Michelle Downey

Michelle is the Program Director of Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative (UHPSI) at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  UHPSI is focused on land stewardship and conservation of the American West through teaching, research, and outreach.  As Program Director, Michelle provides direction and leadership to support UHPSI’s philosophy and mission, which includes collaborating with state, federal, and non-governmental partners to address critical conservation issues affecting ranchers, landowners, and agencies in the West.  In this role, Michelle connects students to applied research and management projects with partners in western states and provides mentorship to facilitate student knowledge and skills in natural resource management of forests and rangelands on public and private lands in the west. Michelle also expands the UHPSI influence by developing new partnerships across the West and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Prior to her arrival at UHPSI, Michelle worked for more than 8 years in the West as a rangeland and wildlife ecologist addressing a variety wildlife and rangeland issues. Michelle’s prior work in wildlife research and conservation afforded her the opportunity to work in 7 states across a diversity of ecosystems, wildlife species, and organizations. She obtained her B.S. in Biology with a focus in Ecology, Biodiversity, and Evolutionary Biology at Central Connecticut State and a M.S in Range and Wildlife Management at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.