Western Speaker Series 2020-2021

Each year, UHPSI hosts a western speaker series focusing on conservation and stewardship issues in the American West. The series may be one focused event or several small events spanning several topics. The student assistants are currently working with UHPSI staff to plan presentations, career chats, or training by a series of western conservation professionals. Read more about Western Speaker Series 2020-2021[…]

Collaborative Rangeland Monitoring and Management in Montana

The Range Monitoring Group (RMG), a Montana collaborative that includes ranchers, scientists and non-profit conservation groups, has implemented a pilot project focused on using rangeland monitoring and collective knowledge to inform and improve land management. Our research team has partnered with RMG to identify key indicators to use in range monitoring and operationalize them for Read more about Collaborative Rangeland Monitoring and Management in Montana[…]

Exploring Inherding as a Grazing Practice for Conservation and Rangeland Health in West

UHPSI research assistants have partnered with Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a Wyoming ranch to study the feasibility of implementing inherding in the western U.S. Inherding is the practice of strategically herding cattle in a manner that prevents rangeland overuse, promotes livestock well-being, and facilitates natural-resource conservation. Unlike more conventional grazing strategies, inherding requires handlers to Read more about Exploring Inherding as a Grazing Practice for Conservation and Rangeland Health in West[…]

Innovative Risk & Reward Sharing Between Farmers and the Supply Chain for Biodynamic and Organic Grain, Pulse and Oil Seeds

UHPSI research assistants are working with Vilicus Farms to review and compile strategies for sharing risk and rewards across non-food supply chains and propose ways to implement and adopt them in the food supply chain. Vilicus Farms is a grain, legume, and oilseed farm located in the Northern Great Plains of Montana pioneering organic, ecologically Read more about Innovative Risk & Reward Sharing Between Farmers and the Supply Chain for Biodynamic and Organic Grain, Pulse and Oil Seeds[…]

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[…]

Recreation and Conservation Planning for Fishers Peak State Park

In partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Colorado, our research team is working across ecological and recreational decision-making processes to help inform planning and management for Colorado’s new Fishers Peak State Park. The park is located in southern Colorado near the city of Trinidad and comprises 19,200 acres, rich with biodiversity and recreational potential. Our Read more about Recreation and Conservation Planning for Fishers Peak State Park[…]

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[…]