Annual report

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Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative Annual Report—2014

Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative — 2014 Annual Report

This work would not be possible without support from: Mr. Raymond Plank | Plank Stewardship Initiative | Ucross Foundation | Apache Foundation | Apache Corporation | Bauer Land and Livestock | Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies | Google | NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | University of Wyoming

Questions? | |

Raymond Plank – Founder & Chairman Emeritus Apache Corporation | Entrepreneur & Visionary UHPSI is the brainchild of Raymond Plank, Apache Corporation Founder and Chairman Emeritus. Through his life in the West, Raymond established a strong personal connection to the landscape around him and an appreciation for land and water stewardship. The Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative is a manifestation of Raymond’s interest in and affinity for the High Plains region, made possible only through his high-level vision and philanthropy. Raymond tends to think large, and hopes to extend UHPSI’s reach to the rest of Wyoming and beyond, securing a more sustainable future for the High Plains region. Most recently, Raymond has founded a new organization—the Plank Stewardship Initiative, which will work closely with UHPSI to foster land and water stewardship on the high plains of Wyoming. When he isn’t juggling business or developing educational opportunities you might find Raymond enjoying the sounds of the river from his home on Piney Creek.


Table of Contents About the Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative


UHPSI Students, Faculty, and Staff


Monthly Highlights


Hydrologic Modeling


Water Quality and Gas Monitoring in Clear Creek


Stream Geomorphology


Leafy Spurge Modeling


Demographic Studies


Avian Acoustic Monitoring


Locational Error Analysis


Leafy Spurge Grazing Study


Pollinators and Mead Making


Decision Support Tools


Publications and Conferences


Plank Stewardship Initiative



About the Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative


rience garnered in research operahe Ucross High Plains Steward-

tions around the world, from Ore-

ship Initiative (UHPSI) is a science-

gon to Kansas to New England to

based research program focused on

Turkey to Nepal.

land stewardship in the American


West. It is the brainchild of Raymond Plank, founder of Apache Cor-

cuses on a wide array of issues re-

poration and the Ucross Foundation.

lating to land and water steward-

At the heart of our work is the Ucross

ship including hydrologic modeling,

Ranch, a 22,000 acre working cattle

stream geomorphology, invasive

and sheep ranch in Clearmont, Wyo-

species modeling, landscape change

ming. The ranch serves as a living

monitoring through satellite image

laboratory where our highly collabo-

interpretation, avian acoustic moni-

rative team of students, faculty, and

toring, invertebrate and pollinator

alumni from Yale University’s School

research, demographic studies, fi-

of Forestry & Environmental Studies focus their efforts. UHPSI seeks to provide quantitative, science-based solutions to issues of rangeland management, and share their findings, locally, regionally, and nationally.


he UHPSI research group fo-

nancial modeling, and much more.


he research team shares its findings with Ucross Ranch management

and more broadly at conferences and in publications around the country. ur team includes professionals and graduate students with extensive

Recently, UHPSI has begun working closely with the Plank Stewardship Ini-

experience in landscape ecology, wildlife biology, botany, hydrology, statis-

tiative in a collaborative effort to distribute beneficial technical assistance to

tics, remote sensing and geospatial analysis. Students and staff bring expe-

working lands managers in the high plains.


Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative—Students & Staff Chadwick Oliver, PhD – Fearless Leader As the Pinchot Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Chad serves as UHPSI’s fearless leader, ensuring that research remains relevant, timely, and effective. His research has taken him to more than 25 countries, where he has cultivated macrolevel perspective that help to situate UHPSI within a larger framework. Outside of UHPSI, Chad teaches and researches forest ecology and silviculture, as well as natural resource management on local, region, and global scales. Chad is currently authoring a new book on global resources.

Charlie Bettigole, MESc – Co-Director and Wildlife Biologist — Charlie serves as one of UHPSI’s co-directors, helping to manage day-to-day operations from either the New Haven or Ucross office. Charlie has a hand in most of the projects that the team takes on, but has devoted extra energy towards the cultivation of key relationships with Ucross Partners, generating new student interest in UHPSI research, establishing baseline documentation of Ucross Ranch infrastructure, and avian acoustic monitoring. Charlie, a Connecticut native, is a wildlife biologist and GIS analyst by trade.

Henry Glick, MESc – Co-Director and GIS Developer As one of UHPSI’s co-directors, Henry helps provide input wherever it’s needed. He is responsible for the development and maintenance of UHPSI’s in-house Geographic Information System, and has spent considerable time creating geographic models of the current land cover across the Ucross Ranch, as well as statistically evaluating the accuracy of those models. Henry loves to use spatial statistics to explore ecological problems, and applies them to UHPSI whenever possible.

Lindsi Seegmiller, MESc Candidate – Remote Sensing Specialist and GIS Analyst — Lindsi serves as UHPSI’s specialist in the acquisition, manipulation, and analysis of satellite imagery. Among other things, she is in charge of using this imagery to identify the distribution and relative abundance of invasive species across the landscape, and of developing web-compatible tools that allow the public to perform complex geospatial analysis. Devin Routh, MA, MFs candidate – Statistician and Pollination/Mead Specialist— Devin, along with Lindsi, spends much of his efforts designing new algorithims and statistical operations on a Google Earth Engine research project investigating the automated detection of invasive species with satellite imagery. Concurrent with his studies and UHPSI work, Devin is in the midst of starting a meadery at his family farm in North Carolina, and sharing his expertise on all things bee with folks in Wyoming and New Haven.

Catherine Kuhn, MESc Candidate – Hydrology/Land Use Researcher — A native of Kansas, Catherine has spent the last five years in the Bay Area teaching watershed ecology, biology and conservation to high school students as part of the Oakland Teaching Fellows program. She is interested in watershed scale conservation and management with an emphasis on how land use practices can improve community resilience in the High Plains.

Ambika Khadka, MESc – Hydrologist and Spatial Analyst — Although Ambika moved back to Nepal with her family in the Spring of 2014, she previously served as UHPSI’s resident hydrologist, specializing in the modeling of surface and subsurface water movement across the entire Ucross Ranch. Her models provide a core mechanism for evaluating the effects of future land use change.


Monthly Highlights January 2014 · Data processing in New Haven o Accuracy assessment of Ucross land cover mapping o Technical documentation of Ucross arboretum o Google award issued · New website released · Collaboration in WY, CO, NM, NY, CT February 2014 · Preparation for March stakeholder meeting · Presentations o Yale Remote Sensing User Group o Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs · Finalized demographic analysis · Hydrologic scenario modeling March 2014 · High Plains stakeholder meeting held at Ucross · Manuscripts prepared for peer-review · Presentations in CO and CT · Hydrologic scenario modeling continues April 2014 · Summer fieldwork preparation · Continued collaboration with Google and NASA on leafy spurge research · Qualitative risk assessment tool · Ucross avian vocalizations modeled May 2014 · Arboretum and demographic reports delivered · Second place poster award at Northeast ArcGIS User’s Conference · Design of sampling and accuracy assessment for leafy spurge study · UHPSI arrives at Ucross for field season


June 2014 · New professorial collaboration at Yale · First publication submitted to journal for peer review · Began hydrologic gas sampling study · New satellite imagery captured of Ucross July 2014 · Collaborations strengthened with Kansas State and Yale Universities · Second publication submitted to journal for peer review · Demographics poster wins third place at international conference · Field sampling for leafy spurge project completed · UHPSI workshop on pollinators and mead production

Monthly Highlights

August 2014 · Phase I of hydrologic gas sampling completed · Third publication submitted to journal for peer review · UHPSI returned to New Haven · Additional Ucross satellite imagery captured September 2014 · Google Earth Engine Research Award nears completion · First manuscript accepted for publication in Rangelands · Land cover change analysis begun · Clear Creek gas samples analyzed using gas chromatography October 2014 · Preliminary mathematical models for Google project completed · Continued networking and collaboration with USP and others · White paper for NASA begun · Soil and Water Assessment Tool paper developed · Began popular ‘High Plains Coffee’ events November 2014 · All water quality samples data returned from Clear Creek Analysis · UHPSI attends Quivira Conference · Leafy spurge project nears completion · Final packaging of Google project begun · Presentations prepared for American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting · Began preparation of SWAT model images December 2014 · Project wrap-ups · Yearly budgeting · Projects presented at AGU and at Google Headquarters · High Plains Mead highlighted at Ucross Christmas Party · Ongoing collaboration with Plank Stewardship Initiaitve · Website maintenance and upgrades


Hydrologic Modeling with SWAT


he Ucross Ranch sits atop ancient geologic structures that are constantly al-

tered through the power of water. With loose, exposed mineral soil dotting the landscape, the Ranch is subject to potentially high levels of erosion in the uplands, reduced ground-water retention, and significant changes in creek and river channel structure. The UHPSI team has a strong interest in evaluating the degree to which changes in land cover and land use affect the hydrologic regime across the Ranch. This topic is addressed through multifaceted GIS modeling and geospatial time-series analysis using historic photographs.


HPSI has modeled hydrologic

and erosion processes on the ranch using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) developed by Texas A&M University. This tool relies primarily on: A) land cover classification (displayed to the right); B) historical weather data collected from dozens of local and regional weather stations; C) a digital elevation model (e.g. topographic information, which includes elevation, aspect and slope); and D) detailed soil maps.


Hydrologic Modeling with SWAT


soil-anchoring properties, and growth rates between these cover ith a completed baseline hydrologic assessment of the ranch,

the SWAT model now allows us to play “what-if” scenarios with land use and management. By changing land cover parameters in response to management scenarios, the SWAT model can predict alterations in surface and sub-surface water flows. For example, we could develop a management scenario where all draws on the property were restored with woody vegetation along the banks. We could then manipulate our land cover map, changing non-woody cover

tions in hydrologic flow. As the premier hydrologic modeling tool in professional and academic venues, our SWAT model has the ability to tie in to a variety of fascinating scientific modules. In 2015, we are hoping to explore (among many possibilities): A) water availability under future climate scenarios; and B) ecosystem services —a modeling process that will allow us to quantify the dollar value provided by water resources in the Clear Creek basin.

3-D representation of the Clear Creek watershed. The light blue lines represent the stream courses that feed into Clear Creek. The shaded topography represents varying degrees of evapotranspiration (ET) across an elevational gradient. Darker blue indicates higher ET rates. Data for this map comes from a relatively dry year (2002).

1,210 m ——–-———–> 3,310 m


types to shrub/tree types. Based on the differences in water needs,

types, SWAT would present us with detailed figures on the altera-

High ET ——————–> Low ET


Water Quality and Dissolved Gas in Clear Creek


and August of 2014, we sampled 3-4 times per week in the early mornings ver the summer of 2014, UHPSI explored an emerging field of re-

at Big Red. Our methodologies involve taking small samples of water and

search through an investigation of the concentration and flux of carbon

air from the creek into syringes, submerging then shaking these samples

in the Clear Creek watershed. We focused our work into two studies: one

to extract dissolved gases, and then shooting the air in the syringes into

of temporal effects on dissolved carbon in Clear Creek, and one of the

evacuated storage vials. Our hope is to understand how temperature,

elevational (and land use) effects. As of December, 2014, we have nearly

storm events, and a variety of stream health indicators affect the concen-

completed analysis of our collected gas samples, aided by exclusive ac-

trations of these gases.

cess to the Yale University Shimadzu GC2014 Gas Chromatograph with a 200 unit autosampler, an amazing piece of equipment that allows the detection of a suite of gases down to less than one part per million.



he elevational study looks at the en-

tire reach of Clear Creek from Double Crossing (downstream of Ucross) to Florhe temporal study looks at one location (the junction of Clear and

ence Lake at the very headwaters of North

Piney Creeks behind Big Red) across the entire summer. Between May

Clear Creek. This study involves sampling


Water Quality and Dissolved Gas in Clear Creek using the same methodologies outlined above at 29 sites from 1,210 through 3,310 meters (see map to right). We ran six of these elevational transects throughout the summer and fall of 2014 . The first took place between June 10th and 12th. We were limited from reaching the upper handful of sites by significant snow drifts above 9,500 feet, but were able to identify, characterize, and extract samples from all other locations. Further elevational transects occurred during the weeks of June 30th, July 14th, July 28th, August 4th, and October 20th.


s mentioned above, hydrological sampling re-

quires the cooperation of many land owners. Through our need for water access along the Clear Creek drainage, we have received assistance from Larry and Jean Vignaroli, Jenny and Mark Gordon, the city of Buffalo, USFS, BLM, State Lands, the State Engineer’s Office, among many others. These ranches and organizations are central to the success of our work and provide valuable connections in the community.


Stream Geomorphology

Most Change

Least Change


ater is most decidedly a critical resource for the Ucross


odeling of all types, shapes, and sizes has become one of

ranch. Fueled to a large extent by snowmelt from the Bighorns,

the most widely used strategies in contemporary science for under-

Piney and Clear Creeks are the major streams that run through the

standing how natural systems operate. Accordingly, the UHPSI

property. Understanding how these two streams operate helps in-

team is experimenting with a new type of “transition matrix model-

form management when making decisions on where to, for exam-

ing” for river morphology (i.e. how the river structure changes over

ple, stabilize a bank so that the water doesn’t erode pasture areas

time). This method of modeling takes a probabilistic approach to

for grazing. But what’s the best way to understand how these

understanding the river equilibrium. Instead of attempting to cre-

streams operate and how they change over time?

ate a complex mathematical function that can predict what might happen in the future, the team analyzed what has happened to the


Stream Geomorphology

river in the past ≈60 years according to available aerial and satellite

a river changing structure over time. If a manager is interested in

imagery and then used this information to assign a probability on

finding the areas that are the “most dynamic” (and therefore poten-

how the river might change in the future. The more the river has

tially in need of stabilization in some way), he/she could view a

demonstrated change in its structure within the past ≈60 years, the

map like the one above, which shows the confluence of Piney and

higher the probability that it might change in the future.

Clear Creeks on the southern tip of the Ucross Ranch. The dark


blue color indicates an area that exhibited the “most change” across his type of model can help scientists and managers under-

stand the “level of dynamism” in a river system, which is to say it gives them an actual scale on which to understand the likelihood of

the timeframe we analyzed; the yellow color indicates areas that did not change substantially; blueish-green indicates areas that changed to some degree.


Leafy Spurge Modeling


tasking operations to capture images for the entire Ucross Ranch usn conversations with stakeholders across Wyoming including aca-

demics, land managers, and conservation practitioners, the mapping of invasive species abundance and distribution was identified as a top priority. In particular, leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) was targeted as the highest risk invasive species at Ucross and in the surrounding area.


and four in 2014.


sing known locations of

large leafy spurge patches collected during the summer 2013 field season, we were able to characterize every location within these custom images according to the spatial distribution

eginning in 2013, we

and degree of invasion by Leafy

chose to explore a relative-


ly new form of remote


sensing analysis in which hyper-spectral satellite imagery (i.e. imagery that contains information on hundreds of different electromagnetic wavebands) was used to isolate the distinct light reflectance properties of leafy spurge. In concert with Stuart Frye at the NASA Goddard Space Center in Maryland, we secured access to a NASA satellite with which we performed custom


ing a specialized camera-like sensor for a total of two images in 2013

ver the 2014 field season,

we visited nearly 400 random locations around the rugged Ucross Ranch, verifying that our satellite informed models of leafy spurge matched on-the-ground presence of the invasive weed.

Leafy Spurge Modeling and Google


aving completed the analysis using ex-

isting software, we decided to take things one step further. Working with the tech giant Google, we have been developing tools for their new mapping platform, Google Earth Engine, which will allow the detection of individual species using hyperspectral imagery.


e are hoping to leverage our relation-

ship with Google to turn our algorithms into user friendly, open-source, publicly available tools allowing land managers (at local and regional scales) the ability to map leafy spurge and other invasives on their properties. With the ability to prioritize invasive species management across large landscapes, these tools will allow often over-worked ranchers the ability to target high risk areas systematically, and

A screen capture of Google’s Earth Engine platform with the results of a successfully coded Spectral Angle Mapper algorithm. Here, the map shows a portion of the Ucross Ranch where the colors, ranging from dark red to bright green, correspond to a range of:: A) greatest spectral similarity to leafy spurge (dark red); to B) least spectral similarity to leafy spurge (green). You can see that the model identifies moist draws as likely locations for spurge, which corresponds well with our field experience.

actually control the spread of leafy spurge year


Avian Acoustic Monitoring


he distribution and abundance of birds can be a

valuable indicator of ecosystem and landscape health. By understanding the factors on the Ucross Ranch that drive bird occurrence, UHPSI hopes to make recommendations for management strategies that will enhance biodiversity on the ranch.


ne of the most effective ways to survey large are-

as over long time scales is through acoustic monitoring. We have set up two permanent recording stations at Big Red and the RPCC (Figure 2). These digital recorders collect bird call information at hour long intervals three times every day. This data is stored in our database and is automatically sifted through to pull out individual bird vocalizations. These stations, UHPSI Co-Director Charlie Bettigole sets up a solar array, which allows continuous, year-round monitoring of birds at Ucross with minimal researcher hours.

over time, will let us understand phenological patterns of migratory bird populations on the ranch. This can help guide land management, in particular with such


Avian Acoustic Monitoring




grazing rotations, watering schedules, and much more.


dditionally, we have built five

semi-permanent acoustic monitoring units, which are highly mobile and can be used to survey large areas. In 2013, we performed an initial pilot test of this system by recording at ten locations in late September along Clear Creek and Coal

Frequency ———————————————>

things as the timing of hay cuttings,

Creek. Since then we have utilized these mobile units for smaller surveys and have assisted others (e.g. Fort Phil Kearney) in setting up mobile monitoring stations of their own.

Time ———————————————> Three vocalization templates for bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - all recorded on January 28th, 2014 at the junction of Clear and Piney Creeks, Ucross, Wyoming. All three images are spectrograms - graphic visualizations of audio signals. The scale on the left shows the frequency of the vocalizations as they progress over time - brighter colors (white and red) indicate louder sounds. The images represent a ‘chatter’ call (a), a ‘screech’ call (b), and a low pitched ‘chatter’ call (c). Combined with a handful of other templates, we can pore through hundreds of hours of recordings to identify all instances of bald eagle calls.


Rancher and Farmer Demographics Average Age of Farm and Ranch Operators for the State of Wyoming



sing historical census records dating back to the early

term trends show a dramatic increase in operator age over time

twentieth century, we explored age trends among farm and

(see above figure). Using linear least-squares regression, we

ranch operators in Wyoming. Analysis was conducted at both

found that across the state, 95% of the variability in operator age

the county and state levels, looking at numerous age classes

can be explained by time—this allows us to predict future condi-

across time. As was suspected, we found that the proportion of

tions with moderate confidence, and shows that the average age

younger operators at each census year has declined over time,

of farm and ranch operators is increasing at a rate of about 1.5

while the proportion of older operators has significantly in-

months per year. By 2050 there will be a 35% increase in age

creased (see far right figure). On the state level, even short-

over farm and ranch operators from 1920.

Rancher and Farmer Demographics


his analysis confirms our suspicions, but raises larger ques-

tions about how to slow the trends in Wyoming’s agri-social landscape. If social action (e.g. community organization), political action (e.g. new legislation), and economic action (e.g. subsidies for new farmers) are not taken to inspire and support Wyoming’s youth to pursue local agricultural occupations, the state’s cultural heritage may become imperiled. We hope that UHPSI and the developing Plank Stewardship Initiative can provide support to farming and ranching communities to help mitigate potential losses.


Locational Error Analysis


ollowing on the tails of demographic research and land

cover research manuscripts, UHPSI completed a manuscript focused on thematic map accuracy assessment, which was submitted to the Journal of Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing.


he nature of scientific research is that while investi-

gating one’s primary area of inquiry one inevitably stumbles upon new ideas. An example of this came as we began the accuracy assessment of a high spatial resolution categorical map of the Ucross Ranch. During the assessment process we began to question some of the most common metrics used to quantify accuracy. Following our curiosity, we subsequently designed a custom computer program to perform a series of tests that evaluate the utility of these metrics. The basic concept we explored dealt with co-registration error, which looks at how locations derived from satellite imagery often don’t correspond with on-the-ground locational measurements taken with hand-held GPS units.


Co-registration error between mapped locations. (a) represents locations derived from GPS technology; (b) represents locations derived from aerial or satellite imagery; (c) represents the accuracy assessment process where the two must be coregistered for comparison; (d) represents the coregistration error distance, or how much the representations are misaligned.

Spurge Grazing Exclosures


ver the summer of 2014, UHPSI in-

stalled a series of grazing exclosures in two pastures on the Ucross Ranch–North Alkire and North Stone House. These exclosures were constructed prior to the first grazing of the pasture by the Ranch’s sheep. The circular fences, measuring two meters in diameter and 1.2 meters tall, were placed in large contiguous patches of leafy spurge, where plant measurements from within and outside of exclosures were collected. Measurements were repeated after sheep grazing.


Grazing exclosure in the North Alkire Pasture on the west side of the Ucross Ranch on July 16th, 2014

s we expected from previous qualitative observations of post-grazed pasture, sheep grazing significantly

impacted: a) overall spurge stem count, b) the percentage of spurge stems showing evidence of grazing, c) canopy cover of spurge, and d) canopy height of spurge. The figures to the left show the magnitude of this change across all six exclosures. While this is a small study, it sets the stage for larger grazing studies in future years, while at the same time providing quantitative estimates of browsing rates, which will help Ucross management allocate resources more efficiently across the landscape.


Pollinator Health “With every third bite of food Why is Pollination Important?

Worldwide economic value ≈$241 billion

Amounts to 9.5% of the total value of the world’s agricultural production

Pollinator disappearance would result in a loss to consumer surplus anywhere from $298 billion to $487 billion

30% of the world’s total crops, and 90% of the world’s wild plants depend on bees or other pollinators

Worldwide the number of honey bee hives have increased by ∼45% since 1961, however, the proportion of agricultural crops depending on pollinators is increasing much more rapidly (>300%)

There are currently ≈2.5 million hives in the U.S., decreased from ≈6 million some 60 years ago

USDA reports that “Currently, the survivorship of honeybee colonies is too low for us to be confident in our ability to meet the pollination demands of U.S. agricultural crops”

UHPSI has been performing background research, in the hope of robust studies on pollinator health in northern Wyoming over the 2015 field season.

you take, thank a bee or other pollinator”

-E.O. Wilson

Photo: Dan Routh Photography


Mead Making


ead is oldest alcoholic bever-

age known in the world – perhaps even predating “civilization” itself—generations upon generations of human beings have enjoyed this intricate and delectable beverage. From the shores of the British Isles, to the Egyptian settlements along the Nile, to the first societies of north China, mead connects the human species across cultural, temporal, and geographic divides.


HPSI, inspired by Raymond Plank,

hosted a mead-making workshop in the summer of 2014, which highlighted both the importance of pollinators to the ecosystem of the high plains, but also spoke to the benefits of value-added products (e.g. selling cheese instead of just milk, or mead in-

stead of honey). From this workshop, the ‘Bighorn Bomber’ was created—a seasonal mead featuring honey from the Ucross Ranch. Rave reviews and requests for much more ensued at the annual Ucross Christmas Party!


Decision Support Tools Risk Urgency Assesment


pearheaded by former F&ES Master of

Forestry student Monte Kawahara, UHPSI set out to design visually powerful tools to aid in ‘qualitative risk assessment tool’ provides a mechanism for quantifying experience on the land. We developed this visualization tool to aid land managers in making complex land-


complex decision making processes. This

scape scale management decisions.


ere each circle represents a specific risk

(not listed here) associated with four management regimes: cattle ranching, goat ranching, multi-species grazing, or no grazing. The


placement of a circle corresponds to (1) the risk’s perceived likelihood or probability of occurring if the potential risk/scenario was implemented; and (2) the relative impact or cost of that risk. The size of the circle corresponds to acceptability, where larger circles are more unacceptable. Each risk is generated from stakeholder input, and clustering of circles helps to identify management practices that may or may not be appropriate for the area under study.


Publications and Presentations


s academics, it is our privilege and responsibility to

share our work with fellow scientists and professionals. While many of our research findings are tailored for lay audiences, we also devote our time towards peerreviewed publication and presentations at conferences and workshops. Additionally, we avidly work on technical documents which will help researchers at Yale and beyond in replicating our complex methodologies.


his has been a busy year for UHPSI, with one article

fully published, a number in active review, and more in the final stages of writing and submission. Additionally, we have attended a number of workshops and conferences that allow us to share our work and interact with our peers. These include the spring and fall Northeast UHPSI team members Lindsi Seegmiller and Devin Routh with their award winning poster at Northeast Arc Users Group Conference (NEARC) in Amherst, MA. After spending the day introducing conference attendees to their research, alongside attending a variety of presentations on other topics within the field, they returned to New Haven with a 2nd place finish in the conference’s poster session competition.

Arc Users Group Conference (NEARC), the international ESRI Users Group Conference, the Quivira Coalition Conference, UT SWAT workshop, CSU Hydrology Days, the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) five-year conference, and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) annual conference.


Publications and Presentations

The third place winning poster for ‘Most Unique’ cartography presented by Lindsi Seegmiller at the ESRI Annual User’s Conference in San Diego, CA. This ranching demographic poster is also pending publication in the highly anticipated annual ESRI Map-Book


The poster delivered at the Fall 2014 Northeast ArcGIS User’s Conference in Connecticut. The poster described results from Monte Carlo simulation modeling in which map accuracy statistics were evaluated.

Publications and Presentations

List of Publications 2013-2014 Seegmiller, L., Routh, D., Glick, H. B., Frye, S. (in prep) A User’s Guide to the Acquisition and Use of Hyperion Hyperspectral Imagery. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Khadka, A., Kuhn, C., Glick, H. B., Bettigole, C., Seegmiller, L., Routh, D., and Oliver, C. D. (in prep) SWAT Modeling in the Clear Creek Watershed, Sheridan, Wyoming. Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative, New Haven, CT Seegmiller, L., Routh, D., Glick, H. B., Bettigole, C., Kuhn, C., and Oliver, C. D. (in prep) Informing Rangeland Management with Open Source Data: Leafy Spurge Detection Using Mixture Tuned Matched Filtering on Hyperion Images. Intended outlet: International Journal of Remote Sensing Glick, H. B., Routh, D., Bettigole, C. Seegmiller, L., Kuhn, C., and Oliver, C. D. (under review) The Effects of Locational Error on Map Accuracy Statistics. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing Glick, H. B., Seegmiller, L., Bettigole, C., and Oliver, C. D. (2015, in press) Wyoming’s Changing Agricultural Landscape: Demographic Trends among Farm and Ranch Operators, 1920-2007 (Map). In ESRI Annual Map Book, Vol. 30. ESRI Press: Redlands, CA"

Glick, H. B., Bettigole, C., Routh, D., Khadka, A., Seegmiller, L., Oliver, C. D., and Kuhn, C. (2014) High-Resolution Land Cover Classification for Cost Effective Range Management. Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative Glick, H. B., Bettigole, C., Routh, D., Seegmiller, L., Khadka, A., Kuhn, C., and Oliver, C. D. (2014) Wyoming’s Changing Agricultural Landscape: Demographic Trends among Farm and Ranch Operators, 1920-2007. Rangelands, 36(6) Glick, H. B., Bettigole, C., Khadka, A., Routh, D., Seegmiller, L., Kuhn, C., Kawahara, M., and Oliver, C. D. (2013) Wyoming’s Changing Agricultural Landscape: Demographic Trends among Farm and Ranch Operators, 1920-2007. Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative. 24 p. Bettigole, C., Glick, H. B., Khadka, A., Routh, D., Seegmiller, L., and Oliver, C. D. (2014) Ucross Arboretum Siting Report. Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative. 35 p. Bettigole, C., Kawahara, M., Glick, H. B., Routh, D., Seegmiller, L., and Oliver, C. D. (in prep) Qualitative Risk Assessment Tool - Applications for Rangeland Management. Intended outlet: Rangelands


Plank Stewardship Initiative and UHPSI

— March Stakeholder Meeting —


should be focused as ecological research and programmatic development continue.

rated in bringing together a wide variety of regional residents invested in


the high plains of northern Wyoming and its stewardship. We were fortu-

research programs, and b) distill the land management needs of the region

nate to have 30 participants, including farmers, ranchers, students, aca-

into tangible action items that could be used in guiding the development of

demics, and land stewardship professionals, under a single roof. We spent

the Plank Stewardship Initiative. We received a wealth of useful information

March 8th 2014 in the Raymond Plank Creative Center discussing the na-

and suggestions from participants, and witnessed the wonderful energy that

ture of land stewardship, its place on the High Plains, and where efforts

comes when bringing together great minds with decades of experience.


n March, 2014, the Plank Stewardship Initiative and UHPSI collabo-

entral to the meeting was to: a) solicit feedback on UHPSI’s ecological

Plank Stewardship Initiative and UHPSI


s programming for the Plank Stew-

ardship Initiative solidified during 2014, it became clear that a strong connection between PSI and UHPSI would be of significant long-term value. UHPSI hopes to continue providing cartographic and scientific support of PSI’s endeavors, especially with regards to individual ranch assessments.


long with Yale PhD candidate Jeff

Stoike, Charlie Bettigole visited the Boot Ranch, outside of Douglas, WY in December, 2014. Jeff and Charlie were approached by Shane Cross, a fourth generation rancher with a strong interest in ranch stewardship and the economic vitality of the high plains. We hope to work closely with Shane and the boot ranch as

Yale PhD student Jeff Stoike and UHPSI Co-Director Charlie Bettigole explore the Boot Ranch in Douglas, WY.

UHPSI and PSI continue work together in 2015.


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