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[…]

Approaches to Pinyon Pine Management — Paul Berne Burow

The pinyon pine is not what you might call “charismatic megaflora.” North America’s Pacific and Intermountain West are home to some remarkable trees: the California redwood (the tallest), Giant Sequoia (the biggest), and Bristlecone pine (the oldest). The pinyon pine is a scrubby little tree that forms a short, round crown. It does not reach Read more about Approaches to Pinyon Pine Management — Paul Berne Burow[…]

Understanding the Role of Perennial Grasses in Sagebrush Establishment — Damaris Chenoweth

I recently returned from Southwestern Wyoming where I collected data over five weeks. The undisturbed Wyoming big sagebrush of the Jonah Field is dotted by disturbed plant communities, in which perennial grasses often dominate during the early stages of plant community recovery after well pad establishment. When well pads are reclaimed—the practice of returning soil Read more about Understanding the Role of Perennial Grasses in Sagebrush Establishment — Damaris Chenoweth[…]

2020 Decision Making: Considering loss in the time of Covid-19 — Margot Buckelew

Every spring, many ecologists and students around the world gear up for field season. For most of us, it is the highlight of the year: traveling to study sites, seeing colleagues, spending the season outside, and collecting the all-important data. This spring in the northern hemisphere, however, when the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world and Read more about 2020 Decision Making: Considering loss in the time of Covid-19 — Margot Buckelew[…]

Highlighting the “Impacts of COVID-19 On The Rural West: Material Needs, Economic Recovery, Political Attitudes” Report from the Rural West Covid Project

Yale School of the Environment’s Professor Dr. Justin Farrell and his lab received National Science Foundation funding to research the impacts of Covid-19 on the rural West. The team worked rapidly and has published an initial report, “Impacts of COVID-19 On The Rural West: Material Needs, Economic Recovery, Political Attitudes”, which summarizes survey results from Read more about Highlighting the “Impacts of COVID-19 On The Rural West: Material Needs, Economic Recovery, Political Attitudes” Report from the Rural West Covid Project[…]

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[…]

Bottom-up, Big-tent Community Organizing — Darya Watnick

The Colorado Collaborative for Healthy Soils is a community-driven organization bringing together diverse voices of Colorado’s farmers and ranchers around soil health. The Collaborative works in a bottom-up, big-tent capacity to explore ways that soil health practices can be recognized, incentivized, and promoted at a state-wide level.  I have been working on grant applications on Read more about Bottom-up, Big-tent Community Organizing — Darya Watnick[…]

Predicting the Future—Jon Michel

I don’t think I need to describe to anyone that we’re living through a very odd time. With everything going on in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the looming threat of climate change, it seems like computer modelling of future conditions has become more relevant than ever. Attempting to model the future Read more about Predicting the Future—Jon Michel[…]

Exploring New Approaches to Grassland Conservation in Wyoming—Katie Pofahl and Humna Sharif

Two students from the Yale School of the Environment’s Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative teamed up with The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming to deepen the culture of conservation in these iconic grasslands. With over 13.2 million acres, the grasslands of Thunder Basin, Wyoming are part of a patchwork of federal, state, and private land that Read more about Exploring New Approaches to Grassland Conservation in Wyoming—Katie Pofahl and 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[…]

Understanding Community Perceptions of Recreation and Wildlife in Jackson, Wyoming

Bryce and Bea are working with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative to investigate how to balance Jackson’s growing recreation habits while preserving existing ecosystems and protecting wildlife. This research is done in conjunction with a Social Science Working Group at the Bridger-Teton National Forest, as part of their 2021 Forest Plan Revision planning. Their primary Read more about Understanding Community Perceptions of Recreation and Wildlife in Jackson, Wyoming[…]

Mapping Resource “Neighborhoods” of Big Sagebrush — Damaris Chenoweth

Once covering nearly half of the American West, sagebrush ecosystems are now among the most threatened in North America.  In the past century, climate change, human land use, shifting disturbance regimes, and the introduction of invasive plants have driven significant loss, fragmentation, and modification of sagebrush communities.  As part of my research, I will characterize Read more about Mapping Resource “Neighborhoods” of Big Sagebrush — Damaris Chenoweth[…]

From Zero to 9,600 Organic Acres in Montana’s Great Plains — Tim Ibbotson-Sindelar

I arrived at the farm on a Saturday three weeks ago. I drove for three days from Philadelphia to Hill County, Montana. The land first became flat and mostly treeless in eastern North Dakota, where I spent my second night on the road. The third and final day of driving was uninterrupted flatness. Though while Read more about From Zero to 9,600 Organic Acres in Montana’s Great Plains — Tim Ibbotson-Sindelar[…]