Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter

During the month of August, I was unfortunate enough to be impacted by two extreme weather events associated with climate change. In Wyoming, multiple field days were cut short due to hazardous air quality resulting from the ongoing wildfires in California and Oregon. While 2020 saw the second highest acreage burned since 1960 (the highest Read more about Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter[…]

Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai

Roots do everything. They are the connector between plants and soil–the interface at which many of the transactions of life are made. Roots (with the help of their mycorrhizal associates) conduct a plant’s search for nutrients, water, and shelter. They scour the soil for the ingredients of life and support whole ecosystems of microorganisms, plants, Read more about Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai[…]

Augmenting local water supplies in Southern California: Difficult Tradeoffs — Ryanna Fossum

Our day-to-day experience with fresh water varies drastically depending on where in the country we live. This week, as I pulled off a highway in Connecticut to avoid the torrential downpour from Hurricane Henri, I thought about my work back home in Los Angeles to adapt to long-term drought. If I had superpowers, one of Read more about Augmenting local water supplies in Southern California: Difficult Tradeoffs — Ryanna Fossum[…]

Impacts of global change and land use on biogeochemical dynamics in Southwestern Wyoming

Uthara’s research focuses on the interactive effect of global change scenarios and land use practices on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in sagebrush ecosystems of the American West. Drylands contain about 20% of the world’s carbon stock, with the majority being held in slow-cycling belowground pools. Despite playing a critical role in the global carbon Read more about Impacts of global change and land use on biogeochemical dynamics in Southwestern Wyoming[…]

Impact of Variable Grazing Pressure and Climate Change on Big Sagebrush Plant Communities

Associated with rising temperatures, altered precipitation patterns are predicted to create novel climates contributing to changes in the distribution of potential vegetation. This is especially true in drylands across the American West, where the annual distribution of precipitation influences water availability, which is directly related to the competitive advantage of grasses or shrubs. Alongside shifting Read more about Impact of Variable Grazing Pressure and Climate Change on Big Sagebrush Plant Communities[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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 Buckelew

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 Buckelew[…]

Mapping Resource “Neighborhoods” of Big Sagebrush — Damaris Chenoweth

Once covering nearly half of the American West, sagebrush ecosystems are now among the most threatened in North America.  In the past century, climate change, human land use, shifting disturbance regimes, and the introduction of invasive plants have driven significant loss, fragmentation, and modification of sagebrush communities.  As part of my research, I will characterize Read more about Mapping Resource “Neighborhoods” of Big Sagebrush — Damaris Chenoweth[…]