Announcement: Camp Monaco Prize, a $100,000 award for the winning proposal in Greater Yellowstone Biodiversity Research and Public Education. Click here for the full “Call for Proposals.”
Staff and research associates of the Draper Natural History Museum conduct original field- and collections-based research that contributes new knowledge about the relationships among climate, landscape, wildlife, and people in the Greater Yellowstone region and the American West. Results of our research are published in peer-reviewed and popular publications and are incorporated into our exhibits and public programming. We often integrate public education with our field research to provide meaningful, hands-on experiences for participants. Volunteer citizen-scientists assist with selected aspects of our field and laboratory research.
By virtue of their position as top predators, raptors provide insights into the functioning of entire ecosystems. These charismatic animals also capture the public’s interest and provide an entry for many people to explore our environment more closely. Staff and volunteers of the Draper Museum of Natural History are engaged in a long-term ecological research project on raptor ecology in sagebrush-steppe environments along the eastern margin of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The golden eagle is currently the primary focus of the program. Dr. Charles R. Preston, Senior Curator of the Draper Museum, is directing EYRI, currently supported by the Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Wildlife: the Foundation, and Nancy-Carroll Draper Foundation. The multiyear project is designed to monitor raptor nesting ecology, food habits, and population dynamics in relation to landscape composition, weather, h uman activities, and prey cycles in the sagebrush-steppe biome of Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin.
Dr. Preston recently discussed our Raptor Initiative on Wyoming Public Radio’s “Open Spaces” program: Click here to listen
The scope and intensity of human impacts on wildlife depend largely on cultural values placed on nature and a shared understanding of underlying ecological dynamics. We are examining human attitudes toward wildlife and the influence of education and other factors on the development of attitudes and values toward wildlife and wilderness across cultural and geopolitical boundaries. Our current research focuses on human attitudes and behavior toward large carnivore management and conservation, and the ecological impacts of cultural change in the American West. Through this research we hope to improve public understanding of human-carnivore conflicts and to help inform the development of evolving management policy.
Traverse the natural history of the Greater Yellowstone region on an interactive trail.