UHPSI Black Lives Matter Solidarity Statement and Reading List

The Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all Black people and communities in the pursuit of justice and a world without police violence and all other forms of anti-Black racism. This movement is not a singular movement—it is part of a centuries-long history of Black resistance Read more about UHPSI Black Lives Matter Solidarity Statement and Reading List[…]

Improving Aquatic Habitat Connectivity in the Snake River Headwaters

Bryce is the Conservation Intern for Trout Unlimited’s Snake River Headwaters Initiative, a project in partnership with Wyoming Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local governments, and various non-profit organizations. By measuring fish entrainment rates in agricultural diversions from the Snake River and its tributaries, surveying barriers to fish migration, and engaging Read more about Improving Aquatic Habitat Connectivity in the Snake River Headwaters[…]

Land Trusts and Water Conservation

Abbey is working with the nonprofit land trust Colorado Open Lands to learn about private land conservation in the West as a Summer Conservation Fellow. She is assisting with conservation and stewardship activities such as monitoring conservation easements from satellite imagery, landowner outreach, and researching innovative methods of water conservation. The primary focus of her Read more about Land Trusts and Water Conservation[…]

Soil Texture and Plant Concentration on Oil Well Pad Reclamation Sites in Wyoming

Jon is investigating the relationship between soil texture and the concentration of woody plants and perennial bunch grasses on oil well pad reclamation sites in Wyoming’s sagebrush steppe. Soil texture is an important factor in soil water storage, because it affects water movement speed through soil. In dry areas, where water is scarce, soil texture Read more about Soil Texture and Plant Concentration on Oil Well Pad Reclamation Sites in Wyoming[…]

Non-Consumptive Water Rights as a Landscape Conservation Tool

Margot’s independent policy analysis investigates the governance structures in Colorado that allowed non-consumptive water rights to be claimed by private entities and how this has impacted the regional landscape. Non-consumptive, or in-stream water rights, ensure that at the location where the rights are claimed, the amount of water will not change in quality or quantity Read more about Non-Consumptive Water Rights as a Landscape Conservation Tool[…]

Eco-Sensible Crop Farming in the Northern Great Plains of Montana

Tim is working this summer at Vilicus Farms, a 10,000 acre, organic, dry land (not irrigated) specialty grain and pulse (edible legumes like beans and lentils) farm. A New Haven native and long-time NYC resident, he is departing from his city roots to farm in big sky country for the summer to learn first-hand how Read more about Eco-Sensible Crop Farming in the Northern Great Plains of Montana[…]

Simulating the Recovery of Big Sagebrush Communities from Disturbances Due to Oil and Gas Extraction

At well pads—areas developed for oil and gas drilling—both the vegetation and topsoil are completely removed. After drilling infrastructure is installed, these areas are reclaimed, meaning the topsoil is then replaced, and the areas are seeded with various mixes of species. Despite reclamation efforts, big sagebrush communities have an extremely hard time returning to a Read more about Simulating the Recovery of Big Sagebrush Communities from Disturbances Due to Oil and Gas Extraction[…]

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[…]

Assessing Climate Change Impacts to Waterways Near National Parks in the West

Humna is working with the water conservation team at National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) to assess anthropogenic threats to western waterways that run through or close to national parks. Recent policy rollbacks in legacy environmental laws, including the Waters of the United States Rule under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the National Environmental Policy Read more about Assessing Climate Change Impacts to Waterways Near National Parks in the West[…]

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[…]

Highlighting Indigenous Relationships in the West: A Special Issue of Indigenizing the News

Indigenizing the News is a digital magazine dedicated to Native nations, cultures, and contemporary issues in North America. Through a special issue of the monthly newsletter, Meghanlata Gupta shared a variety of news articles, videos, and images that discuss how Indigenous communities collaborate with local, state, and federal governments to pursue shared management and conservation Read more about Highlighting Indigenous Relationships in the West: A Special Issue of Indigenizing the News[…]

Western Speaker Series

The Western Speaker Series connects conservation professionals and Yale students to explore and discuss a range of issues facing land stewardship in the American West. The Symposium Coordinators worked with UHPSI staff to plan presentations, career chats, and technical training by western conservation professionals that provide our students with valuable knowledge and insight. The 2019-2020 Read more about Western Speaker Series[…]

Impacts of Recreation on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

In partnership with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, UHPSI research assistants investigated trends, conditions, and projections surrounding recreation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) to identify possible recreation ethics for the region. Growing negative impacts of recreation on the ecosystem necessitate a reevaluation of attitudes surrounding recreational access and growth. Through conversations with participants in Read more about Impacts of Recreation on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem[…]