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[…]

Large landscapes Need Large-Scale Collaboration: Efforts to protect ecosystem diversity in the vast American West—Margot Cumming

Western landscapes create a set of unique challenges for natural resource managers because the ecosystems cover a vast area of land and include diverse environmental conditions. For example, alpine ecosystems have short growing seasons, grasslands are dry and turn fierce in the winters, and wildfires blaze through western forests seasonally. In addition, the species found Read more about Large landscapes Need Large-Scale Collaboration: Efforts to protect ecosystem diversity in the vast American West—Margot Cumming[…]

Understanding Community Perceptions of Recreation and Wildlife in Jackson, Wyoming

Bryce and Bea are working with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative to investigate how to balance Jackson’s growing recreation habits while preserving existing ecosystems and protecting wildlife. This research is done in conjunction with a Social Science Working Group at the Bridger-Teton National Forest, as part of their 2021 Forest Plan Revision planning. Their primary Read more about Understanding Community Perceptions of Recreation and Wildlife in Jackson, Wyoming[…]

Narratives of the National Parks: Stories Told Through Data

Reid’s work aims to understand the history of the United States’ National Parks through the lens of historic visitation data. The National Parks Service manages over 300 park or park-like properties, spanning over 85 million acres. Beyond their vast spatial expanses, these national sites hold unique significance in the hearts and minds of many Americans. Read more about Narratives of the National Parks: Stories Told Through Data[…]

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.

Rethinking What’s Important — Meghan Hills

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve spent my life training to be a scientist. It’s been the result of both nature and nurture, as well as a healthy dose of self-motivation to learn about topics that caught my attention at a young age and never quite let it go. Generally speaking, the subjects Read more about Rethinking What’s Important — Meghan Hills[…]

A Brief Introduction to Chronic Wasting Disease — Meghan Hills

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an infection found in captive (farmed) and free-ranging (wild) members of the deer family (hereafter “cervids”) [1]. North American species known to be affected include white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus), and moose (Alces alces) [2,3]. First observed in 1967 in Colorado and Read more about A Brief Introduction to Chronic Wasting Disease — Meghan Hills[…]

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[…]

Governance successes and challenges along the Colorado River – Lucas Isakowitz

The Colorado River runs almost 1,500 miles, from the cold Rocky Mountains down to the dry Sonoran desert. Throughout this journey, the river passes through 2 countries and 7 states, providing food and water for some 40 million people. This summer I got to know the river intimately, through the work of The Nature Conservancy’s Read more about Governance successes and challenges along the Colorado River – Lucas Isakowitz[…]

A Week in the Desert — Danielle Glass

Researching the impact of surface water to desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) movement patterns, I have spent my summer maintaining trail cameras at water sources across five desert mountain ranges. Below is an example of typical fieldweek in the desert: Monday: After lingering at the California Fish & Wildlife office for way too long, Read more about A Week in the Desert — Danielle Glass[…]

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Survey of Canyon Creek

Joshua’s research surveyed benthic macroinvertebrate communities of Canyon Creek at The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Tensleep Preserve in order to (1) assess the current communities of this river section, (2) analyze the impacts of two subterranean limestone sink systems and a human diversion on these communities, and (3) provide data and voucher specimens for future studies. Read more about Benthic Macroinvertebrate Survey of Canyon Creek[…]

The Impact of Surface Water on Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) Movement Patterns

Though the relationship between resource selection and animal distribution has been thoroughly investigated, few studies link animal movement patterns to resource utilization. By examining animal movement proximate to resource utilization, Danielle hopes to understand the degree of prioritization given to obtaining a resource and contribute to this growing field of study. Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis Read more about The Impact of Surface Water on Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) Movement Patterns[…]