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[…]

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[…]

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.

Rethinking What’s Important — Meghan Hills

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve spent my life training to be a scientist. It’s been the result of both nature and nurture, as well as a healthy dose of self-motivation to learn about topics that caught my attention at a young age and never quite let it go. Generally speaking, the subjects Read more about Rethinking What’s Important — Meghan Hills[…]

A Brief Introduction to Chronic Wasting Disease — Meghan Hills

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an infection found in captive (farmed) and free-ranging (wild) members of the deer family (hereafter “cervids”) [1]. North American species known to be affected include white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus), and moose (Alces alces) [2,3]. First observed in 1967 in Colorado and Read more about A Brief Introduction to Chronic Wasting Disease — Meghan Hills[…]

The Impact of Surface Water on Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) Movement Patterns

Though the relationship between resource selection and animal distribution has been thoroughly investigated, few studies link animal movement patterns to resource utilization. By examining animal movement proximate to resource utilization, Danielle hopes to understand the degree of prioritization given to obtaining a resource and contribute to this growing field of study. Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis Read more about The Impact of Surface Water on Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) Movement Patterns[…]

Communicating Vegetation Response after Fire in the Bridger-Teton National Forest

Our student research assistants partnered with Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) in Wyoming to create a report on the stand dynamics of postfire vegetative regeneration and management implications. Wildfire serves an important ecological role in maintaining species composition and forest structure in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Previous management practices have employed prescribed burning as a tool Read more about Communicating Vegetation Response after Fire in the Bridger-Teton National Forest[…]

Reconciling Landownership and Sage-Grouse Management Designation Data

This is an inter-agency project led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. Federal and State agencies frequently respond to requests for analyses of land status within the sagebrush biome, such as acres of land ownership or management designation. However, across agencies the results are inconsistent. The goal for this Read more about Reconciling Landownership and Sage-Grouse Management Designation Data[…]

Increasing Adoption of Grasslands Avoided Conversion Carbon Projects

Climate and Forest Capital (CFC) has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund on an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant to research economic incentives that could increase the adoption of conservation practices on US working lands. One of the primary strategies being investigated utilizes a Climate Action Reserve protocol that measures greenhouse gas reductions resulting from the Read more about Increasing Adoption of Grasslands Avoided Conversion Carbon Projects[…]

Conservation Planning for Sheridan County, WY

Our research assistant team worked in partnership with the Sheridan Community Land Trust to develop a conservation planning mapping tool to guide future private land conservation efforts. They incorporated a variety of spatial data from public sources to help SCLT prioritize and direct its funding and outreach in cooperation with its organization’s goals to protect Read more about Conservation Planning for Sheridan County, WY[…]

How to Find Spatial Data Online — Michael Storace

GIS can feel overwhelming sometimes to the casual user, and it can even intimidate those proficient with the program. However, do not fall into despair, there are ways to make spatial data work for everyone! Despite its complexity, GIS remains an incredible tool that can portray the world in a spatially specific way. You can Read more about How to Find Spatial Data Online — Michael Storace[…]

Final Soil Dryer Prototype — Natalie Irwin

Now that my project partner, Seila De Leon, and I have finished our ten week fellowship at the Yale Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Design, I will reflect on the progress we have made and the work that still exists for us. At the end of the fellowship, we had created what is, at least Read more about Final Soil Dryer Prototype — Natalie Irwin[…]

The Swan Lives On — Sam Maher

The last time I posted, I was a busy forensic ecologist/detective discovering the culprit behind dips in trumpeter swan productivity in western Wyoming. Now, I’m a slick computer programmer using remote sensing data to spatially examine the habitat characteristics selected for by nesting swan pairs. To be transparent, I am neither slick nor a computer Read more about The Swan Lives On — Sam Maher[…]

Soil Dryer Updates Post-field Adventure — Seila De Leon

In mid-July, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in this year Western Research Fellowship Retreat in Ten Sleep, Wyoming. For the bulk of the Retreat, we spent our time out on the Tensleep preserve taking soil samples using the latest tools such as the soil extractor, the light spectrometer, and even the soil dryer. Read more about Soil Dryer Updates Post-field Adventure — Seila De Leon[…]