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The Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics is pleased to award the Vanvig Graduate Fellowship each year in honor of former department head, Andrew Vanvig.
Andy Vanvig spent most of his career at the University of Wyoming, where he taught Agricultural Economics for nearly 34 years and chaired the department for 25. A leader in Wyoming agriculture and internationally recognized expert in farm financing, Andy saw the number of his department’s students, the size of its faculty, and the scope of its work increase several fold. Through most of his time here, he and his wife Connie spent summer weekends farming near Beach, North Dakota, where Andy had grown up on his immigrant parents’ farm. Upon his retirement in the early 1990s, Andy and Connie spent their winters in Arizona but returned to Beach every spring to get the crops in, raising durum, lentils, peas, flax, and alfalfa in a no-till operation. Andy died in February 2016, and Connie passed away barely six months later.
The recipient is selected by the faculty for outstanding achievements both inside and outside the classroom. The Fellowship provides funding ($5,000) for one year to support the recipient’s graduate research.
University of Wyoming, Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Andrew Vanvig Award winners since inception (2006) include:
2020 The Class of 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to re-imagine everything we do, and created unique challenges for graduate students. From simply making interactions with advisors awkward to research travel restrictions, graduate student research was turned on its head. Through it all, our student’s overcame every challenge! To honor their amazing work ethic, dedication and positive attitudes, the graduate committee decided to award a ‘collective’ Vanvig Fellow to the entire 2021 MS class!
2020 Tori Anderson
Tori’s research interests include natural resource economics, negotiation and collaborative processes. She will complete her MS in summer 2021 with a dual major in Environmental and Natural Resources with a minor in collaborative practices.
Thesis title: Modeling a Negotiated Approach to Colorado Wolf Management
Thesis committee: Steve Smutko (chair), Derek Scasta, and Corrine Knapp
2020 Jacob Asay
Jacob’s research interests are focused on agricultural production and management. He completed his MS in Spring ’21 and is currently operating his family’s farm in the Big Horn Basin.
Thesis title: Economic Implications of Integrating Cover Crops into Irrigated Barley/Sugarbeet Rotations in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming
Thesis committee: John Ritten (chair), Jay Norton, and Brian Lee
2020 Meri Hambaryan
Meri’s research interests are focused on consumer preferences and demand analysis. She will complete her MS in summer ’21 with a minor in statistics, and then will head south to the University of Florida to begin pursuing her PhD.
Thesis title: An Empirical Analysis of the Demand for Honey and Other Sweeteners in the United States
Thesis committee: Vardges Hovhanisyan (chair), Alexandre Skiba, and Chris Bastian
2020 Elli Trader
Elli’s research interests are in international agriculture. She will complete her MS in summer ’21 with a minor in statistics.
Thesis title: Modeling the Effects of Climate on Wine Exports: A Time Series Analysis of the French Market
Thesis committee: Mariah Ehmke (chair), Alexandre Skiba, and J.J. Shinker
2020 Tevyn Baldwin
Tevyn’s research interests are in agricultural production and livestock management. She completed her MS in spring ’21, and is currently a credit analyst and collateral specialist for Platte Valley Companies.
Thesis title: The Stocker Steer Quandary: Stocking Rate, Marketing Date, and Price Slides in Northeastern Colorado
Thesis committee: John Ritten (chair), Brian Lee, Steve Paisley, and Justin Derner
2019 Alicia Grahmann
Alicia’s research interests include natural resource economics, with a focus on water resources in agro-ecosystems. Amongst other accomplishments, she won best poster award for her presentation at the Water Smart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas, NV in 2019. She completed her MS in summer 2020 and is currently an Agricultural Economist for the USDA Risk Management Agency.
Thesis title: Ranch-level Economic and Ecological Tradeoffs of Water Demand Management in the Upper Green River Basin
Thesis committee: Kristi Hansen (chair), Vivek Sharma, Scott Miller, and Dannele Peck
2019 Ellen Yeatman
Ellen’s research interests are focused around water resource management and the provision of ecosystem goods and services. She completed her MS in summer 2020 and is currently a water economist with the American Farmland Trust.
Thesis title: Ranch-level Economic and Ecological Tradeoffs of Water Demand Management in the Upper Green River Basin
Thesis committee: Kristi Hansen (chair), Ginger Paige, Anne MacKinnon, and H. Joe Albers
2018 Kaila Willis
Kaila’s research interests include water resource economics, and production agriculture. She will complete her MS in spring 2019, after which she plans to pursue professional work in the agricultural sector in the Rocky Mountain Region.
Thesis title: Farm-Level Economic Assessment of Alternative Groundwater Management Strategies over the Ogallala Aquifer in Southeastern Wyoming
Thesis committee: Kristi Hansen (chair), Scott Miller, Vivek Sharma, and Dannele Peck
2017 Haylee Gobert
Haylee’s research interests include health economics, and resource and environmental economics. She will complete her MS the summer of 2018, after which she plans to pursue professional work in research or in the public sector.
Thesis title: The Effects of Household Characteristics on Early Human Capital Development: Evidence from New Zealand
Thesis committee: Mariah Ehmke (chair), Vardges Hovhannisyan, Cynthia Brock, and Sarah Strauss
2016 Selena Gerace
Selena’s interests include behavioral economics, gender studies, and resource and environmental economics. She completed her MS the summer of 2017. Selena is currently an Extension Specialist and the EPSCoR WAFERx Outreach Coordinator here at UW.
Thesis title: Gender Differences in Negotiated Market Outcomes
Thesis committee: Chian Jones-Ritten (chair), Chris Bastian, and Owen Phillips
2015 Tristram (Tris) Munsick
Tris’s research interests are in production economics. Tris completed his MS in 2016 and is currently consulting with WY ranches and touring with his band, Tris Munsick & the Innocents.
Thesis title: Economic Benefits and Costs of Vaccinating Wyoming’s domestic Sheep Against Bluetongue Virus
Thesis committee: Dannele Peck (chair), John Ritten, and Myrna Miller
2015 Thadchaigeni Panchalingam
Thadchaigeni’s research interests are in consumer and behavioral economics. She completed her MS in 2016, and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Ohio State University.
Thesis title: Incentivizing Open Spaces in Wyoming to Promote Pollinator Habitat: Applying Agglomeration Bonuses to Unite Fragmented Habitat
Thesis committee: Chian Jones-Ritten (co-chair), Mariah Ehmke (co-chair), Jason Shogren, and Chris Bastian
2014 McKenzie (Kate) Harlan
Kate’s research interests are in production economics. She grew up on a sheep ranch near Kaycee, WY and currently owns and operates a commercial sheep operation.
Thesis title: Valuation of Residual Feed Intake as a Selection Tool for Northeastern Wyoming Range Sheep Producers
Thesis committee: John Ritten (chair), Ben Rashford, and Kristi Cammack
2013 Choong Kim
Choongs’s research interests are in experimental economics. He grew up in Chun-Cheon, South Korea, and received his B.S. in mathematics from the University of Wyoming in 2010. After graduating, Choong worked as a research assistant in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State.
Thesis title: Incidence in Imperfect Energy Markets Using Experimental Economics
Thesis committee: Chris Bastian (chair), Dale Menkhaus, and Owen Phillips
2012 Anna Scofield
Anna’s research interests are in resource and environmental economics, with specific interest in the economics of wildfire supression. Her thesis was selected as the top MS thesis by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in 2015. After graduating, Anna was a consultant for Resource Dimensions, a global consulting firm focusing on environmental and natural resource economics, and a research scientist in the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center at UW. She is currently a financial analyst for the Oregon Institute of Technology.
Scofield, A., B.S. Rashford, D.M. McLeod, R. Coupal and S. Lieske. 2015 Wildfire Suppression Costs – The Role of Residential Development Pattern. Wyoming Open Spaces Initiative, Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources & UW Extension Bulletin, B-1268, October 2015.
Scofield, A., B.S. Rashford, D.M. McLeod, and R.H. Coupal. 2015. Managing Residential Development Spatial Pattern Could Reduce the Cost of Fighting Wildlfires. University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Reflections Magazine. [Winner of Top Student Contribution]
Scofield, A., B.S. Rashford, D.M. McLeod, R.H. Coupal, S. Lieske and S. Albeke. The Impact of Residential Development Pattern on Wildfire Suppression Expenditures. Land Economics (Forthcoming).
Thesis title: The Relationship Between Residential Development and Federal Fire Suppression Expenditures in the Rocky Mountain Region [Selected as the nation’s top MS thesis in 2014 by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association]
Thesis committee: Don McLeod (chair), Roger Coupal, Ben Rashford, Scott Lieske
2011 Jordan Steele
Jordan’s research interests were in livestock production economics. He is currently an Extension Agricultural Economist for Kansas State University’s Kansas Farm Management Association.
Steele, Jordan. 2012. Economic Implications (Direct and Indirect) of Wolf Reintroduction on Wyoming Cattle Producers. Southeast Wyoming Beef Production Convention, Torrington, WY, November 20, 2012.
Steele, Jordan. 2012. Wolf Reintroduction: Direct and Indirect Effects for Western Wyoming Cattle Producers. University of Wyoming, Department of Animal Science Seminar, Laramie, WY, October 12, 2012.
Steele, J.R., B.S. Rashford, J.A. Tanaka, T.K. Foulke and D.T. Taylor. 2013. Wolf Predation Impacts on Livestock Production: Direct Effects, Indirect Effects, and Implications for Compensation Ratios. Rangeland Ecology and Management, 66(5): 539-544.
Thesis title: Wolf Reintroduction: Direct and Indirect Effects for Western Wyoming Cattle Producers
Thesis committee: Ben Rashford (chair), Tom Foulke, Tex Taylor, John Tanaka
2011 Abby Mellinger Scott
Abby’s research interests were in resource and environmental economics.
After graduation, Abby worked as a research assistant for the UW School of Energy Resources and as a Mikelson Fellow with the Western Governors’ Association working to coordinate their Species Conservation and ESA Initiative.
Rashford, B.S., A.M. Scott, L. S. Smutko, and A. Nagler. 2019. Assessing Economic and Ecological Tradeoffs to Target Conservation Easements in Western Rangleands. Western Economics Forum (Forthcoming).
Rashford, B.S., A.M. Scott, M. Hayes and H. Sawyer. 2015. Targeting Conservation Easements to Benefit Wildlife. Wyoming Open Spaces Initiative Bulletin, Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources & UW Extension Bulletin, B-1266, September 2015.
Thesis title: Economic and Ecological Tradeoffs of Targeting Conservation Easements for Habitat Protection: A Case Study of Sublette County, Wyoming
Thesis committee: Steve Smutko (chair), Ben Rashford (co-chair), Scott Lieske, Hal Sawyer
2010 Trent Roberts
Trent’s research interests were in production economics. After graduation, he worked for JBS SWIFT forecasting livestock demand. He is now the Master Scheduler and Supply Chain Manger for JBS.
Roberts, T.W., D.E. Peck, J.P. Ritten. 2012. Cattle producers’ economic incentives for preventing bovine brucellosis under uncertainty. 13th International Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Maastricht, The Netherlands, August 20-24, 2012.
Peck, D., T. Roberts, J. Ritten. 2011. Economics of animal disease prevention when effectiveness is uncertain: bovine brucellosis in the GYA. Western Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Banff, Alberta, Canada, June 29 – July 1, 2011.
Roberts, T.W., D.E. Peck and J.P. Ritten. 2012. Cattle producers’ economic incentives for preventing bovine brucellosis under uncertainty. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 107(3-4):187-203. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed. 2012.06.008.
Roberts, T.W., D.E. Peck, J.P. Ritten and B.S. Rashford. 2012. The cost of brucellosis prevention: fencing stackyards. Publication B-1232, University of Wyoming Extension. Available at http://www.wyomingextension.org/agpubs/pubs/B1232.pdf.
Thesis title: Costs and Expected Benefits to Cattle Producers of Brucellosis Management Strategies in the Greater Yellowstone Area of Wyoming
Thesis committee: Dannele Peck (chair), John Ritten, Scott Lake, Walt Cook
2009 Eric Cropper
Eric’s research interests were in resource and environmental economics. He completed a dual Master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources. Eric is currently a senior economist with the Utah State Tax Commission.
Cropper, E. D., D. M. McLeod, C. T. Bastian, C. M. Keske, D. L. Hoag, and J. E. Cross. Factors Affecting Land Trust Agents’ Preferences for Conservation Easements. Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy. 42(2): 88-103.
Thesis title: Factors Impacting Land Trusts’ Demand for Conservation Easements
Thesis committee: Chris Bastian (chair), Don McLeod (co-chair), Dave Aadland, Catherine Keske.
2008 Milton Geiger
Milt’s research interests were in energy and environmental issues. He completed a dual Master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources. After graduation, Milt accepted a position as the University of Wyoming’s new Energy Extension Coordinator. He is currently the Alternative Energy Administrator for the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association
Geiger, M., R. Coupal, and D.M. McLeod. “Federal Greenhouse Gas Regulation – A Poorer Wyoming.” Invited presentation. Laramie Lyceum, Laramie, WY. Forthcoming.
Geiger, M., R. Coupal, and D.M. McLeod. “Potential Impacts of Federal Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Wyoming’s Energy Derived Tax Revenue.” Invited presentation. Casper Chamber of Commerce, Casper, WY. September 30, 2009
Geiger, M., R. Coupal, and D.M. McLeod. “Potential Impacts of Federal Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Wyoming’s Energy Derived Tax Revenue.” Selected paper presentation. Western Agricultural Economics Association 2009 meeting, Kauai, HI. June 25, 2009.
Geiger, M., R. Coupal, and D.M. McLeod. Potential Impacts of Federal Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Wyoming’s Energy Derived Tax Revenue. Rocky Mountain Geology. (Currently in Press).
University of Wyoming Outstanding Master’s Thesis 2010
Thesis title: Federal Greenhouse Gas Regulation And Wyoming’s Energy Derived Tax Revenue
Thesis committee: Roger Coupal (chair), Don McLeod (co-chair), Andy Hansen, Harold Bergman, Mark Northam
2007 Brian Strauch
Brian’s research interest was in production economics. After graduation, Brian started work for University of Nebraska as an Extension Educator.
Teaching Assistant for Advanced Farm and Ranch Management
Strauch, Brian A., Dannele E. Peck and Larry J. Held. A Case Study of Fall Versus Spring Calving for the Rocky Mountain West. The Journal of the American Association of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Page 74. 2010.
Strauch, Brian A. Larry Held and Dannele Peck. Is Fall Calving a Viable Alternative to Spring Calving in Wyoming. In “Reflections”. University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture. 2009.
Thesis title: Profitability and Business Risk of Fall Versus Spring Calving in Wyoming
Thesis committee: Dannele Peck (chair), Larry Held (co-chair), Doug Hixon
2006 Ashley D. Miller-Lang
Ashley’s interest was in resource issues related to agriculture. Her research investigated landowner preferences related to conservation easements. Ashley is currently an adjunct instructor of Agricultural Business for Laramie County Community College in WY and Northeastern Community College in NE.
Miller, A., C. T. Bastian, D. M. McLeod, C. M. Keske and D. L. Hoag. “Agricultural Landowners’ Preferences for Conservation Easements and Conserving Amenities,” Selected paper presentation. International Symposium on Society and Resource Management 2007 meeting. Park City UT. June 17-21, 2007.
Five other papers were presented at professional meetings in which she was a coauthor- including an organized symposium paper at the WAEA meetings in 2008.
Miller, A. D., C. T. Bastian, D. M. McLeod, C. M. Keske, and D. L. Hoag. Factors Impacting Agricultural Landowners’ Willingness to Enter into Conservation Easements: A Case Study. Society and Natural Resources: An International Journal, 24(1): 65-74.
Thesis title: Factors Affecting Agricultural Landowners’ Preferences for Conservation Easements and Conserving Amenities
Committee members: Chris Bastian (chair), Don McLeod, Harold Bergman