The Yale North American West Initiative (YNAWI) supports learning and research about the cultural, economic, and ecological life of this distinctive and diverse region. Through immersive field courses, field research, and students fellowships, YNAWI draws together a wide range of social scientists, natural scientists, and practitioners engaged in work on the many issues unique to western North America. Recognizing Yale’s historical commitment to Western frontiers, it applies innovative and interdisciplinary science to solve problems of local, regional, and national importance.

A selection of recent projects:

The Ogallala Aquifer: Perspectives on Use and Conservation

A Profile of Mexican Immigration in the West

Changing Snowpacks in Western Wyoming

Indivisible Bond of People and Land: Articulations of Indigeneity in the Debate Surrounding Bears Ears National Monument

Social and Environmental Impacts of Skiing in the North American West

Evolving Watershed Governance in Lake Tahoe

Women of the West: Reflections on Independence and Dependence

Demographic and Environmental Issues on the Wind River Reservation

Crude By Rail: Exploring Distributional Impacts in Washington State

Non-Mormons at BYU

The Modern Sagebrush Rebellion: Utah HB148B, The History, and the Stories Told

Paradise Leased, But Not Lost: Can Environmentalists Redefine Energy Development?

Beyond Sportsmen: Completing the Story of Conservation

Economic Profile of Teton Valley, Idaho

Homes, Farms, and Gas Wells: Conflict Over Competing and Complementary Land Use in Colorado

Communes and the American West

Jackson Hole Social and Environmental Report

Cowboy Conservationists

The Muting of the Ecoterrorism Movement in the American West

Analysis of Rugged Individualism

Whitebark Pine: Cultural Symbol of the American Mountain West

A Recent History of Pinedale, Wyoming

Hope on the Range? A Story of Grassfed Beef & the Green Cowboys

Photo Ethnography on Indigenous Lands

Mountain Biking and the Rider’s Land Ethic

High-Mountain Trailer Parks: Place, Culture, and Affordability in Colorado Ski Country

Colorado River Stories: How Our Connections to Place Shape Conflict

A New England Family’s Perspective on The American West

Protestors vs. Protectors: #NoDAPL in the News

The American Prairie Reserve: Understanding the Moral Order and Controversy of Prairie Conservation
Narratives of Conquest at Bear Lodge
Understanding Trends in PADDD Actions in the American West
Sustainable Wood Supply Chain in Eastern Oregon
Yosemite: A Look Beyond the Beauty
Perceptions of the Role of U.S. National Parks: How Tourists and the NPS Talk about Yellowstone National Park
The Cowboy, the Scholar: Deep Springs College
Building Coalitions and Framing Narratives in Trump’s North American West: Unlikely Alliances in the Fight for Environmental Justice
Mourning the Gorge: Locating Blame in the Eagle Creek Fire
People, Natural Gas, and Wildlife in Sublette County, Wyoming
Blame the Litigators! Finger-Pointing in Montana’s Wildfire Management
The Badger-Two Medicine: Permanent Protection and the Future of a Sacred Landscape
Religion, Commodities, and Symbols: Using Bison and Elephants to Understand Human-Animal Relationships