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Lost Migrations Topic of UW-Park Service Research Center Talk

August 14, 2018
bison standing near train
Bison near the Union Pacific Railroad in Albany County are featured in the “Deep Migrations” documentary project, a book and exhibition examining the roots of Wyoming’s ungulate migrations through essays and photography. The project will be discussed at the UW-National Park Service Research Center Thursday, Aug. 16, in Grand Teton National Park. (Bailey Russel Photo)

A historian and a photographer will discuss America’s longest mule deer migration corridor, Interstate 80 as a wildlife barrier and Wyoming’s lost migrations at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center Thursday, Aug. 16. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

Greg Nickerson, a writer, filmmaker and historian for the Wyoming Migration Initiative at UW, and Bailey Russel, a photography instructor in the UW Department of Art and Art History, will discuss “Deep Migrations: Lost, altered, and conserved big game corridors in Wyoming” as part of the Harlow Summer Seminars.

They will speak at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, located north of Leeks Marina. A barbecue, at a cost of $5 per person, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. The UW-NPS Research Center provides a base for university faculty members and government scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the greater Yellowstone area.

Nickerson and Russel’s program presents the interdisciplinary “Deep Migrations” documentary project, a book and exhibition examining the roots of Wyoming’s ungulate migrations through essays and photography. The project uses art and the humanities to complement scientific research and extend understanding of ungulate migration.

Nickerson and Russel will discuss the history of Laramie Plains bison and ongoing research to identify potential locations for pronghorn crossing structures along Interstate 80. Also included will be the story of a mule deer doe that made a world-record 242-mile migration from the Red Desert over the Tetons to Island Park, Idaho, passing within a few miles of the AMK Ranch.

Russel's images include tintypes created with the wet-plate collodion process, the same technology used by 19th century photographers such as William Henry Jackson. The photographs feature specimens of extinct mammoth and bison antiquus (ancient bison) from the UW Geological Museum.

Following the program, Russel’s photography exhibition will be on display in the Berol Lodge at the UW-NPS Research Center.

Nickerson, from Big Horn, earned a master’s degree in history of the American West from UW. He joined the Wyoming Migration Initiative in 2016, bringing a humanities approach to sharing scientific research through social media, short films and public presentations.

Russel grew up in New Jersey and attended Princeton University, earning a bachelor’s degree in art history. He completed a photography master’s degree in a joint program at New York University and the International Center for Photography.

“Deep Migrations” is funded by the 2017-18 UW College of Arts and Sciences interdisciplinary seed grant and the Wyoming Migration Initiative (, a project of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at UW.

The project will debut an exhibition at UW’s Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center, which also will feature photographs and animations of migration trails by Nicole Jean Hill, photography professor at Humboldt State University.

Copies of the “Deep Migrations” book may be ordered by emailing or calling (307) 766-5491.

Formerly called the AMK Ranch Talk Series, the Harlow Summer Seminars program is named after retired UW Department of Zoology and Physiology Professor Hank Harlow, who helped make the UW-NPS Research Center a significant center for research and community outreach. Harlow began the popular weekly public seminars during the summer months.

For more information about the Harlow Summer Seminars, contact Michael Dillon at (307) 314-9833 or

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