Director and Cofounder WMI Matt is a Research Wildlife Biologist with the US Geological Survey. He has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Kauffman has worked on topics that include the management and recovery of peregrine falcons, evaluating the ecological role of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, and the effects of range management on carnivores in southern Africa. In 2006, Matt joined the USGS Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the faculty of the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming; he is currently the director of the Wyoming Coop Unit. Matt and his graduate students are conducting studies on elk, wolves, moose, deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep in Wyoming, addressing the influence of habitat condition, predation, human disturbance, and energy development on these species. Matt’s research combines work on animal physiology, behavior and demography to better understand population- and landscape-level processes, including a strong focus on ungulate migration. A primary focus of his research program is to provide timely information to agency biologists charged with managing Wyoming’s wildlife.
Research Associate Shannon Albeke is the ecoinformaticist embedded within the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) at the University of Wyoming. Shannon holds a PhD in Landscape Ecology from the University of Georgia and has over 16 years of experience as an ecologist and informaticist specializing in the integration of field-collected data with spatial/statistical analyses and database management. His research focuses on improving the efficiency of analyzing large spatial and temporal datasets through innovative methodologies that take advantage of database structure and design, coupled with open-source statistical software.
Lead Cartographer James is a Senior Research Associate and Executive Director and co-founder of the InfoGraphics Lab in the University of Oregon’s Department of Geography. He received his MA in Geography in 1992 at the University of Oregon. He is a past president of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). His research areas include map design and atlas creation. He is the Cartographic Editor of the recently published and award winning Atlas of Yellowstone (UC Press, 2012). He is one of the authors of the Atlas of Oregon (UO Press, 2001), and is a co-author of the Archaeology and Landscape in the Mongolian Altai: An Atlas (ESRI Press, 2010) that received the Association of American Geographer’s Globe Book award for Public Understanding of Geography in 2011. Jim has taught cartography and GIS courses at the University of Oregon since 1992. His current projects include the development of a new Atlas of Wildlife Migration: Wyoming’s Ungulates.
Research Associate Arthur Middleton is a wildlife ecologist with interests in science communication and ecosystem management and policy. He is an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Arthur earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College, a master’s degree from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming. He works primarily on the ecology of large mammals, with field studies in both the northern Rockies and the southern Andes. In Wyoming, Arthur is conducting research on the major elk migrations of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Along with photojournalist Joe Riis, Arthur was awarded the Camp Monaco Prize (2013) and named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year (2015) for linking research and public education on the subject of trans-boundary wildlife migrations in the GYE. In addition to his affiliation with the Wyoming Migration Initiative, Arthur is an adjunct research associate of the Draper Museum of Natural History in Cody, Wyoming.
Research Associate Kevin is an Assistant Research Professor with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming. After receiving his BSc and MSc in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from South Dakota State University, he went on to obtain his PhD in Biology from Idaho State University in 2011. Kevin’s research program is focused on integrating nutritional ecology with intensive field studies of large ungulates to elucidate the mechanisms that underpin behavior, growth, reproductive allocation, predator-prey dynamics, and ultimately, the factors affecting population growth. Kevin and his graduate students are currently conducting research on most of Wyoming’s large ungulates; topics are centered on establishing a protocol for habitat-based, sustainable management of ungulate populations, while investigating the effects of predation, habitat alteration, climate change, migration strategies, and novel disturbance through the lens of nutrition.
Writer and Filmmaker WMI
Greg is a writer and filmmaker for the Wyoming Migration Initiative. He works to inform and educate the public about migration research, with a special focus on researching the human stories surrounding wildlife migration. Originally from Big Horn, Wyoming, he’s a lifelong hunter of migratory elk in the Meeteetse and Wapiti area, and has worked as a mule deer and elk guide for the Darwin Ranch in the Gros Ventre Mountains. His first documentary for Wyoming PBS chronicled the art of Thomas Moran and the photography of William Henry Jackson on the 1871 Hayden expedition to Yellowstone, which led Congress to set aside the area as America’s first national park. In 2013, he won a Mid-Atlantic Emmy as an associate producer with History Making Productions for a film about the 1793 yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. From 2010-2015 he was a contributor and staff journalist for the online news site WyoFile.com, where he covered the Wyoming state government and the University of Wyoming, including several stories about UW’s migration research on mule deer and bighorn sheep. Greg holds a M.A. in History of the American West from the University of Wyoming, and a B.A. magna cum laude from Carleton College.
Illustrator and Science Writer WMI Bethann works to engage the public in stories of migratory ungulates and the scientists who study them. She also helps scientists and graduate students to develop their own outreach skills. Bethann has been an outdoor illustrator, educator, journalist, photojournalist, and field researcher. Her artwork and writing has been commissioned by entities including American Scientist, Parks Canada, The Nature Conservancy, The Wildlife Society, and Western Confluence. Bethann won a 2013 Investigative/In-Depth Reporting award from the Quebec Community Newspaper Association for her series “Conserving Quebec’s Caribou.” She has collaborated on research, illustrations, and outreach with researchers studying bison (Saskatchewan), bighorn sheep (AZ), amphibians (WY), black bears (MT), and bees (NC). She has provided trainings and keynotes for organizations like the Ecological Society of America, Harvard Forest, and the University of Montana. Here at the University of Wyoming, she won an award for “Promoting Intellectual Engagement in First-year Courses” and was a professional development mentor for science graduate students and faculty in UW’s Science Initiative. She grew up on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, where she first learned to hunt. She holds a B.A. in environmental studies, wildlands conservation, and studio art from the University of Montana, and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Wyoming.
Atlas Text Editor Emilene earned her BA in environment and natural resources, humanities/fine arts, and Spanish and her MFA in environment and natural resources and creative nonfiction writing, both from the University of Wyoming. For her graduate thesis project she hiked 80 miles of the Teton pronghorn migration corridor through the Gros Ventre Mountains and Upper Green River Basin in western Wyoming. She collaborated with wildlife photojournalist Joe Riis to produce a High Country News cover story on the migration. “Perilous Passages” (January 9, 2012) earned a 2012 Science in Society award from the National Association of Science Writers and the 2012 Knight-Risser Prize for environmental journalism in the West from Stanford University. Emilene has worked in various capacities for publications including National Geographic magazine, Wyoming Wildlife magazine, WyoFile.com, and High Country News. She is currently the communications coordinator for the University of Wyoming Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and she edits Western Confluence magazine, a publication of the UW Ruckelshaus Institute. Emilene is collaborating with a wide range of migration and wildlife experts to write and edit text for the Atlas of Wildlife Migration: Wyoming’s Ungulates.
Contributing Photographer and Photography Fellow Joe Riis is a National Geographic magazine contributing photographer and Photography Fellow at the Wyoming Migration Initiative. His work explores the migrations of animals in the Greater Yellowstone region of North America, highlights science and research expeditions, and connects people to some of the most remote and rare species on the planet through his photography and video.
He is the recipient of several awards including three National Geographic Expeditions Council grants, the Camp Monaco Prize with Arthur Middleton, the Stanford Knight-Riser Award for western environmental journalism with Emilene Ostlind, an Emmy Award for his work on pronghorn migration in the Great Migrations TV series, and principal support from the George B. Storer Foundation. His short films have toured in the Banff Mountain Film Festival and Telluride MountainFilm Festival, among others.
Joe was raised on the Great Plains of South Dakota. He graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2008 with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology.
Project Manager and Cofounder WMI Bill has a Masters Degree in Zoology from the University of Wyoming and a BS degree from the University of Idaho. He retired from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in 2011 after a 30-year career with the WGFD where he worked as a Special Project Biologist, District Biologist, Wildlife Management Coordinator, and Assistant Division Chief for the Wildlife Division. Bill has extensive experience working with stakeholders relating to a wide range of wildlife issues including big game management, population estimation, endangered species management, and wildlife/transportation issues. Bill has overseen and supervised large programs including the habitat, sensitive species, and trophy management sections for WGFD, and he had oversight of 8 wildlife regions in Wyoming. Bill has helped guide wildlife research efforts for WGFD and has extensive knowledge of the landscapes and wildlife issues of Wyoming.
Research Associate Hall is a research biologist with Western Ecosystems Technology (WEST), Inc. He serves as adjunct faculty in the Zoology & Physiology Department at University of Wyoming. Hall is also a research associate with the Wyoming Migration Initiative. Hall earned a BS degree in wildlife biology from Colorado State University and MS and PhD degrees in Zoology from the University of Wyoming. Hall worked with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit as a research scientist from 1997-2001, coordinating a variety of ungulate research projects. Since then Hall has worked with WEST, Inc. and conducted numerous ungulate studies in Wyoming, with emphasis on impact analysis and migration ecology. Hall’s work with ungulates spans 20 years and involves agencies, industry, non-government organizations, and graduate students.
Cartographic Production Manager Alethea Steingisser is the cartographic production manager in the InfoGraphics Lab at the University of Oregon where she has worked since 2005. She serves as lead cartographer and production manager on The Atlas of Wildlife Migration: Wyoming’s Ungulates (in production), and has managed production of other atlases including The Atlas of Yellowstone (2012), and Archaeology and Landscape in the Mongolian Altai: An Atlas (2010). She works on design for all cartographic print projects in the Lab, including the UO campus mobile mapping efforts. Alethea is drawn to cartography because it combines her interests in art and science, and because the dynamic nature of the field requires continual learning.
Her background in art and photography combined with her interest in earth sciences led Alethea to cartography at California State University, Northridge where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Geography in 2001. She followed up with a Master of Science in Geography in 2006 at the University of Oregon. As a student, Alethea took advantage of internship programs to learn from experienced cartographers. She worked as a cartographic intern for National Geographic Maps in 2001 and with the National Park Service in 2005.
Graduate Research Assistant Ellen is currently working on her PhD through the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming. Her graduate research focuses on mule deer migration in the Wyoming Range. Through her research, Ellen hopes to connect patterns of plant phenology to mule deer movement behavior, body condition, reproductive success and demography. Additionally, she will investigate how changing climatic conditions may affect migratory mule deer in the future. Before coming to Wyoming, Ellen worked at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s GIS lab, where she analyzed remote sensing and GPS telemetry data for conservation research projects across the globe. Ellen is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Berry Fellowship. Ellen earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Ursinus College.
Postdoctoral Fellow Jerod is a postdoctoral fellow with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming. He has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Arizona (2006), a M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana (2011), and a Ph.D. in Biology from Université Laval, Québec (2014). Jerod’s research has focused on understanding foraging ecology and predator-prey dynamics to help develop management plans that minimize human-wildlife conflicts. Specifically, Jerod investigates how animal memory and forage heterogeneity influence movement of individuals, and how these movements collectively result in population distribution over time. He has contributed to research on gray wolves, coyotes, black bears, bison, and caribou. Currently, Jerod is investigating how climate variability will affect ungulate migratory behavior in Wyoming, and how changes in such behavior will ultimately influence the risk of comingling between wild ungulates and livestock.
Graduate Research Assistant Anna is a master’s student who focuses on the varying-length migrations of mule deer using the Red Desert to Hoback migration corridor. She is comparing fat dynamics, birth rates, fawn recruitment, and adult survival among short-, medium-, and long-distance migrants. Anna had previously been a Wildlife Field Technician and GIS Analyst for several studies conducted by the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Working for the Coop Unit here in Wyoming, she has worked on sagebrush, mule deer, and bighorn sheep in the field. Ortega has also mapped the home ranges and migration routes of moose, mule deer, elk, and mountain goats and has conducted database work for several of these species. She has extensive experience with other taxa, including Piping Plovers, Red Knots, Emperor Geese, Pacific Loons, bees, and sage grouse.
Graduate Research Assistant Ben is a Master's student with the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in the Zoology and Physiology Department at the University of Wyoming. His research is particularly focused on Interstate-80 and the movement behavior of pronghorn found near the Interstate. This research aims to better understand if and where the Interstate likely severed migratory corridors. One objective of this study will be to provide methods and tools to identify suitable areas to mitigate the barrier effects created by the Interstate. Ben received his B.S. in Biology from Wake Forest University. Upon graduation he was a field technician for the Chicago Botanic Gardens Conservation and Land Management Program. Additionally, he was a researcher for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's GIS lab, which helped foster his fascination in migration ecology.
Graduate Research Assistant Pat earned his BS in Zoology from the University of Wyoming in 2014 and was named the outstanding graduating male senior of his class. He immediately started working at Western Ecosystems Technology (WEST), Inc. in Laramie under Hall Sawyer, PhD, where he primarily studies impact analysis and migration ecology. Pat is also earning a Master of Science degree in Zoology at the University of Wyoming with Dr. Matt Kauffman in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. His research project compares migratory behaviors of male and female mule deer in south-central Wyoming. The primary objectives of this study are to provide sexually-inclusive information on ungulate migrations and assess behavioral shifts in male habitat use around the autumn hunting season.
Graduate Research Assistant Travis earned his BS in wildlife and fisheries biology and management from the University of Wyoming in 2008. He spent several years contributing to many research projects for both state management agencies and university research programs. Travis gained experience working with many wildlife taxa throughout several western states including Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, California, and Alaska. He is currently working towards a MS degree in the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming. The research project will investigate the efficacy of remote camera technology in understanding the migratory patterns of elk in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as well as determine the feasibility of using remote technology for herd management objectives.