April 2018 Insider Scoop

Greetings to Friends of the Wild Utah Project!

Because you are one of Wild Utah Project’s special friends, we are excited to bring you this periodic update about what’s happening at Wild Utah Project.  Thanks again for all your help in contributing to Wild Utah Project’s efforts to bring sound science to land management decisions in Utah.  Enjoy the updates and know that you are helping us inform land and wildlife management in service of wildlife and wildland health.   --The Wild Utah Project Crew: Allison, Mary, Emanuel, Amy, Board members Lindsey, Kirsten, Scott, Ronni, Kathy, Jim and Carly, and “emeritus extraordinaire” Jim Catlin. 

Transitions at Wild Utah Project!

We have had some exciting transitions here at WUP since the last Scoop!  

  •  Development Director Amy O’Connor is heading to Ecuador! We have been so fortunate over the past nine years to have this incredible conservationist and Development Director lead Wild Utah Project’s fundraising and development team not just once but TWICE, for a total of over 6 years of dedicated service.  Back in the days of the economic down turn, Amy helped keep our ship afloat during some of the more challenging fundraising times after the 2008 crisis. Notably, she has done much more than development during her time here. Amy’s other efforts ranged from laying out the annual report, to helping with fieldwork (her M.S in Biology helped with that!), to being an integral part of our conservation family of non-profits here at ArtSpace.  She and her husband Ray Wheeler (a long-time conservation advocate and Utah legend in his own right) are heading down for the adventure of a lifetime, to Ecuador.  If they love it, they plan to stay for their retirement.  Thank you, Congratulations, and Bon Voyage Amy and Ray!
  • Welcome new board member Jim Ack. Jim Ack is a lifetime outdoors enthusiast whose Zen place is fishing.  An Ohio native, he fell in love with the West as an apprentice horse trainer in Colorado before attending college and veterinary school after returning to Ohio.  Now a 27 year resident of Utah, Jim has had careers as a practicing veterinarian, a medical researcher, an executive with contract medical research and medical device companies, a veterinary practice owner and administrator, and as a business development officer for a veterinary consolidator.  His previous non-profit experiences include being a founding board member of the Vest Pocket Business Coalition and a charter member of Local First (also serving on their Government Relations Committee), as well as serving on several Salt Lake City planning and economic development working groups.  He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and fellow veterinarian, Lynn McCarron and their 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son.  His love of wildlife and natural places and past business and science experience make him well-suited and excited to contribute to Wild Utah Project. 
  • Welcome new Board member Carly Ferro, A New Jersey native, Carly moved to Utah six years ago on a whim, fell in love with the landscape and all that it affords and now dedicates herself to protecting the place she now calls home. She holds a BS in Biology and an MS in Environmental Management. Currently, Carly is a conservation organizer with the Sierra Club. Her previous professional background includes working for a land trust in Summit County and research and development for Colgate-Palmolive. When she is not working, she is usually traveling, snowboarding, playing soccer, or hiking with her K9 best pal, Ghost! 

2017 Annual Report Hot off the Press. 

Click here to peruse a digital copy of the 2017 Annual report, to see what our supporters helped us accomplish last year on our Wildlife Science, Wildlife Policy, and Citizen Science program fronts, as well as ecological and GIS services we provide for our fellow conservation partners here in Utah.

It is not too late to sign up for Citizen Science experiences for the 2018 field season!

  • 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.
  • 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.  (Training this Thursday, April 26th, Utah’s Hogle Zoo, ‘Rendezoo Room’, 6-8 PM)

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

Notes from the GIS lab: Building the new Utah GIS Conservation Library

For the last three months, the GIS lab has been working in collaboration with the Capstone in GIS class at the University of Utah developing a community based GIS conservation library for Utah.  Alex McComb (our capstone student) and our GIS team have been working diligently on the design, data curation, and deployment of this data repository.  Right now, we are in the final stages of data curation and soon we will be uploading various datasets to the cloud.  The first release of this data library is expected to happen in early June.  Stay tuned!

We are also excited to announce our move to a new space that will formalize the transition of our GIS shop from a lab bench to a proper lab.  With the help of our IT intern YoungDon Yeo, we are currently finalizing the setup of our future GIS Lab, just a couple offices down from our main office at ArtSpace Commons.  The GIS team at Wild Utah Project would like to thank Jeremiah Roth and Amy O’Connor for their help and assistance during this transition.