Biodiversity Research in Wyoming and the World
Research science is at the very foundation of the Biodiversity Institute's mission.
The BI enhances scientific understanding of the elements, patterns, and processes of biodiversity in Wyoming and beyond through an array of research grants and collaborations.
Seven grant programs are funded and managed by the Institute to support basic and applied research and communicate the value of science and the natural world to the public. The largest program, in terms of number of projects funded, provides financial support to UW undergraduate and graduate students conducting innovative and high-impact biodiversity research. Known as Biodiversity Student Grants, this program is now in its fourth cycle, has provided assistance to students from five departments and two colleges, and has distributed a total of 24 grants for a combined $162,000.
The Biodiversity Research & Conservation Grants, supports research by UW faculty, and funded six awards for a total of $205,000 in 2015 and 2016. Five of the awards supported faculty in the Departments of Botany and Zoology, and enabled research on tropical bird demography, fish biodiversity, effects of soil water on sagebrush distribution, and dynamics of small mammal communities. The sixth award supported the Rocky Mountain Amphibian Project, which is a citizen science effort involving the BI, WYNDD, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. This grant program is currently in its second cycle, and will fund 1-3 new grants for about $125,000 in total funding in August 2017.
The Institute has collaborated with the Draper Museum (Buffalo Bill Center of the West) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA to present the "Camp Monaco" Prize. Awarded every three years (2013 and 2016), the prize supports “scientific research and public education initiatives in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that inform, inspire, and enhance biodiversity conservation regionally and around the world." The first winners were Arthur Middleton and Joe Riis, both alumni of UW, who used the grant to further research on elk migration. The second grant went to researchers at Montana State University investigating ancient archeological and ecological material uncovered by retreating glaciers.
The Biodiversity in Art Grant Program supports projects that communicate scientific information, personal and cultural responses to biodiversity, and artistic interpretation of the natural world in non-traditional and creative ways, typically through an exhibit or public event. Ten grants have been distributed to artists and scientists from nine departments in three colleges at UW, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and three independent artists. Awards have ranged from $2000 to $5000, with a total of $41,000 disbursed.
The BI frequently partners with three significant research facilities housed in the Berry Center—the Museum of Vertebrates (MoV), the Stable Isotope Facility (SIF), and WYNDD. The MoV houses about 10,000 specimens from around the world, with a focus on regional birds and mammals. The BI provides about $30,000 in annual financial support to the MoV, enabling staff to expand the collection and train students in curation techniques. The BI and MoV collaborate on educational, outreach, and art/science activities that make the specimens available for public viewing, UW students and to promote the scientific value of natural history collections.
SIF is a nationally recognized laboratory used by faculty, staff, and students for innovative research into a myriad of biological questions, and collaborates with the BI on many activities and events. Similarly, WYNDD is a state leader in biodiversity research and outreach, and is a frequent cooperator on BI efforts.
In 2017 the Institute established a Research Fellowship that will provide funds to an outstanding scientist to summarize the state-of-science on raptors in Wyoming and the West, with the intent of directly informing questions of urgency and importance to natural resource managers and policy makers. Future Research Fellowships will address other topics, with the same underlying goal of making current science more accessible and applicable, and enhancing the conservation impact of science by providing results in useful formats to practitioners.
BIODIVERSITY ART GRANTS
Exploration and understanding of biodiversity doesn't only come through the study of proteins and photosynthesis - much of it comes from what we observe and portray as a result! The Biodiversity in Art Grant program provides funding for cross-disciplinary projects that advance the research and depiction of biodiversity through art, including visual and written.
The request for proposals for 2017 is Closed
BIODIVERSITY STUDENT RESEARCH GRANTS
This program provides financial support for University of Wyoming undergraduate and graduate students conducting innovative and high-impact research projects that address important topics in biodiversity scholarship. The research proposals that are funded will be directly concerned with biological diversity, but not necessarily restricted to the natural sciences, and are for students' own independent research ideas.
The Request for Proposals for 2017 is CLOSED
Biodversity Research at the University of Wyoming
The University of Wyoming conducts a broad range of Biodiversity research by faculty, staff and students across a number of social and natural science departments. Click below to read more about some of the exciting biodiversity research being conducted at the University of Wyoming.
Biodiversity Education at the University of Wyoming
The BI is in the process of developing a cross-disciplinary program for undergraduates, which will bring together coursework in biological science and the humanities, and allow students to examine biodiversity from scientific and social-cultural perspectives.