Arts and Sciences Professor’s Research Aids Wyoming Ranchers
Laura Lautz, Professor and Department Chair of Earth Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, was interviewed about her research in the Casper, Wyoming, Star-Tribune story “Once considered the scourge of agriculture in the West, ranchers are now building beaver dams.”
Ranchers in Wyoming are looking into beaver mimicry projects – where structures are built to behave like beaver dams — with a goal of fixing the stream that was damaged, reducing future erosion and connecting creeks to meadows to distribute valuable sediment during floods.
Lautz and other researchers from Syracuse University are following the progress on the ranch. They took measurements of water levels and channel shapes and used drones to create high resolution topographic maps before the structures went in, and will track them over time, Lautz said.