Large landscapes Need Large-Scale Collaboration: Efforts to protect ecosystem diversity in the vast American West—Margot Cumming

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 Cumming[…]

Improving Aquatic Habitat Connectivity in the Snake River Headwaters

Bryce is working with Trout Unlimited to improve aquatic habitat connectivity in the Snake River headwaters. Bryce is attempting to address these challenges by helping with an entrainment study and an aquatic passage survey of in Teton County, Wyoming. COLLABORATOR Trout Unlimited: Snake River Headwaters Home River Initiative STUDENT RESEARCHER Bryce Powell, Western Resources Fellow 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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Water in the Southwest and the New-Old Threat of Uranium Mining — Humna Sharif

Clean and safe water is one of the most precious resources anywhere in the world, but this is especially true for arid regions with growing populations. Southwestern US, known for being hot and dry, is getting even hotter and drier due to climate change. The Colorado River is the single most important source of water Read more about Water in the Southwest and the New-Old Threat of Uranium Mining — Humna Sharif[…]

Annual Report 2019 — Michelle Downey

Please find our 2019 annual report below. We are incredibly grateful for all the partnerships and collaborations that have allowed UHPSI to provide over 65 students with experiential learning opportunities during 2019. Thank you to our students, partners, and supporters! Full PDF 2019 Annual Report here.

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 work 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[…]

Governance successes and challenges along the Colorado River – Lucas Isakowitz

The Colorado River runs almost 1,500 miles, from the cold Rocky Mountains down to the dry Sonoran desert. Throughout this journey, the river passes through 2 countries and 7 states, providing food and water for some 40 million people. This summer I got to know the river intimately, through the work of The Nature Conservancy’s Read more about Governance successes and challenges along the Colorado River – Lucas Isakowitz[…]

The Death and Rebirth of the Colorado River Delta

A century ago, the Colorado River ran uninterrupted from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. It fanned its delta across 3,000 square miles of winding river and green lagoons, with mesquite and willow trees providing habitat for hundreds of species of birds. “The river was everywhere and nowhere,” wrote the conservationist Aldo Leopold Read more about The Death and Rebirth of the Colorado River Delta[…]

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Survey of Canyon Creek

Joshua’s research surveyed benthic macroinvertebrate communities of Canyon Creek at The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Tensleep Preserve in order to (1) assess the current communities of this river section, (2) analyze the impacts of two subterranean limestone sink systems and a human diversion on these communities, and (3) provide data and voucher specimens for future studies. Read more about Benthic Macroinvertebrate Survey of Canyon Creek[…]

Governance and Storytelling Along the Colorado River

Lucas is working for The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado River Program (CRP). His focus for the CRP is two-fold: first, Lucas is researching environmental governance and finance models to facilitate the creation of a water fund for the Colorado River delta. This work entails outreach to stakeholders and coordination with existing environmental funds to glean best Read more about Governance and Storytelling Along the Colorado River[…]

Increasing the Pace and Scale of Conservation in the Tetons through Collaboration

Shea is working with LegacyWorks Group in Jackson, Wyoming to accelerate community-driven impact to advance large-scale conservation efforts in the Teton region. She is assisting the team in executing projects that advance four major goals: 1) increase the ability of local conservation partners to work collaboratively on community- and regional-scale projects, 2) enhance water availability Read more about Increasing the Pace and Scale of Conservation in the Tetons through Collaboration[…]

Pulse of the River —Reid Lewis

The Southwest is a dry place. This statement should not surprise anyone; when you think of Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico, you think of Prickly Pear and Saguaro, desert sunsets and dusty streets. What may not so quickly come to mind are the rapidly growing cities of Los Angeles, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, and Las Vegas. Read more about Pulse of the River —Reid Lewis[…]