In partnership with The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, UHPSI research assistants are exploring possibilities of developing a payment-for-ecosystem services model to support stewardship of wet meadows using low-tech methods on conserved working lands in the Yampa Valley. Specifically, our research assistants are investigating 1) the ecological benefits of installing natural erosion infrastructure in incised, dry streambeds and 2) market-based models that can value these benefits and then compensate landowners for their environmental contributions. By studying a variety of market-based funding mechanisms to inform a locally focused model, the team will create recommendations that may be used in the Yampa River Valley and may be applicable to other western watersheds.
The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust
Alaina Geibig, Research Assistant and WCC Coordinator | Alaina is a Master of Environmental Management candidate interested in joint land and water management in the working landscapes of the Rocky Mountains. Prior to attending Yale School of the Environment, Alaina explored the intersection of food cultivation and conservation through a variety of AmeriCorps positions in rural Colorado. These experiences were pivotal in identifying Alaina’s deep-seated value for authentic, place-based knowledge systems harbored by farmers and ranchers. Her education supports that it has always been about relationships; she holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Puget Sound. In her free time, you can find Alaina (and her dog) playing outside on skis, bikes, or foot. See what Alaina has been up to. | Blog
Dimitria Spathakis, Research Assistant | Dimitria is a joint Master of Environmental Management and Master of Business Administration candidate at the Yale School of the Environment and Yale School of Management. Prior to Yale, Dimitria served as a logistics officer in the United States Marine Corps, leading teams in Hawaii, Japan, and Thailand. She has also worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) as a field instructor, teaching leadership, risk management, and environmental stewardship in the western U.S. As an outdoor educator, Dimitria is passionate about protecting natural spaces and is interested in exploring ways the private, public, and nonprofit sectors can work to advance nature-based solutions. Dimitria is from New Jersey and has an AB in Biology and Eurasian Studies from Bowdoin College. See what Dimitria has been up to. | Blog