thinking critically about the role of the Read more about Place, People, and Politics: A Short Reflection on a Summer of Research and Rivers in the American West—Mara MacDonell[…]

Gold Underfoot! Soil Organic Matter matters—Raffa Sindoni

Soil is the tapestry upon which all life is weaved. Our water is cleaned through it. Our food rises from it. As young children, our bare feet kiss it. After death, we return back to it. And so, the cycle goes, for time immemorial. Most splendid of all, a full-spectrum of life flourishes in just Read more about Gold Underfoot! Soil Organic Matter matters—Raffa Sindoni[…]

A Note from the Steppe—Rachel Renne

As a kid growing up in Florida, we were warned that the hottest part of the day was between noon and 2 pm. My mother insisted that we come inside during these hours to avoid the heat and what she considered to be the riskiest time for sunburns. Yet, at 4:30 pm today in this Read more about A Note from the Steppe—Rachel Renne[…]

Energy Use and Access on the Hopi Reservation

Delaney is working with the Hopi Utility Authority to better understand electricity and energy use on the Hopi Reservation. Her research examines energy burden, both in its monetary manifestations as-well as its emotional and temporal manifestations. Through semi-structured interviews she is determining the current energy paradigm and use patterns of households and sentiments regarding electricity. Read more about Energy Use and Access on the Hopi Reservation[…]

Wreckreation? Livelihood, Labor, Work, Play, and the Environment in the Rural American West

Industry, based on landscape, has been foundational to the American West’s cultural and ideological underpinnings. The extraction and outdoor recreation industries are two of these core industries, both reliant on the vast public lands and natural resources of the West. These industries are both economic drivers, yet often seen in moral opposition, a binary on Read more about Wreckreation? Livelihood, Labor, Work, Play, and the Environment in the Rural American West[…]

Defining Spring in a Dynamic World—Rob Anderson

What is spring? This may seem like an obvious question, but over the last few months I have come to appreciate that it is not as easy to answer as I once thought. The definition of springtime may change depending on where you are, who you are, and what you deem to be important in Read more about Defining Spring in a Dynamic World—Rob Anderson[…]

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[…]

Why Water Utilities Should Invest in Natural (Green) Infrastructure — Lily Colburn

Water utilities provide drinking, wastewater, and stormwater services to millions of people across the United States, including for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. These essential service providers are responsible for offering safe and affordable resources to their customers, which include identifying, protecting, and enhancing a drinking water source, pumping water from the source to a Read more about Why Water Utilities Should Invest in Natural (Green) Infrastructure — Lily Colburn[…]

A Sustainable Redesign of the Secure Rural Schools Act: Reimagining county payments to prioritize the ecological and cultural value of forest ecosystems over the economic value of timber resources — Shannon Bell

In May of 2021, Janez Potočnik and Isabella Teixeira, the co-chairs of the International Resource Panel (IRP) that was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme, published a think-piece on how we should best value biodiversity. The piece, titled Building Biodiversity, asserts that our current approach to preserving biodiversity has failed to account for the Read more about A Sustainable Redesign of the Secure Rural Schools Act: Reimagining county payments to prioritize the ecological and cultural value of forest ecosystems over the economic value of timber resources — Shannon Bell[…]

Forest Collaboratives and Habitat Connectivity in the Northern Rockies

Laura is a Conservation Connect Fellow at the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and a U.S. Media and Storytelling Intern at the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y). Based in Missoula, MT, she is coordinating and facilitating forest collaboratives in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Idaho Panhandle National Forests with NFF. Her work involves facilitating conversations among collaborative Read more about Forest Collaboratives and Habitat Connectivity in the Northern Rockies[…]

Natural (Green) Infrastructure in Oregon

Lily is a Financial Analyst Intern with the Natural Infrastructure Initiative at the World Resources Institute (WRI). She is researching the relationship between resilient water utilities and environmental health. In particular, Lily’s work is centered on the need for more widespread financing and funding opportunities for natural (green) infrastructure projects in Oregon. She is researching Read more about Natural (Green) Infrastructure in Oregon[…]