Making Climate Action Data More Accessible and Engaging—Ingrid Thyr

“How do you explain ‘quintile rank’ to make it easily understandable?”  “Should we use morning, afternoon, or evening temperature?”  “Should there be more narrative around this statistic?”  “How can we incorporate data or stories from users?”  “How many blurbs is too many blurbs?”  These are the sorts of questions that have been occupying my day-to-day Read more about Making Climate Action Data More Accessible and Engaging—Ingrid Thyr[…]

The Pickle’s Place—Aya Ochiai

Just inside town limits of Arco, Idaho (pop. 995), there’s an electric green building that is emblazoned “Pickle’s Place, Home of the ‘Atomic Burger!’” It stands across the street from a sign declaring “Welcome to Arco, First City in the World Lighted by Atomic Power” and a silver sculpture of an atom–a nucleus and its Read more about The Pickle’s Place—Aya Ochiai[…]

Toward an Understanding of Mountain Recreation Ecosystems and Key Services—Joshua Kesling

It is just before 6:00 am, and the sun has not yet greeted subalpine fir and quaking aspen tops, although they eagerly await the warm embrace. Freezing water races through riffle-pool sequences, flossing interstices full of non-vascular specialists. Lichen and moss thrive just above the water line. Despite the golden sun’s absence, moose traipse across Read more about Toward an Understanding of Mountain Recreation Ecosystems and Key Services—Joshua Kesling[…]

Nuclear and Renewable Energy in Idaho and the American West

Aya is working on a two part project focusing on non-fossil fuel energy in the American West and its human and environmental impacts. She is studying communities and landscapes surrounding nuclear energy testing, research, and waste storage in the Snake River Plain of Idaho. Since 1949, southeastern Idaho has been the U.S.’ center of nuclear Read more about Nuclear and Renewable Energy in Idaho and the American West[…]

Capturing Outdoor Recreation and Ecological Patterns along a Multiple Use Mountain Stream

Outdoor recreation opportunities fuel important Intermountain West economies, satisfy cultural needs, and uphold nature connectedness. Similarly, mountain freshwater ecosystems promote the development and recruitment of flora and fauna. When considered together, recreation ecosystems comprise natural areas with varying levels of human and (non) human use. Some of the chief drivers shifting more visitors into stream-lined Read more about Capturing Outdoor Recreation and Ecological Patterns along a Multiple Use Mountain Stream[…]

Supporting Climate Action in King County, WA

This summer, Ingrid is working with the Executive Climate Office of King County (Washington) on three projects related to addressing climate change at the county level: 1) contributing to an initial draft of the next 5-year Strategic Climate Action Plan for the county; 2) writing a user guide to accompany a new urban heat mapping Read more about Supporting Climate Action in King County, WA[…]

A Call to Action – Private Finance to Nature through Ecosystem Restoration—Dimitria Spathakis

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines nature-based solutions (NbS) as actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously benefiting people and nature. UNEP publishes “The State of Finance for Nature”, an annual report tracking global finance flows to NbS and compares them to Read more about A Call to Action – Private Finance to Nature through Ecosystem Restoration—Dimitria Spathakis[…]

Striking a Balance Between Restoration Costs and Benefits—Alaina Geibig

The Yampa River Valley, located in the Northwest corner of Colorado, hosts critical sagebrush habitat that supports wildlife and livestock. In this arid region, water resources hold disproportionate importance, with low-lying wet meadows providing essential sources of diverse forage (Rondeau et al., 2023). As such, wet meadows often fall under private ownership for agricultural purposes, Read more about Striking a Balance Between Restoration Costs and Benefits—Alaina Geibig[…]

Muddying the Water—Alex Wells

Let’s say that you live in northeast Nevada and ranch a stretch of sagebrush watered by a small cottonwood-lined creek. Or that you make your living from your senior water rights and an orderly orchard of fruit trees in western Colorado. Or that you grow alfalfa just north of the Gallatin Range in Montana, your Read more about Muddying the Water—Alex Wells[…]

Introducing Erosion Structures in Dryland Streams—Alaina Geibig

It was early in the morning, but the summer sun was already high above the horizon. I squinted, fumbling to find my sunglasses, as I drove racing against the clock to get to the project site before our partners and volunteers arrived. I slowed among a line of traffic. Traffic?! This was shocking considering I Read more about Introducing Erosion Structures in Dryland Streams—Alaina Geibig[…]

Local Payment for an Ecosystem-Service-Model for Working Lands Stewardship

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, Read more about Local Payment for an Ecosystem-Service-Model for Working Lands Stewardship[…]

Who Cares?—Sam Wilson

I was explaining my research to someone recently and the proceeding conversation got me thinking. When I described my project and where it was going to be conducted (see project description here) I got a response that I had yet to encounter. The woman I was speaking with asked me ‘who cares about sagebrush?’. At Read more about Who Cares?—Sam Wilson[…]

Reflecting On a Summer in the San Luis Valley – Kathleen Voight

During the several months of interviews I conducted, I met with ranchers in work trucks, in hay barns, and in farm shops. I accompanied ranchers setting up fence, moving cattle, hauling round bales, checking sprinklers, and packing plant samples. We chatted over kitchen tables and on back porches, sharing meals and sharing stories. In addition Read more about Reflecting On a Summer in the San Luis Valley – Kathleen Voight[…]

A Night of Astronomy—Uthara Vengrai

The astronomer walks up to the podium and everyone goes quiet. There are probably 80 people sitting in this amphitheater at 10:30 PM, waiting to be toured through the sky. We’re at a star party at the McDonald Observatory around 30 miles outside of Marfa, TX. Tonight, this astronomer will guide us, help us see Read more about A Night of Astronomy—Uthara Vengrai[…]