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UW-NPS Research Center|University of Wyoming-National Park Service

Contact Us

UW-NPS Research Center
Harold L. Bergman
Dept. 3166
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: 307-766-4227
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      Serfass otter


University of Wyoming – National Park Service Harlow Summer Seminars at the AMK Ranch


THURSDAY, JULY 9ND 2015, 5:3:00pm


“Invisible Boundaries:

The Greater Yellowstone elk migration project”


Joe Riis, Wildlife Photojournalist, and

 National Geographic Contributing Photographer


Each spring in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), thousands of elk migrate from far-flung winter ranges in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, to high-elevation summer ranges in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Migratory elk link the ecosystem's outermost lands to the core wilderness. Their abundance sustains diverse carnivores and scavengers, attracts tens of millions of dollars to local economies, and inspires national and global conceptions of the beloved YNP wilderness. These migrations define the GYE, both ecologically and culturally. But the elk migrations of the GYE are remarkably poorly known, even as they face a growing array of ecological changes and conservation challenges. This project is a partnership between wildlife photojournalist Joe Riis and ecologist Arthur Middleton to uncover, study, and promote the trans-boundary conservation of GYE migrations. By reaching beyond the scientific process to reveal the lives of migrating animals, this project encourages the public to re-imagine the GYE as a fully migratory ecosystem -- and with the GYE as a global stage, encourages all nations to see their parks and protected areas as profoundly dependent upon lands and communities far beyond their boundaries. In this seminar, Riis will share pictures and stories from this on-going field project.



Joe Riis is a wildlife photojournalist and National Geographic contributing photographer. He received a bachelors degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Wyoming in 2008, since then he has traveled extensively photographing wildlife conservation and research projects on 5 continents. He established himself as a wildlife photojournalist during his pioneering work on the Grand Teton pronghorn migration, photographing the migration for the first time, and campaigning for 6 wildlife highway over and under passes which were built in 2012. Riis received a National Geographic Young Explorer Grant in 2008, an Emmy Award in 2011, the Stanford University Knight-Riser Award for western environmental journalism in 2012, the prestigious Camp Monaco Prize from Prince Albert II in 2013, and consecutive National Geographic Expedition Council grants in 2014/15. In addition to his photography, Riis has produced several short-doc films that have toured extensively, including in the Banff Mountain Film Festival and Telluride Mountainfilm. He is most proud of his work documenting the Greater Yellowstone animal migrations and raising awareness for their long-term conservation in a changing world. Joe lives in rural South Dakota for 2 months each year when he takes a break from the field. His hobbies include wood working, river rafting, and tending to his small apple orchard. “The wild animals that I photograph—they are the inspiration. Plain and simple, we should be honored to share this Earth with them, and they need a voice in our human culture.”

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.

This year's line up for our seminars looks to be stellar AND Gordy has local beef for the BBQ and the staff at Signal Mountain Lodge are providing delicious side dishes and desserts from so now you will won't find a better place to be on Thursday nights starting June 18th.  Dinner starts at 5:30 ($5 donation is appreciated) talks start at 6:30.  

Joes photo

June 18th Mark Elbroch of Pantera's Teton Cougar Project is talking about Altruism in mountain lions.

June 25 Diana Miller of Wyoming Game and Fish Department (Jackson) will talk about the history of fisheries management in the western US with notes on the Hoback River and Jackson Lake.

July 2 Tom Serfass and Kelly Pearce, Frostburg State University and University of Maryland; River otters as flagships for aquatic conservation: Why this approach doesn't fit the North American model of wildlife conservation.

July 9  Joe Riis, National Geographic; Invisible Boundaries,: The Greater Yellowstone elk migration project

Chadron State College crew  

The Station is open!

The station is open and the word is out.  We have classes (Like Michael Leite's class above) on their way and ready to explore the Greater Yellowstone Area.  Classes, Conferences, Seminars and Interns... it is a busy place this year.  Look for the seminar schedules soon.


Harold Bergman and crew would like to welcome you to the UW-NPS research station located beside Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. The station is a perfect place to base for your research in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

Boat doc evening

AMK Historic Preservation Guide now available online

Mary Humstone (University of Wyoming) wrote in in-depth preservation guide for the historic structures at the AMK. The guide is based on inspections and research conducted as part of an American Studies field course during summer 2011, under the guidance of log building expert Harrison Goodall. The guide identifies preservation concerns with the property's sixteen historic buildings and offers well researched recommendations.  It also has some great historic photos of some of the AMK structures, including John Sargent's cabin (which is no longer standing) and the Johnson Lodge under construction.  The recommendations are valuable to log restoration experts in the Rocky Mountains.  Thanks, Mary!  To read the publication please click here!

2015 Small Grants RFP

Congratulations to the Researchers who were awarded the small grants for 2015.  This year we had 31 great proposals submitted from across America with research from soundscapes to historic preservation.  It was a tough time deciding how to allocate our funds.  Thanks to all who submitted and good luck with your 2015 research season.  For more information see our research page.

UW-NPS a Cooperative Effort

The University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center is a cooperative effort between the University of Wyoming and the National Park Service. Headquartered on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie, the research center was established to foster research in National Parks in the Rocky Mountain Region. In addition, the center operates a field research station at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park which is open from mid-May through mid-October.

The primary function of the Research Station is to promote excellence in research by furnishing housing, laboratory space, transportation, equipment and financial support to enable investigators in the biological, physical and social sciences to access the rich and diverse environments of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Bridger-Teton and Targhee National Forest and the Gros Vente and Teton Wilderness Areas.

The research station is currently open for researchers. Additionally we will be hosting our popular seminar series starting in June please visit our News page for more information.

Please visit our research living opportunities


two women in a boat inspecting trout and recording data on a clipboard

Fisheries Management Topic of Harlow Lecture at AMK Ranch

June 19, 2015 — Diana Miller, Wyoming Game and Fish Department fisheries biologist, will discuss fisheries management in the West as part of the Harlow Summer Seminars Thursday, June 25, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

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