Scientists Receive UW-National Park Service Research Grants

overhead view of two people seated in the grass working
University of Wyoming researchers Ellen Keaveny, left, and Becky Wilcox conduct bee research in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem in 2022 using a grant from the UW-National Park Service Research Station in Grand Teton National Park. (Anna Cressman Photo)

Six University of Wyoming scientists and six researchers from other institutions have been selected for funding by the UW-National Park Service (NPS) Research Station in Grand Teton National Park in areas ranging from wildlife and geology to human waste management.

The scientists will conduct their research this year based at the UW-NPS Research Station, located on the AMK Ranch historic district on a peninsula extending into Jackson Lake near Leeks Marina.

The small grants program is funded by NPS and UW. It is limited to U.S. academic institutions and government and nongovernmental researchers conducting their studies in the greater Yellowstone area. Grant proposals are evaluated by a panel of park personnel and faculty in diverse fields based on intellectual merit and relevance to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

The UW researchers selected this year, along with their study topics, are:

-- Anne Beeman, graduate student in the Department of Botany: “Effects of seed mix composition, soil tilling and soil texture on shrub establishment and native species diversity in sagebrush steppe restoration.”

-- Molly Caldwell, graduate student in wildlife ecology: “How do American bison (Bison bison), an ecosystem engineer, influence ungulate space and resource use? A case study of the Yellowstone ungulate community.”

-- Sara Germain, assistant professor in the Department of Botany: “Mechanisms of ecotype transitions in disturbed subalpine forests: Does invasion beget invasion?”

-- Alexis Hollander, graduate student in the Program in Ecology and Evolution: “Assessing the conservation status of Western pearlshell mussels in Grand Teton National Park.”

-- Madeline Lewis, assistant professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics: “Assembling Wyoming: Examining ancient metamorphic and tectonic conditions that formed the southern Teton gneisses.”

-- Lauren Wetterau, graduate student in the Department of Zoology and Physiology: “Effects of red squirrel middens on species biodiversity and richness in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.”

Other selected researchers are:

-- Zachariah Gompert, Utah State University: “Contemporary evolution and climatic (mal)adaptation in the Northern Blue butterfly (Lycaeides idas).”

-- Sierra Jaeger, University of South Carolina: “Population demography of the last populations of the Yellowstone sand verbena (Abronia ammophila).”

-- Taylor Johaneman, University of Colorado-Boulder: “Impacts of artificial levees on the relationship between fluvial ecogeomorphic processes and floodplain carbon storage.”

-- Elise Loggers, Montana State University: “Behavior and nutritional condition buffer a large-endotherm from an ever-changing environment.”

-- Adrienne Stanley, Utah State University: “What are the drivers behind eutrophication of alpine lakes in Western North America: A case study from Wyoming.”

-- Derrick Taff, Pennsylvania State University: “Informing human waste management strategies in Grand Teton National Park: Integrating visitor perspectives, behavioral intentions and Park communication strategies.”

Information about past grant recipients, along with reports from past research at the station, may be found here.

The UW-NPS Research Station is a cooperative effort between UW and NPS. UW students and faculty members partner with NPS and others to increase opportunities for research, scholarship, creative and cultural activities, and courses connected to Wyoming’s iconic landscapes and ecosystems, its Native American culture and heritage, and its traditions from ranching to recreation. For more information, go to

Contact Us

Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)