February 2018 'Insider Scoop'

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2018 Sign up for spring/summer Citizen Science opportunities

Once again, we have some exciting Citizen Science field opportunities shaping up for 2018 with Wild Utah Project’s field monitoring and data collection efforts.  Our work will include:

  • Building Beaver Dam Analogues (BDAs): We will be installing human-made beaver dam-like structures along Vernon Creek in the Sheeprock Mountains of Central Utah.
  • Rapid Stream Riparian Assessment Training: Citizen scientists will receive formal training to learn how to apply the Rapid Stream Riparian Assessment protocol and conduct ‘pre-BDA’ stream assessments at Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area, outside of Logan, Utah.
  • Mammal Camera Trapping Study: In collaboration with University of Utah Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology Lab, Natural History Museum of Utah, and Salt Lake City, Wild Utah Project will participate with our citizen scientists to help conduct a mammalian camera-trapping study across the Central Wasatch Mountains.  Our goal is to help fill critical data gaps involving how medium to large mammals move through the wild-urban interface.  
  • Boreal Toad Surveys and Aquatic Habitat Assessments: We will assess amphibian habitat and survey for boreal toads right here in the Central Wasatch Mountains and other locations across the state with our partners at Hogle Zoo, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, U.S. Forest Service and Utah Geological Survey. 

Learn more about these upcoming single and multi-day 2018 field opportunities and how to join us, by clicking here!

GIS Lab:  Launches new fence retrofit project on critical wildlife corridor

The GIS Lab at Wild Utah Project announces the start of the Bear River Range Fence-Retrofit Project in partnership with Yellowstone to Uintas Connection.  Our GIS team will conduct a study to determine potential obstruction locations along fencing infrastructure where wildlife faces difficulties when seasonal migration occurs. After the identification of these impediments to wildlife movement, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection will use the results of this analysis to work with landowners to apply retrofitting practices to fences in order to achieve wildlife-friendly fencing, and thus better enable wildlife to move through this continentally important wildlife corridor in Southeast Idaho and Northern Utah.

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GIS Lab:  Welcome to Capstone Intern

We welcome Alex McComb, University of Utah MSGIS student, who will be working with the GIS Lab to develop a conservation data library using the Open Data Platform by ESRI.  This project is part of our recent collaboration with the Capstone in GIS class taught by Phoebe McNeally, Ph.D., from the University of Utah’s Geography Department.

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Welcome to our winter ‘star volunteers’, Shantell and Cacia

We are so fortunate here at Wild Utah Project that undergraduate students (and recent graduates) frequently approach us to get plugged into volunteer projects that benefit both wildlife and habitat conservation and aid in student experience and education.  We are thrilled to have both Shantell Garrett (photo above) and Cacia Cannon (photo below) simultaneously working on two different literature reviews for us. 

Shantell has recently graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Environmental Biology. She is passionate about wildlife and environmental conservation and is a self-proclaimed ‘cat fanatic.’  Shantell is conducting a literature review that is bringing together the published research studies with applications that can assist with managing and conserving predators, with focus on wolves, bears, cougars and coyotes and their associated predator-prey dynamics. 

Cacia has lived in Utah, Oregon, and California where she recently graduated from UC Santa Barbara with an aquatic biology degree. She is committed to making biological sciences accessible to all communities and exploring the intersection of everyday life and environmental science.  Cacia is assisting us with a comprehensive scientific literature review on the ecological benefits that beavers bring to aquatic and riparian ecosystems.

We will keep you posted as to when these very helpful new tools for wildlife/habitat conservation and management are available on our website!

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Thank you again for supporting the Wild Utah Project and all of our work on behalf of our natural lands and wildlife!