Fostering land stewardship and conservation in the American West
through teaching, research, outreach and leadership.
Browse current applied, collaborative research projects
Get the latest updates from students as they chronicle their work
Find out about our programs and how they engage students with western partners
Learn what aspects are at our core and meet our team
program impacts 2021
Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative (UHPSI) within the Yale School of the Environment focuses on stewardship and conservation in the American West. At its core, UHPSI seeks to engage in teaching, research, and outreach on land stewardship, primarily through mentoring students on applied research and management projects with western partners.
Justin Farrell, PhD
Michelle Downey, MS
Julia Chen and Jake Barker are collaborating with The Nature Conservancy-Wyoming to investigate strategies to improve forest health and resilience through targeted forest restoration in Wyoming. At present, the pace and scale of forest restoration in Wyoming is constrained by several factors, including high costs and limited wood-processing infrastructure. The team will apply a system Read more about A Systems Thinking Approach to Wood Processing and Forest Health in Wyoming[…]
Check out Shannon’s published article here, which draws on the research she did with Ucross.
As temperatures climbed this summer, so did the elevations of the plots that I visited. My gradual ascent was an attempt to capture the plant community of each site at a time when I would be able to detect and identify most of the plant species. Higher elevations mean lower temperatures, and while many grasses Read more about Stepping Out of the Steppe—Rachel Renne[…]
Hear from some of our 2022 Western Resource Fellows about what they are doing!
As I write this, while sitting in my 82-degree New Haven apartment, I cannot help but feel some nostalgia for the two summers I have now spent in Pinedale, WY doing research for my Master’s degree. I have spent the vast majority of my life in New England. Prior to the past two field seasons, Read more about Improving Model Outputs and Recommendations Through Field Work—Rob Anderson[…]
Industry, based on landscape, has been foundational to the American West’s cultural and ideological underpinnings since the beginning of colonization. While natural resource extraction industries (mining, logging, ranching, agriculture) spurred westward expansion and continues to be a significant industry in the West, a new industry is of increasing importance, outdoor recreation. Both the extraction and Read more about Why study outdoor recreation in the American West?—Mara MacDonell[…]
Place, People, and Politics: A Short Reflection on a Summer of Research and Rivers in the American West—Mara MacDonell
Over the course of 14 days this August, I traveled down the calm waters of Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons of the Green River and the raucous and roiling waters of Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River. I went on this journey after a summer of conducting interviews and thinking critically about the role of the Read more about Place, People, and Politics: A Short Reflection on a Summer of Research and Rivers in the American West—Mara MacDonell[…]
Soil is the tapestry upon which all life is weaved. Our water is cleaned through it. Our food rises from it. As young children, our bare feet kiss it. After death, we return back to it. And so, the cycle goes, for time immemorial. Most splendid of all, a full-spectrum of life flourishes in just Read more about Gold Underfoot! Soil Organic Matter matters—Raffa Sindoni[…]
There’s a bull bison rolling on the ground. Hooves point skyward as the bull’s body moves—rocking, kicking, sliding on a carefully chosen patch of earth. Dust hangs in the hot summer air. Other bison look on at the commotion, then return to grazing. A calf imitates the bull, playfully rolling under mom’s legs. What are Read more about Can Bison Shape the Prairie?—Ross Martin[…]
As a kid growing up in Florida, we were warned that the hottest part of the day was between noon and 2 pm. My mother insisted that we come inside during these hours to avoid the heat and what she considered to be the riskiest time for sunburns. Yet, at 4:30 pm today in this Read more about A Note from the Steppe—Rachel Renne[…]
Delaney is working with the Hopi Utility Authority to better understand electricity and energy use on the Hopi Reservation. Her research examines energy burden, both in its monetary manifestations as-well as its emotional and temporal manifestations. Through semi-structured interviews she is determining the current energy paradigm and use patterns of households and sentiments regarding electricity. Read more about Energy Use and Access on the Hopi Reservation[…]
Industry, based on landscape, has been foundational to the American West’s cultural and ideological underpinnings. The extraction and outdoor recreation industries are two of these core industries, both reliant on the vast public lands and natural resources of the West. These industries are both economic drivers, yet often seen in moral opposition, a binary on Read more about Wreckreation? Livelihood, Labor, Work, Play, and the Environment in the Rural American West[…]
What is spring? This may seem like an obvious question, but over the last few months I have come to appreciate that it is not as easy to answer as I once thought. The definition of springtime may change depending on where you are, who you are, and what you deem to be important in Read more about Defining Spring in a Dynamic World—Rob Anderson[…]
Raffa is supporting Indigenous data-empowerment efforts by researching how Tribal Nations may engage with soil carbon markets, which offer compensation to land managers who build up Soil Carbon on their land through regenerative rangeland practices or agriculture. He will be working with Aude Chesnais (Native Land Information Systems), Dr. Justin Farrell (Yale), and Dr. Kyle Read more about Clay, Silt, Sand, and Data: Revealing Soil Organic Carbon on Native Lands[…]
Ross is partnering with Tanka Fund, a Native led non-profit on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Tanka Fund’s mission is to return bison to native land, lives, and economies across North America. Ross is providing support to the Tanka Fund through the creation of a promotional storytelling campaign that highlighs Indigenous bison Read more about Elevating Native Led Bison Restoration Stories on the Great Plains[…]