Meet our Team

Dr. Hilary Byerly Flint headshot

Dr. Hilary Byerly Flint, USDA-NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow

Hilary is a behavioral economist leading a project on conservation program design for private lands in migration corridors. Hilary studies how people manage and value the natural environment, especially providing public benefits, like biodiversity and risk mitigation, from private lands. She uses insights from the behavioral sciences to design more effective environmental programs and policies. Most recently, she worked with an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners to study how homeowners manage wildfire risk in the American West. She has a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont, a MS in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University, and a BA in Environmental Studies & International Affairs from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In her free time, she is happiest outside, especially skiing with her favorite people, enjoying a lukewarm beer on a mountain summit, and walking along the river with her family and dog, Wilma.

Dr. Wai Yan Siu headshot

Dr. Wai Yan Siu, Postdoctoral Fellow

Wai Yan is an applied economist who leads several projects focusing on natural resource and environmental economics, as well as sustainable development in the face of global change, in order to inform evidence-based policymaking on pressing issues. Currently, she recovers Wyoming’s statewide herd-level shadow prices for elk and mule deer. In this study, natural capital accounts are being developed to help bridge the gap between economic statistics and the environment and put natural assets on the national balance sheet. This adds to our existing national economic accounts and provides information that supplements traditional economic measures. We have a better understanding of the relationship between economic growth and the state of nature as result of this research. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures, going on culinary tours, or practicing yoga at a local studio.

Travis Brammer headshot

Travis Brammer, Conservation Fellow

Travis graduated from the Haub School’s and UW Law School’s joint JD/MA program in Spring 2022 and is staying on for a yearlong Fellowship supported by the Alumbra Innovations Foundation. During his JD/MA studies, he completed a thesis exploring the potential for conservation payments to help bridge the generation gap in ranching. Currently, he is working on several projects concerning private lands conservation and stewardship, including a review of emerging tools in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Travis grew up working on his family’s farm and ranch in Sterling, Colorado. He came to the University of Wyoming to study finance and environment and natural resources as an undergraduate. Before returning to law school, he was the Stewardship Coordinator and interim Conservation Director for the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust.

Grace Carr headshot

Grace Carr, Research & Outreach Coordinator

Grace is an alumna of the Haub School and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2020 with a BS in biology and a BS in environmental system science with a concurrent major in environment and natural resources. A Wyoming native, Grace deepened her understanding of multi-use recreation on public lands working for a cattle ranch in northern Wyoming throughout her undergraduate years. After graduating, Grace worked with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Access Yes Program to promote hunter and angler public access to private lands using landowner agreements. Currently, she contributes to faculty research projects using her background in state agency work and ranching. In the fall of 2022, Grace will begin her MS in Environment, Natural Resources & Society.

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Katie Doyle, Incoming Graduate Research Assistant

Katie graduated from Texas Tech University in 2018 with a BS in Natural Resources Management; Wildlife Biology concentration. From there she made the move from her home in Texas to Montana, where she worked as a Teacher and Naturalist in Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest. She was immediately hooked on the West and spent her first fall and winter up north working for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks sampling hunter harvested and roadkill deer for Chronic Wasting Disease. Katie continued similar work around the country working as a Wildlife Technician for Texas Parks and Wildlife and a Conservation Officer for Idaho Fish and Game. Katie is currently working as a bighorn sheep researcher in the Sun Valley in western Montana and is looking forward to beginning her graduate studies in Environment, Natural Resources, and Society in the Spring of 2023.

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Iris Kurz, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Iris is an undergraduate student in Environmental Science in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, hoping to eventually pursue a career in environmental law. She is originally from Dallas, TX; but has been loving her time in the mountains so far. Iris has a deep interest in the intersection of environmentalism and the social sciences and is excited to see how the MacMillan Private Lands Program will be able to inform her studies in those fields.

Max Lewis headshot

Max Lewis, Incoming Graduate Research Assistant

Max graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2016 with a BA in environmental studies and economics. Native to Maine, Max quickly found his way West after finishing his undergraduate degree. A position with the United States Forest Service brought him to southeast Alaska where he became interested in the impacts of land management on fisheries, and aquatic ecosystems. Max’s work in Alaska was followed by a year spent working with Trout Unlimited in Missoula, Montana where he completed fisheries and stream ecology research that contributed to ecological restoration projects on private lands. In 2018 Max moved to Jackson, Wyoming where he has lived since. During his time in Jackson, he has studied native trout and the habitats that they rely on while working for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and Friends of the Teton River. In the fall of 2022, Max will begin his MS in Environment, Natural Resources & Society and will focus his research on water conservation on private property.

Lucas Thorsness headshot

Lucas Thorsness, Graduate Research Assistant

Lucas developed a love for wide open spaces and natural ecosystems growing up in the plains and mountains of southeastern Wyoming. He landed at Montana State University where he got a degree in environmental studies with a minor in GIS, followed by a graduate certificate in GIS from the University of Wyoming. After time spent working in wildland conservation and restoration, a stint with a land trust on Colorado’s Front Range led him to a passion for private land conservation. Lucas works with the MacMillan Private Lands Program conducting analyses of water resources in the west, engaging with stakeholders, and contributing to research reports, publications, and grants. In his free time, Lucas enjoys cycling, hiking, and skiing in the beautiful public lands around Laramie.

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Tessa Wittman, Research Scientist

Tessa earned her BSc at the University of Wyoming with double majors in wildlife biology, and environment and natural resources with minors in honors, sustainability, and reclamation and restoration ecology. She has worked on endangered species recovery with Wyoming toads, post-wildfire ungulate habitat restoration, community-based ecosystem restoration, and interdisciplinary research on the human dimensions of sagebrush ecosystem management. Her current research is assessing outcomes from programs mitigating acute livestock-wildlife conflict on public lands in the American West. She seeks inclusive, community-driven solutions for conserving and restoring landscapes. When she is not doing science, she is exploring public lands, fishing, and hiking.

Contact Us

Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources

Bim Kendall House

804 E Fremont St

Laramie, WY 82072

Phone: (307) 766-5080

Fax: (307) 766-5099


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