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Erin Barton internship with The Nature Conservancy

Erin Barton spent summer 2017 on an internship working with The Nature Conservancy, Colorado Chapter, on their Sustainable Grazing Lands Program.  She was awarded this internship as part of the Wyss Scholarship, funded by the Wyss Foundation, which provides funding for students focosed on conservation issues in the American West.  Describing her intership, Erin wrote, “My job was to interview ranchers about their experiences using the ranch management and grazing strategy known as Holistic Management, which The Nature Conservancy is interested in as a possible bridge between economically viable and ecologically viable grasslands. I focused on collecting socioeconomic data to compliment The Nature Conservancy’s ecological data. Although the interviews were extensive, monitoring of the four ranches has only just begun and so I consider the work to be preliminary in nature; the information we gathered was baseline, to go with the baseline ecological data. Further ecological and socioeconomic data will be gathered overtime, potentially with more ranches being added to the study group. The four ranches I worked with were located in east and southeast Colorado, in semi-arid grasslands and canyonlands.”