Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter

During the month of August, I was unfortunate enough to be impacted by two extreme weather events associated with climate change. In Wyoming, multiple field days were cut short due to hazardous air quality resulting from the ongoing wildfires in California and Oregon. While 2020 saw the second highest acreage burned since 1960 (the highest Read more about Climate Change and Plant Communities: Reshaping Ecosystems for Livestock and Wildlife — Scott Carpenter[…]

Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai

Roots do everything. They are the connector between plants and soil–the interface at which many of the transactions of life are made. Roots (with the help of their mycorrhizal associates) conduct a plant’s search for nutrients, water, and shelter. They scour the soil for the ingredients of life and support whole ecosystems of microorganisms, plants, Read more about Global change and root production: how does land use and climate change affect life belowground? — Uthara Vengrai[…]

An introduction to the wildlife crossing structures that help animals move over and under Highway 93 in the Flathead Reservation, Montana. —Luca Guadagno

Driving north of Missoula through the Flathead Reservation, vehicles on US Highway 93 pass under a semi-circle arch of a vegetated overpass. Built to facilitate wildlife movement across the busy road, the overpass is a visible reminder that motorists are not the only individuals moving across the landscape. What motorists may not see as they Read more about An introduction to the wildlife crossing structures that help animals move over and under Highway 93 in the Flathead Reservation, Montana. —Luca Guadagno[…]

Long-term suitability of wildlife crossing structures for species movements across US highway 93 in Western Montana

Structures that allow wildlife to safely cross highways, including overpasses, landbridges, and wildlife underpasses, are increasingly attracting the attention of organizations that want to minimize wildlife-vehicle collisions and improve road permeability to wildlife movements. Research demonstrates that crossing structures with wildlife exclusion fencing decrease wildlife-vehicle collisions, however questions persist about how to best design structures Read more about Long-term suitability of wildlife crossing structures for species movements across US highway 93 in Western Montana[…]

Proposing County Payment Reforms that Incentivize Conservation of Public Forestland

Shannon is working with Oregon Wild, a non-governmental organization in Oregon dedicated to the conservation of forests and wildlife across the state. She is researching and developing an alternate model for the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) legislation, which has provided payments to historically timber-dependent counties in order to support them as timber harvests decline. The Read more about Proposing County Payment Reforms that Incentivize Conservation of Public Forestland[…]

Small Species, Big Impact: Communicating Biodiversity Conservation across Disciplines—Lauren Sadowski

Often, charismatic species are over-represented in scientific fields, more likely to raise funds, or considered ecologically more important than others. As a result, raising conservation advocacy, support, and awareness for megafauna species like elk, moose, bear, or wolves can be easier compared to rare, small, or uncharismatic creatures. Avians and mammals are some of the Read more about Small Species, Big Impact: Communicating Biodiversity Conservation across Disciplines—Lauren Sadowski[…]

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

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[…]

Pursuing Better Stewardship and Better Futures: Centering Native American Histories and Perspectives

The United States recognizes over 500 American Indian or Alaskan Native nations. There is extraordinary variety in the cultural, spiritual, and stewardship practices among Native American peoples. Sincere collaboration with Native nations provides non-Native land stewards an opportunity to confront an often terrible history, steward landscapes effectively for more stakeholders, and pursue a better future Read more about Pursuing Better Stewardship and Better Futures: Centering Native American Histories and Perspectives[…]

Saving Grasslands with Stakeholder Collaboration — Humna Sharif

Preview: Grassland habitats across the world are facing multiple threats due to anthropogenic changes, and species dependent on these ecosystems are suffering as a result. In North America, the Thunder Basin Region represents one of the remaining contiguous expanses of intact grasslands. There are conservation practices already taking place in Thunder Basin, and new approaches are Read more about Saving Grasslands with Stakeholder Collaboration — Humna Sharif[…]

Balancing Rights in the Context of Outdoor Recreation — Talia Niederman

As the number of outdoor recreationists expands due to a confluence of improved technology and social trends, humans and wildlife increasingly overlap in their demands for natural spaces. Over this past year, our UHPSI project team has explored this issue in the context of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. A dramatic and alluring landscape, this region Read more about Balancing Rights in the Context of Outdoor Recreation — Talia Niederman[…]

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[…]