Boyd Evison Graduate Fellowship



In 2005, Grand Teton National Park and the Grand Teton Association collaborated to initiate a new graduate research fellowship in memory of Boyd Evison, who died in October 2002 following an exemplary 42-year career with the National Park Service in which he rose to be superintendent and regional director in parks from Alaska to the Rocky Mountain Region. After retiring from government service, he was executive director of the park’s primary interpretive and educational partner, the Grand Teton Natural History Association (now Grand Teton Association).  

Grand Teton Association launched the Evison Fellowship to encourage scientific and conservation-related research in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, providing up to $10,000 in support for a graduate study leading to completion of a master’s or Ph.D. degree in the biosciences, geosciences, or social sciences. Previous award winners and their projects include:



Awardee & Institution

Research topic


Florence Gardipee, Univ. of Montana

Feasibility of non-invasive fecal sampling for genetic and parasite studies in Yellowstone bison


Ericka Pilcher, Colorado State Univ.

Understanding and managing soundscapes in the national parks: Grand Teton National Park


Lyman Persico, Univ. of New Mexico

Long-term variability of beaver effects on streams in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks


Emilene Ostlund, Univ. of Wyoming

Pronghorn Passage


Nicholas Dowie, Univ. of Wyoming

Exploring an obligate tripartite symbiosis between the endangered plant Pterospora andromeda, conifer trees, and a truffle-like fungus


James Meadow, Montana State Univ.

Novel diatomaceous biological soil crust assemblage in Yellowstone National Park


Stefan Ekernas, Univ. of Montana

Climate change and food webs: Jackrabbits and migratory pronghorn


Darren Larsen, Univ. of Colorado

Glaciers and climate in the alpine zone: a continuous multi-proxy record of Holocene glacier activity and environmental change


Susma Giri, Univ. of Wyoming

Study of bumblebees in Grand Teton National Park


Kellen N. Nelson, Univ. of Wyoming


Evaluating the effects of projected climate change on

forest fuel moisture content


Lauren Abbott, Penn State University

Exploring vertical wilderness in the acoustic environment


Maggie Rabouin, U.C. Berkeley

Spider blood runs cold: Implications of winter climate change for overwintering arthropods in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem


Danielle Fagre, University of Montana

The importance of contemporary bison grazing for sustaining grassland avifauna


Katherine Gura, Univ. of Wyoming

Delineating Key Metrics for Territory Size and Habitat Requirements to Sustain Great Gray Owls in Wyoming


Gardipee and Pilcher completed their theses in 2007, and Pilcher was subsequently hired as an acoustic technician for the NPS Natural Sounds Program. In the autumn of 2008, Ostlund and photographer Joe Riis journeyed along the 90-mile migratory path of pronghorn that summer in Grand Teton NP and winter in the upper Green River basin of Wyoming—a sojourn documented in narrative form by the creative writing student and visually by Riis. Darren Larsen continues to research the long history of glaciation and geologic change in Grand Teton NP, and in 2016, Lauren Abbott produced a detailed final report on her work studying climbers’ experiences and soundscapes in the Teton Range. Susma Giri completed her Ph.D. in June 2017 and took her research back to Nepal, where she other researchers founded the Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences, which supports researchers from fields ranging from atmospheric science to ecology.

In keeping with Mr. Evison’s wishes, Grand Teton Association particularly encourages research to document the almost intangible and disappearing aspects of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway, and surrounding public or private GYE lands, including less well-known or charismatic ecosystem elements as natural soundscapes; air; water; plants; fish; insects; amphibians; fungi; snails; bacteria; geologic or other processes; and social science related to public understanding of natural resources and their use or management.