Work With Us
We welcome collaboration!
SageSTEP’s research mission is both deep and broad. When establishing the scope of the project, we realized that what we were doing could be useful for more than just our own research questions. For one, we were developing an on-the-ground infrastructure with years’ worth of baseline measurements that others could use for future research. Secondly, we soon realized that there would never be enough time for us to thoroughly analyze all the collected data ourselves. Despite now having published more than 120 technical papers on all aspects of the study, we are still awash in unpublished stories.
This is where you come in. We have a standing open invitation to use SageSTEP data and sites to discover some of those untold and important stories for yourself. We have sites that could be collaboratively used for nondestructive and non-manipulative research (within our exclosures or adjacent to them). We also have a treasure trove of data for analysis that spans 20 sagebrush steppe sites, 13 of which have been encroached by pinyon-juniper woodland, and 7 that are lower elevation and treeless (SageSTEP map). For all sites, we have data on every layer of vegetation and all aspects of the fuel bed, and we can tie these data to weather and to soil chemistry, moisture and temperature. We also have data on sage-obligate passerine birds, on insect biodiversity, and on various aspects of hydrology, all of which can be tied to the vegetation, soils, and fuel bed. In addition, most data are available pre-treatment, and up to six years post-treatment, which allows for a reasonably long-term assessment of treatment effects. Finally, portions of two woodland sites and one treeless site have been burned through by wildfire, allowing the opportunity to do a case study on wildfire effects of treated sites, on which an abundance of pre-fire data have been collected and stored. Thus far, our scientists have examined treatment effects up to six years post-treatment, mostly by focusing on one or two disciplinary areas (e.g. vegetation, soils). But few analyses have looked at multivariate responses to treatment, which would allow assessment of trade-offs, and a better understanding of species interactions and other relationships within these ecosystems.
Scientists have begun to explore aspects of climate change, but there are many opportunities that remain unexplored in this area, including comparison of hot and cold sites within species ranges, or species abundance patterns at the edges of ranges. While analysts have begun to scratch the surface on how treatment response might vary in systematic ways across the sagebrush steppe region, there is much work yet to be done on conditional response of this kind.
How to use our data
Check out this website for more details about the study and sites. Then, if you have additional questions or are interested in getting involved, contact us. We have a fairly painless data request process that involves the approval of our PIs, but to date, nobody has been turned away. You can contact us to ask for data to analyze on any topic we work on. Send an email directly to Jim McIver.
Collaborative Research Study
We welcome proposals for non-invasive research on aspects of sagebrush ecosystems that are not covered in the SageSTEP proposal. Learn more about our collaborative research studies.