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[…]

Defining Spring in a Dynamic World—Rob Anderson

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[…]

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[…]

Changing Narratives in a Pandemic Summer — Reid Lewis

When’s the last time you were dancing? Really going for it, with sweat and chaos and flashing lights? For me it was New Year’s Eve in a quaint, bizarre ballroom that seemed better designed for blackbox theater than a late night of revelry. It was warm and there was poor air circulation; a strange entry Read more about Changing Narratives in a Pandemic Summer — Reid Lewis[…]

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[…]

Understanding Community Perceptions of Recreation and Wildlife in Jackson, Wyoming

As Jackson Hole’s visiting population increases exponentially and recreation use continues to climb, Bryce and Bea are working with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative to investigate how to balance Jackson’s growing recreation habits while preserving its existing ecosystems and wildlife. By conducting interviews with Jackson recreators, the team hopes to gain a greater understanding of Read more about Understanding Community Perceptions of Recreation and Wildlife in Jackson, Wyoming[…]

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Survey of Canyon Creek

Joshua’s research surveyed benthic macroinvertebrate communities of Canyon Creek at The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Tensleep Preserve in order to (1) assess the current communities of this river section, (2) analyze the impacts of two subterranean limestone sink systems and a human diversion on these communities, and (3) provide data and voucher specimens for future studies. Read more about Benthic Macroinvertebrate Survey of Canyon Creek[…]

Summer 2023 Opportunities

Funded Student Summer Experiences in Colorado

(Visit back in January, we will have these same positions open for summer 2024)

Developing and Testing Long-term Ecological Monitoring Protocols for Land Practitioners in South-Central Colorado 

Summer Experience Description

During the last year, our YSE team has collected field data at the ranch, studied ecological monitoring strategies, and drafted initial long-term monitoring protocols for the ranch. We are currently seeking Yale students to field test and implement these monitoring protocols at the ranch in Colorado during summer 2022. Student work this summer will directly contribute to our efforts to develop and test monitoring for the ranch and study important land management questions.

The monitoring protocols aim to answer key ecological questions about natural resources at the ranch to inform future land management decisions. Students will implement monitoring over a variety of areas on the ranch, which are likely to include riparian areas, sagebrush ares, and high-elevation forests.

Download the PDF below for more details and learn how to apply.

Western Resources Fellowship

Application Period Closed for 2023

Big Sandy Lake, Wind River Range. Photo Credit: Carli Kierstead

student-driven query involving research, an internship, or management project during the summer. 

Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative at YSE provides fellows with a financial award, logistical assistance, and mentorship to aid with a summer experience that will have a high impact on conservation, stewardship, or management of natural resources in the Rocky Mountain or High Plains regions. This program supports Yale graduate and undergraduate students completing a summer work that will provide them with practical experience, leadership skills, and/or research experience that will prepare fellows for their future careers. A financial award of up to $8,000 will be granted to each fellow. Fellows will actively participate in peer mentoring with other fellows and will receive guidance from UHPSI staff during the summer.

Read more about past fellows work: 2021 |Past fellowships.

How to Apply
Please apply using the Yale Students Grant Database by March 18, 2023. More information about applications materials can be found in PDF below along with general fellowship expectations.

View 10-minute presentations by each 2020 Western Resources Fellows by clicking here.

Land Management Field Practicum – Not offered in 2023



Final Soil Dryer Prototype — Nat 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 — Nat 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[…]

A Girl Scout’s Walden (Part Two) — Franklin Eccher

Trey Davis, the Preserve Manager at The Nature Conservancy’s Tensleep Preserve, described Tensleep as “a place of superlatives.” Everything at Tensleep is the oldest, the most diverse, the most valuable to researchers, and yet in order for those superlatives to remain true the place must also remain relatively unknown and untouched. My explorations of the Read more about A Girl Scout’s Walden (Part Two) — Franklin Eccher[…]

Thinking Beyond Acres – Brendan Boepple

During my summer with the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) I was tasked with developing and implementing a stakeholder input process that would guide the development of the organization’s new conservation plan. To better understand the perspective of the community and the concerns of natural resource managers in the San Luis Valley, we conducted Read more about Thinking Beyond Acres – Brendan Boepple[…]

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[…]

A Strong Fourth Quarter — Joshua Perez-Cruet

One of the major challenges I faced during my study was dealing with the weather; benthic invertebrates are extremely sensitive to natural fluctuations such as water flow and temperature. In order to reduce as many scientific variables as possible during sampling, I spent the first weeks waiting for optimal conditions, which was extremely difficult for Read more about A Strong Fourth Quarter — Joshua Perez-Cruet[…]