Trouble in Paradise: Native Fish Entrainment in the Ditches of Jackson Hole, WY—Bryce Powell

The words “irrigation canal” conjure images of concrete systems and dirty water, but in Jackson, Wyoming, everything is touched by the finger of King Midas—at least upon first glance. Beneath a backdrop of golden fields, snow-capped peaks, grazing elk, and bright blue skies, you are liable to mistake irrigation canals for spring-fed creeks: cold, clear, Read more about Trouble in Paradise: Native Fish Entrainment in the Ditches of Jackson Hole, WY—Bryce Powell[…]

Stillwater-Rosebud Water Quality Initiative

Our team is working to design and deploy a portfolio of GIS tools for the Stillwater Valley Watershed Council, focusing specifically on the Rosebud Creek. In its headwaters, the Rosebud Creek is a designated National Wild and Scenic River. Land use in the lower reaches of the Rosebud Creek’s riparian corridor has gradually transformed in Read more about Stillwater-Rosebud Water Quality Initiative[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Now Hiring Students and Open House

Ucross High Plain Stewardship Initiative (UHPSI) is now HIRING graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in courses to work as research assistants or speaker coordinators during the academic year (September/Oct 2020– May 2021). Projects focus on applied conservation and stewardship issues in the West and collaborate with western partners. All work will be completed remotely.  Information on how to apply and projects Read more about Now Hiring Students and Open House[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Pursuing Better Stewardship and Better Futures: Centering Native American Histories and Perspectives

The United States recognizes over 500 American Indian or Alaskan Native nations. There is extraordinary variety in the cultural, spiritual, and stewardship practices among Native American peoples. Sincere collaboration with Native nations provides non-Native land stewards an opportunity to confront an often terrible history, steward landscapes effectively for more stakeholders, and pursue a better future Read more about Pursuing Better Stewardship and Better Futures: Centering Native American Histories and Perspectives[…]

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.