February 19, 2019

Current Projects (Spring 2019)

Communicating Vegetation Response after Fire in the Bridger-Teton National Forest
US Forest Service
Our student research assistants partnered with Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) in Wyoming to create a report and an Esri StoryMap on the stand dynamics of postfire vegetative regeneration and management implications. This report and the StoryMap intend to provide geospatial analysis to construct future forest plans and to foster communication between the staff at BTNF and the public.


Conservation Planning for Sheridan County, WY
Sheridan Community Land Trust
Our research assistant team worked in partnership with the Sheridan Community Land Trust to develop a conservation planning mapping tool to guide future private land conservation efforts. They incorporated a variety of spatial data from public sources to help SCLT prioritize and direct its funding and outreach in cooperation with its organization’s goals to protect wildlife and working ranches in Sheridan County. Read more…


Engaging Youth and Underserved Communities in Land Management and Project Review Processes for the Bridger-Teton National Forest
US Forest Service
UHPSI research assistants are working with the Bridger-Teton National Forest to map community networks that will facilitate the forest in engaging local Latino and youth communities in future Forest Plan Revision and project specific efforts. The Bridger-Teton intention is to ensure that these communities’ concerns and aspirations are used to inform the decisions made by the National Forest during the next Forest Plan revision and other future public outreach opportunities.


Estimating Utah Prairie Dog Survival using Camera-trap Data
Bureau of Land Management
One of our research assistants is working with the Utah Bureau of Land Management to analyze trends in plague-induced prairie dog mortality. The Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Alongside habitat destruction, sylvatic plague is a major cause of their population decline.


Increasing Adoption of Grasslands Avoided Conversion (GAC) Carbon Projects
Climate and Forest Capital (CFC)
Climate and Forest Capital has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund on an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant to research economic incentives that could increase the adoption of conservation practices on US working lands. One of the primary strategies being investigated utilizes a Climate Action Reserve protocol that measures greenhouse gas reductions resulting from the “avoided conversion” of grassland into cropland in areas.


Reconciling Landownership and Sage-Grouse Management Designation Data
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
This is an inter-agency project led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. Federal and State agencies frequently respond to requests for analyses of land status within the sagebrush biome, such as acres of land ownership or management designation. However, across agencies the results are inconsistent. The goal for this project is to provide reconciliation of differences where possible, written documentation of why differences exist, and identification of a consistent dataset to be used by USFWS and multitude of other state, federal and NGO partners.


Organizing and Implementing the Western Speaker Series
Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative
The Symposium Student Coordinators organize the Western Speaker Series, which connects knowledgeable conservation professionals with Yale students to learn about and discuss issues facing the American West. The coordinators work with the UHPSI staff to plan presentations and panel discussions on campus with speakers who bring valuable insight and perspectives on the past and future of Western conservation efforts.


Understanding Socio-economic Change and Implications for the Future of the Bridger-Teton National Forest
US Forest Service
Our student research team has been working with the Bridger-Teton National Forest to compile and analyze socioeconomic data related to the shifting demographics of three very different counties in western Wyoming. They have also been researching academic literature in the fields of geography, sociology, and economics which relate to the interplay between public lands and local communities.