Biodiversity Graduate Student Research Enhancement Grant & Don and Judy Legerski UW Teton Graduate Scholars in Biodiversity Fellowship Recipient
Department of Zoology/Physiology and Environment and Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources
Graduate Advisor: Dr. Abigail Sisneros-Kidd
Dispersed camping has increased exponentially in the Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF), prompting managers to consider adjusting management strategies in the most impacted forests surrounding Jackson, WY, known colloquially as the Jackson Hole Highlands. This project will provide value to the BTNF by 1) establishing baseline data on characteristics and resource conditions of high-priority dispersed campsites, 2) combining elk GPS data with camera trap photos to assess general biodiversity and wildlife’s spatial and temporal activity near dispersed campsites, 3) surveying dispersed campers to understand their knowledge, values, and preferences regarding dispersed camping in the BTNF, and 4) testing efficacy of several different message delivery modalities aimed at dispersed recreationists. Results will enable management to preserve recreation as an ecosystem service while maintaining biodiversity in the largest concentration of wildlife in the Lower 48 states. Project progress and research findings will be communicated with managers via presentations and a technical report, the local community via a seminar talk, and the general public via an Instagram account.
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