Chadwick Oliver, PhD – Faculty PI | As the Pinchot Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Chad served as UHPSI’s fearless leader, ensuring that research remains relevant, timely, and effective. His research has taken him to more than 25 countries, where he has cultivated macro-level perspective that help to situate UHPSI within a larger framework. Outside of UHPSI, Chad teaches and researches forest ecology and silviculture, as well as natural resource management on local, region, and global scales. Chad and his wife Fatma recently published a new book on global resources.
Charlie Bettigole, MS – Program Director | Charlie served as UHPSI’s program director from 2013 to 2018, managing day-to-day operations from either the New Haven or Ucross office. His background lies in spatial ecology, remote sensing, and wildlife biology – he has worked in academic and on-the-ground organizations across North America. Charlie has a hand in most of the projects the team takes on, but lends focus towards the cultivation of key relationships with Ucross Partners, generating new student interest in UHPSI research, and assisting with scientific analysis and writing. Charlie has lent particular effort to the development of UHPSI’s Change Vector Analysis algorithm, working with practitioners on the ground to maximize the utility of this change-detection tool, and building it’s reach through the development of an interactive web application. When not at work, Charlie can be found with his daughter Margot on his back, skiing, fishing, and hiking in the northern Rockies and rolling hills of Connecticut.
Jaycie Arndt, Ranch Crew | Jaycie is a student at the University of Wyoming studying rangeland ecology and watershed management. Her hometown is Arvada, Wyoming. She is interested in the monitoring and rapid assessment applications, and took part in Ranch Crew to gain experience in working with landowners and seeing how stakeholder goals work together.
Anthony Bell, Western Research Fellow | Anthony is a born and raised native of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a Masters of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is interested in market-based vehicles for land conservation and have been investigating bison ranching as a grassland restoration and conservation mechanism. He will spend the summer of 2017 on a bison ranch in Wyoming as well as some time at the American Prairie Reserve in Montana. See what Anthony has been up to. | Blog
Eve Boyce, Research Assistant | Eve is a second year MEM student, hailing most recently from beautiful Washington state, where she worked as the Land Stewardship Manager for an agricultural land trust with a mission to protect prime farmland from development. Eve brought her knowledge of farmland access issues to UHSPI, assisting the National Young Farmers Coalition with the development of a financial modeling tool for farmers looking for land in Fall 2016. See what Eve has been up to.
Ross Donihue, Western Research Fellow | Ross is a Master in Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He also holds a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies from Macalester College. Ross is also the founder and creative director of Maps for Good, a mission driven organization that makes maps and digital media for conservation campaigns around the world. Ross is a visual storyteller and a wilderness enthusiast. See what Ross has been up to. | Blog
Adam Eichenwald, Western Research Fellow | Adam’s main interests are in how predators influence food webs and ecosystems through interactions with their prey, and how the studies of such effects can be applicable to conservation efforts. Most of his research over the past few years has been with birds and bats, although he loves working with trophic interactions across ecosystems in general. For his master’s work, he is primarily focused on the interactions between Alaskan gyrfalcon populations and one of their primary sources of prey, the rock and willow ptarmigan. He is interested in discovering whether the presence of gyrfalcons has cascading effects through the arctic food web. See what Adam has been up to. | Blog
Tyler Jones, Ranch Crew | Tyler was born and raised in Rozet Wyoming on a family ranch. He grew up around plants, wildlife and livestock and have maintained a desire to be involved in that lifestyle for years to come. He currently attends Sheridan College in Wyoming and studies Rangeland Management as well as Agriculture Business. He plans to move on to the University of Wyoming and obtain a Masters in Rangeland Ecology after graduation. He joined Ranch Crew with the intent of taking the knowledge he has gained in school and putting it to the test in a real-life situation where several interested parties are working together to improve and maintain a piece of Wyoming’s natural resources.
Samuel Jordan, Research Assistant | Sam is a second year MESc student at F&ES with research focused on the sagebrush steppe in Wyoming. His work will hopefully help land owners and managers make more informed decisions and be better stewards to the systems they live and work in. He comes from a forestry background, and has work experience in agriculture, non-profits, and land managing agencies. Sam will be helping UHPSI in ongoing efforts to bridge the geographic and communication gaps between the Yale community and stakeholders, leaders, and researchers on the high plains. See what Sam has been up to.
Carli Kierstead, Western Research Fellow | Carli is a second year MEM student interested in the social-ecological dynamics of large-scale conservation, climate change adaptation, and environmental justice. She grew up in San Diego, CA and came to FES after conducting coastal ecological research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and working in veterinary medicine. During the 2017 summer Carli will be working in partnership with UHPSI and The Nature Conservancy in Lander, WY to assess the feasibility of a site-specific scenario analysis tool for the Popo Agie watershed’s complex agricultural and ecological needs. She aims to supply TNC with spatial, social, and ecological analysis that will aid in their future conservation decision making in the American West. See what Carli has been up to. | Blog
Jordan Skovgard, Ranch Crew | See what Jordan has been up to.
Jessica Swindon, Western Research Fellow | Jessica Swindon is currently pursuing a Master of Environmental Science degree in ecosystem ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Her current research focuses on root distribution and production, as well as carbon and nitrogen cycling in the sagebrush steppe, mixed grass prairie, and shortgrass steppe in Wyoming and Northern Colorado. Through her research she hopes to join the ideas behind sustainability with land and natural resource management. “The world is to me a secret which I desire to divine” – Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein. See what Jessica has been up to. | Blog
Eli Terris, Research Assistant | Eli serves as the Experimental Grassland Coordinator at Yale’s West Campus. He is helping to prepare for a management competition at an experimental grassland site taking place in the spring of 2017. Eli is currently a joint-MEM and African studies master’s student expecting to graduate in 2019. Prior to coming to FES, Eli spent 4 years in West Africa doing agroforestry and agribusiness work. He is interested in international agricultural research and anthropology as a tool for supporting sustainable natural resource management. See what Eli has been up to.
Kyle Soriano, Affiliate | Kyle comes to UHPSI with a background in environmental chemistry, soil science, and environmental consulting. A native of upstate New York, with a passion for the West, Kyle has been an eager volunteer for UHPSI, lending his expertise in database design and data analysis to various hydrologic, forestry, and rangeland projects.
Samuel Wall, Western Research Fellow | Sam is a second year Masters of Environmental Management student at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His education here has been focused on water resource management and energy and the environment. He grew up in Western Montana, on the south end of Flathead Lake near the Mission Mountain Wilderness, surrounded by an abundance of water resources and scenic mountains. Constantly being in the outdoors in his youth drove his aspirations to work in natural resources, and to be a steward of the natural world. In the summer of 2017, he worked as an intern for Energy Keepers Incorporated, the corporation tasked with managing the Se̓liš Ksanka Qĺispe̓ project, the first tribal owned major hydropower facility in the United States, located on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Laurel Low, Research Assistant | Laurel is a second year Master of Environmental Management student at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, focusing on aquatic ecology, stakeholder engagement, and decision-making. A Bay Area native, she worked most recently for US Fish & Wildlife Service as a Conservation Scientist and Educator mostly within the Fisheries department in Olympia, WA. At UHSPI, she will be working with The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming to research and develop a management plan for native trout reintroduction. See what Laurel has been up to.
Jeremy Menkhaus, Western Research Fellow, Ranch Crew | Jeremy was born and raised in Palm Beach County, Florida and is currently jointly pursuing a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a Master of Business Administration from the Yale School of Management. He has a professional background in mergers & acquisitions advisory as well as private equity investing, and now focuses his time on looking at innovative financial tools and investment vehicles for motivating better land management practices and increased conservation efforts. He is the fourth of nine kids and enjoys hunting and fly fishing.
Lydia Mendoza, Ranch Crew | Lydia is a second year Master of Forestry candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is originally from Ohio but moved to California shortly after graduating college. Before starting at F&ES, she worked in public health in San Francisco and land conservation in the northern Sierra Nevada. She is interested in working land conservation and sustainable forestry. See what Lydia has been up to.
Ethan Miller, Research Assistant | Ethan is a second year Master of Forestry student at FES focusing on the role of collaborative spatial planning and analysis in the management of multi-functional forest landscapes. As a UHPSI Research Assistant, Ethan is creating a web-based process for detecting invasive cheatgrass in the West using satellite imagery. His work employs Google Earth Engine, time series analysis, and image classification techniques to dynamically detect cheatgrass over time. Before joining UHPSI, Ethan worked as a Fellow with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. In this role he studied the viability of using drones as a means of mapping and assessing biomass storage in timber plantations and reforestation sites along the Panama Canal. See what Ethan has been up to.
Katherine Panek, Ranch Crew | Katie Panek is a second-year MEM candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has roots in Colorado and Massachusetts and is interested in land conservation and sustainable development in the American West, especially as pertaining to working lands. Before coming to F&ES, she worked in ecotourism, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the development of protected areas in Chilean Patagonia. See what Katie has been up to.
Austin Rempel, Western Research Fellow | Austin is an MEM student interested in watershed restoration, outdoor recreation economics and collaborative land conservation in the American West. He grew up in New Mexico and France, and comes to FES after working as a natural resource economist in Portland, Oregon. Austin is working with UHPSI to evaluate how, when, and where beaver dams and beaver dam analogues can benefit western ranchers and land managers. See what Austin has been up to. | Blog
Rachel Renne, Western Research Fellow | Rachel Renne grew up in rural southwest Florida, and is currently a Master’s of Environmental Science candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. After graduating from college in 2008, she began a three-mile-per-hour tour—on foot—of the subtle and dramatic shifts of vegetation across the American landscape, hiking over 10,500 miles on National Scenic Trails. At Yale, she has expanded her love of plants to a fascination with how soils translate climate into vegetation. This summer, she will serve as the field botanist for a study investigating the impacts of livestock grazing on plant diversity in big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) ecosystems in Wyoming. When not in the field, Rachel will be analyzing a large vegetation dataset to investigate big sagebrush community structure across the West. | Blog
Rebecca Lehman, Research Assistant | Rebecca is a second year Masters in Environmental Management student. She is studying water resource management through the use of geospatial software. She loves to mountain bike and climb, and dreams of one day living in Colorado. See what Rebecca has been up to.
Kris Covey, MF, PhD – Lead Scientist and F&ES Lecturer in Forest Dynamics | Kris finished his PhD in silviculture and biogeochemistry at F&ES in the spring of 2016. Kris has assisted the UHPSI team with publication strategy, data processing and analysis, and student, faculty and staff engagement. As the lead scientist in the UHPSI Lab, Kris lends his expertise in experimental design, analysis, and publication to UHPSI students and staff. Kris and his wife welcomed daughter Laurel in the fall of 2015.
Martin Becker, MEM | A native of Santiago, Chile, Martin has spent the last 4 years working for public agencies and NGO’s promoting public-private partnerships for managing public lands and tourism in Chile’s National Parks. At FES, he was interested in acquiring and applying new GIS skills for managing large-scale conservation initiatives and improving agricultural management practices. Martin brought his enthusiasm and energy for land stewardship as a research analyst for UHPSI. In his free time, Martin enjoys hiking and climbing mountains, drinking coffee or wine and traveling to new places with his wife Josefina. See what Martin has been up to.
Julia Calderón, MF | Julia is a second year Master of Forestry student with a background in environmental sciences. She has worked assisting in community based forest projects such as land planning, restoration, sustainable forest management for timber and agroforestry foraging with local species from a non-profit and the national autonomous university of Mexico in different agrarian communities in Mexico in dry forest, temperate forest and mangrove ecosystems. Julia assisted the Northern Plains Resource Council and the City of Billings in designing an urban compost program in Fall 2016. See what Julia has been up to.
Elizabeth Domenech, MEM | Elizabeth graduated in 2017 with a MEM degree. She is from Austin, Texas and is interested in large-scale conservation solutions with a focus on the Western U.S. Prior to coming to F&ES, she served as the Director of the Shield-Ayres Foundation, a family foundation supporting natural resource conservation, health and human services, and education and the arts in Central Texas. Elizabeth worked with UHPSI to bring a diverse set of practitioners (ranchers, managers, conservationists) to New Haven to talk about Western land conservation issues, and worked with TNC on designing protocols for monitoring fence crossings by wildlife in Wyoming. See what Elizabeth has been up to.
Taylor Ganz, MESc | Taylor graduated from FES with a MESc degree in 2017 . She’s interested in environmental research relevant to public lands management in the American West, and worked with UHPSI to study the impact of air pollution on alpine watersheds. Taylor is originally from California but has lived and worked across the West, primarily in Idaho and Wyoming. She now studies carnivore – ungulate interactions in Washington State. See what Taylor has been up to. | Blog
Henry Glick, MESc, PhD Candidate – Lead Researcher | Henry provided analytical, spatial, and statistical expertise wherever it’s needed in the UHPSI lab. He was responsible for the development and maintenance of UHPSI’s in-house Geographic Information System, and has spent considerable time creating geographic models of the current land cover across the Ucross Ranch, as well as statistically evaluating the accuracy of those models. Henry loves to use spatial statistics to explore ecological problems, and applied them to UHPSI whenever possible. See what Henry has been up to.
Luke Menard, MEM | Luke graduated with a MEM degree in 2017. He is from western Massachusetts. He is interested in learning how spatial analysis and financial tools can be incorporated into successful land management for conservation gains in the west. Luke recently worked in Portland, OR, where he used geospatial software to estimate the landscape-level effects of industrial forest management regime shifts on the abundance and health of Pacific NW forest resources. Luke assisted UHPSI with geospatial projects, such as mapping conservation priority lands in western states. See what Luke has been up to.
Joshua Morse, MESc | Josh is an interdisciplinary researcher interested in how people value nature, and how these values inform (or, don’t inform!) natural resource policy. His work as a Ucross Western Research Fellow and Masters student at Yale FES focused on mapping the stakeholder community surrounding Wyoming’s Red Desert to Hoback mule deer migration. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. In his free time, Josh enjoys fly fishing, playing mandolin, and exploring with his dog Pepper. See what Josh has been up to. | Blog
Lucyann Murray, MBA, MF | Lucyann graduated in 2017 with a MBA/MF at the Yale School’s of Management and Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her studies at Yale focused on sustainable land management at the intersection of business and the environment. Her interest lies in finding innovative and sustainable ways for a land use and enjoyment. Lucyann worked with Wyoming rancher Shane Cross, performing market analysis and financial modeling, helping Shane and his family move towards grass finishing and direct marketing of their beef. See what Lucyann has been up to. | Blog
Nick Olson, MF – Assistant Director | Nick graduated from F&ES with a Master of Forestry and joined the Ucross team as Assistant Director in Spring 2016. In this role, Nick helps expand Ucross relationships in the Rockies and in New Haven, assists the Western Research Fellows, and connects students with projects across the American West. In September 2016, Nick married his sweetheart, Cass, who he met while working in the Upper Amazon Basin of Ecuador.
Devin Routh, MA, MFS | Devin spent much of his efforts designing new algorithms and statistical operations on a Google Earth Engine research project investigating the automated detection of invasive species with satellite imagery. Devin is in the midst of starting a meadery at his family farm in North Carolina. He continues to share his expertise on all things bee with folks in Wyoming and New Haven. See what Devin has been up to.
Rebecca Shively, MEM | Rebecca graduated with a MEM degree in 2017. She has interests in water resources, climate resilience and the American west. She was born and raised in Oregon, and came to FES after four years in Washington D.C. where she was a political appointee at USDA working on water policy and drought response with NRCS and the US Forest Service. Becca worked with the Savory Institute to connect FES students with increased on-the-ground knowledge of holistic management and rangeland stewardship. See what Rebecca has been up to. | Blog
Hannah Walchak, MEM | Hannah graduated in 2017 with an MEM degree. She studied the intersection of land conservation and agricultural management. She spent the summer of 2016 working at the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, where she fell in love with the magic of Maui. At Ucross, she worked with TNC’s Tensleep Preserve and Spear-O Mountain Campus, both in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, to develop background research, feasibility studies, and management plans for a few different multi-use collaborative research and recreation outposts. See what Hannah has been up to.
Leanne Weiss, MEM | Leanne graduated in 2016 with a MEM from F&ES. Hailing from Oregon, Leanne has spent the last four years working with ocean fishermen off the coast of Oregon to design sustainable fisheries management practices. Leanne spent the summer of 2015 based jointly in Sheridan and Ucross, splitting time working on UHPSI projects around the ranch, while also assisting the Sheridan Community Land Trust with a variety of on the ground projects. See what Leanne has been up to.
Laurel Williams, MEM | Laurel graduated in 2016 as a mid career MEM student at F&ES. Before coming back to school, Laurel spent nine years working on public lands issues in the West and Washington, DC. While on the west coast, she worked with diverse stakeholders including Native American tribes, ranchers, and elected officials to craft and pass conservation legislation. Laurel works with Elizabeth, coordinating increased interaction between FES students and western stewardship practitioners. Laurel and her husband just welcomed daughter Adelyn, and can’t wait to introduce her to the high plains and mountains of the West. See what Laurel has been up to.
Megan Brakeley, MEM | Megan graduated in 2015 with an M.E.M from F&ES. Her background lies in education, farming, and environmental studies. With these three values guiding Megan’s graduate studies, it was a perfect fit to bring her into the Ucross fold to work with the Clearmont School on designing a set of mapping classes focused on sustainable land management practices. Over Yale’s 2015 spring break, Megan and Charlie traveled to Ucross to work with middle-school students in their science and agricultural classes. See what Megan has been up to.
Bryce Kellog, MESc | Bryce graduated in 2015 with an MESc from F&ES. As a native of central Oregon, Bryce has a strong connection to rangelands, and pursued this interest in project work Spring 2015. Bryce built an ecological model of cheatgrass distribution based on satellite and weather data (essentially predicting its spatial extent and longevity of green-out), and then built a resource allocation model that maximized early season grazing of cheatgrass (when it is still a viable forage crop) with the fewest resources possible. See what Bryce has been up to.
Catherine Kuhn, MESc | After two years of working with the UHPSI team, Catherine graduated in the Spring of 2015 with an MESc from F&ES, and has gone on to pursue a PhD at the University of Washington. A native of Kansas, Catherine spent five years before F&ES in the Bay Area teaching watershed ecology, biology and conservation to high school students as part of the Oakland Teaching Fellows program. She is interested in watershed scale conservation and management with an emphasis on how land use practices can improve community resilience in the high plains. See what Catherine has been up to.
Lindsi Seegmiller, MESc | Lindsi served as UHPSI’s specialist in the acquisition, manipulation, and analysis of satellite imagery from May 2013 through October 2015. Among other things, she was in charge of using this imagery to identify the distribution and relative abundance of invasive species across the landscape, as well as developing web-compatible tools that allow the public to perform complex geospatial analysis. See what Lindsi has been up to.
Jeffrey Stoike, PhD | Jeff finished his PhD at F&ES in January of 2016. His PhD work has been focused on building sustainable relationships in Brazil between landowners, managers, government, NGO’s, and many other stakeholders around issues of conservation and land management. With a sharp eye towards communication and landowner engagement, and a burgeoning interest in the American West, Jeff has been working with Shane Cross, who helps run his family’s ranch outside of Douglas, WY. See what Jeffrey has been up to.
Sophie Young, MEM | Sophie graduated in 2015 with an M.E.M from F&ES. Originally from California, Sophie has spent time in working landscapes around the world, including China and Spain. Sophie brought her expertise in land use and economic development to UHPSI in the spring of 2015 as she worked on her master’s thesis in collaboration with Mountain Meadow Wool (MMW). Inspired by a set of conversations with Valerie Spanos and Karen Hostetler at MMW, Sophie dove into the world of fiber production, researching a variety of topics and helping MMW design a set of best practices to use with their producers. See what Sophie has been up to.