A Case Study: Recreation in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area of the GYE—Bea Portela

Tucked in the crest of the Snake River Range and in the heart of northwestern Wyoming’s wilderness lies the Palisades Wilderness Study Area. There, you can find people hiking, snowshoeing, birdwatching, canoeing, flat-water kayaking, and most notably, mountain biking. The latter activity has sparked an enormous controversy in nearby Jackson, Wyoming. In 1984, the Palisades Read more about A Case Study: Recreation in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area of the GYE—Bea Portela[…]

More Organic Grain? Fix the Missing Middle First—Charlotte Benishek

Where did the wheat in those organic crackers sitting in your cupboard come from? More likely Turkey than the northern Great Plains of the American West. While demand for organic food has boomed in recent years, production of organic grain in the United States has not kept pace accordingly. For those interested in improving environmental Read more about More Organic Grain? Fix the Missing Middle First—Charlotte Benishek[…]

Work is Flowing for the Rosebud Creek Team—Katherine Tucker

For a few hours every week, I get to escape the hustle and stress of graduate school and virtually explore the beautiful Stillwater Valley in rural south-central Montana, which is home to the Rosebud Creek, the subject of my Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative Research Project. In partnership with the Stillwater Valley Watershed Council and Read more about Work is Flowing for the Rosebud Creek Team—Katherine Tucker[…]

Small Species, Big Impact: Communicating Biodiversity Conservation across Disciplines—Lauren Sadowski

Often, charismatic species are over-represented in scientific fields, more likely to raise funds, or considered ecologically more important than others. As a result, raising conservation advocacy, support, and awareness for megafauna species like elk, moose, bear, or wolves can be easier compared to rare, small, or uncharismatic creatures. Avians and mammals are some of the Read more about Small Species, Big Impact: Communicating Biodiversity Conservation across Disciplines—Lauren Sadowski[…]

Fishers Peak: A Model For Collaboration—Tony Cisneros

I learned about the nascent Fishers Peak State Park in the fall of 2019, over one year ago today. At the time the land had just been purchased by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and was being transitioned to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), which would be responsible for Read more about Fishers Peak: A Model For Collaboration—Tony Cisneros[…]

The Monotony and Excitement of Harvest Season in Montana’s Great Plains — Tim Ibboston-Sindelar

I wrote my first blog post at the two-week mark of my internship with Vilicus Farms, a 9,600-acre organic grain, legume, and oilseed farm. I was still in awe, in love with the place, the work, and the people. As someone who is undecided about my future line of work and is farmer-curious, I was Read more about The Monotony and Excitement of Harvest Season in Montana’s Great Plains — Tim Ibboston-Sindelar[…]

Computer Simulations and Soil Texture — Jon Michel

This summer, I worked with computer simulations to determine if soil texture was currently an important factor in competition between sagebrush and bunchgrasses. In the present scenario, it was determined to not have a significant effect. Currently, I’m studying how this effect changes as climate change progresses, and it looks like it could start to Read more about Computer Simulations and Soil Texture — Jon Michel[…]

A Win for Science and Conservation: Protecting Research in Gothic, Colorado with a Conservation Easement — Margot Buckelew and Abbey Warner

Margot Buckelew and Abbey Warner, 2020 Western Resources Fellows with UHPSI at YSE, contributed to western conservation efforts this summer by lending their skills and support to two Colorado-based conservation organizations. Margot’s field research experience and ability to think critically allowed her to support a research team and analyze in-stream flow water rights for the Read more about A Win for Science and Conservation: Protecting Research in Gothic, Colorado with a Conservation Easement — Margot Buckelew and Abbey Warner[…]

Approaches to Pinyon Pine Management — Paul Berne Burow

The pinyon pine is not what you might call “charismatic megaflora.” North America’s Pacific and Intermountain West are home to some remarkable trees: the California redwood (the tallest), Giant Sequoia (the biggest), and Bristlecone pine (the oldest). The pinyon pine is a scrubby little tree that forms a short, round crown. It does not reach Read more about Approaches to Pinyon Pine Management — Paul Berne Burow[…]

Understanding the Role of Perennial Grasses in Sagebrush Establishment — Damaris Chenoweth

I recently returned from Southwestern Wyoming where I collected data over five weeks. The undisturbed Wyoming big sagebrush of the Jonah Field is dotted by disturbed plant communities, in which perennial grasses often dominate during the early stages of plant community recovery after well pad establishment. When well pads are reclaimed—the practice of returning soil Read more about Understanding the Role of Perennial Grasses in Sagebrush Establishment — Damaris Chenoweth[…]

2020 Decision Making: Considering loss in the time of Covid-19 — Margot Buckelew

Every spring, many ecologists and students around the world gear up for field season. For most of us, it is the highlight of the year: traveling to study sites, seeing colleagues, spending the season outside, and collecting the all-important data. This spring in the northern hemisphere, however, when the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world and Read more about 2020 Decision Making: Considering loss in the time of Covid-19 — Margot Buckelew[…]

Highlighting the “Impacts of COVID-19 On The Rural West: Material Needs, Economic Recovery, Political Attitudes” Report from the Rural West Covid Project

Yale School of the Environment’s Professor Dr. Justin Farrell and his lab received National Science Foundation funding to research the impacts of Covid-19 on the rural West. The team worked rapidly and has published an initial report, “Impacts of COVID-19 On The Rural West: Material Needs, Economic Recovery, Political Attitudes”, which summarizes survey results from Read more about Highlighting the “Impacts of COVID-19 On The Rural West: Material Needs, Economic Recovery, Political Attitudes” Report from the Rural West Covid Project[…]

A River Saved: Yampa, Water, Energy, and Climate Change — Humna Sharif

The life of the Yampa River has many important lessons, it remains the wildest tributary to the Colorado River system and makes up a significant share of the Upper Basin’s water flows. The Yampa River provides a 3rd of flows to the Green River, which is the largest tributary to the Colorado River. With the Read more about A River Saved: Yampa, Water, Energy, and Climate Change — Humna Sharif[…]

Bottom-up, Big-tent Community Organizing — Darya Watnick

The Colorado Collaborative for Healthy Soils is a community-driven organization bringing together diverse voices of Colorado’s farmers and ranchers around soil health. The Collaborative works in a bottom-up, big-tent capacity to explore ways that soil health practices can be recognized, incentivized, and promoted at a state-wide level.  I have been working on grant applications on Read more about Bottom-up, Big-tent Community Organizing — Darya Watnick[…]

Predicting the Future—Jon Michel

I don’t think I need to describe to anyone that we’re living through a very odd time. With everything going on in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the looming threat of climate change, it seems like computer modelling of future conditions has become more relevant than ever. Attempting to model the future Read more about Predicting the Future—Jon Michel[…]