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Discovery Pool

The Discovery Pool research grant program was established by CNHA to encourage and provide funding for research partnerships between qualified scientists and our federal NPS, BLM, and USFS partners in southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado.

Since its inception in 2007, CNHA’s Discovery Pool has awarded more than $500,000 in grants.

Apply

If you are interested in applying for a Discovery Pool Grant, applications must be received no later than 5 P.M. on November 15th, 2020. Download the guidelines and application (.pdf)

Public Lands Partnership AwardGoals

The goals for the Discovery Pool grants are:

  • Encourage the scientific research that makes up the backbone of interpretive and educational programs. Our definition of scientific research also includes resource management or protection surveys and monitoring.
  • Provide funds directly to the federal partners so all monies apply directly to the granting project and none are absorbed by a third party for administrative costs.
  • Provide matching funds that may assist public-land partners in obtaining larger grants for work consistent with Goal 1.
  • Promote an understanding of the intricate cultural and natural resource complexities found on federally administered lands.
  • Fund projects that result in information that CNHA can publicize on a popular level, to help visitors understand the value and fragility of the natural and cultural resources of the region.

Projects

2019

Continued Excavation of the Cisco Mammal Quarry

Principal Investigator: Brian M. Davis, PhD, University of Louisville

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Research question: What will new, well-preserved specimens of small vertebrates (e.g., dinosaurs, squamates, mammals) tell us about terrestrial ecosystem evolution at the end of the Jurassic in western North America?

Precursor to a Mass Extinction: Investigating Key Fossil Assemblages from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of the Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Principal investigator: Randall Irmis, PhD, Natural History Museum of Utah & University of Utah

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Research question: Do the Late Triassic fossil resources of the Bears Ears N.M.display latitudinal differences from contemporaneous fossils elsewhere in the Southwest, and is there any evidence of stress leading up to the end-Triassic mass extinction?

La Sal Mountain Alpine Arthropod Communities: Establishing Baseline Conditions – 2019

Principal investigator: Tim Graham, PhD, University of Utah & Northern Arizona University

Agency: U.S. Forest Service, Manti-La Sal National Forest

Research question: Will introduced mountain goats significantly alter alpine pollinator and ground-dwelling arthropod community structure, either directly, or indirectly via their effects on alpine plant communities?

2018

Ethnographic Study of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Principal Investigator: T. J. Ferguson, (Anthropological Research, LLC)

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Research question: What cultural and historical connections do contemporary tribes have with the archaeology, natural resources, and land forms of CANM? How is the Monument’s tribal history preserved and passed down within tribal communities today? How can tribal involvement be included in interpretation, preservation, and management of CANM?

Continued Excavation of the Cisco Mammal Quarry

Principal Investigator: Brian M. Davis, PhD, University of Louisville

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Research question: What will new, well-preserved specimens of small vertebrates (e.g., dinosaurs, squamates, mammals) tell us about terrestrial ecosystem evolution at the end of the Jurassic in western North America?

Inventory and Salvage of Key Fossil Assemblages from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation

Principal investigator: Randall Irmis, PhD, Natural History Museum of Utah & University of Utah

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Research question: Do the Late Triassic fossil resources of the Bears Ears N.M.display latitudinal differences from contemporaneous fossils elsewhere in the Southwest, and is there any evidence of stress leading up to the end-Triassic mass extinction?

Alpine Lichen Diversity in the La Sal Mountains - A Resource for Evaluating the Impact of Ecological Disturbances

Principal investigator: Steven Leavitt, Brigham Young University

Agency: U.S. Forest Service

Research question: How distinct is the alpine lichen community in the La Sal Mountains relative to comparable sites in western North America?

La Sal Mountain Alpine Arthropod Communities: Establishing Baseline Conditions - Year 3

Principal investigator: Tim Graham, PhD, University of Utah & Northern Arizona University

Agency: U.S. Forest Service

Research question: Will introduced mountain goats significantly alter alpine pollinator and ground-dwelling arthropod community structure, either directly, or indirectly via their effects on alpine plant communities?

A New, Diverse Dinosaur and Plant Community in the Salt Wash Member of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation

Principal Investigator: Mathew Wedel, PhD, Western University of Health Sciences

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Research question: Document vertebrate and plant fossils at the Tal Site (Hanksville area), gather photo & video documentation for scientific research and public outreach.

2017

Enigmatic Features of the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone, Grand and San Juan Counties

Principal Investigator: Marjorie A. Chan, University of Utah; co-investigators: Stephen T. Hasiotis and Judith Totman Parrish

Agency: Bureau of Land Management; National Park Service

Research question: What are the origins and implications of enigmatic pipes and bounding surfaces with trace fossils in the Navajo Sandstone of the Moab Area?

Continued Excavation of the Grey Hills Site: a Rich, Small Vertebrate Locality

Principal Investigator: Brian M. Davis, PhD, University of Louisville

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Research question: What will new, well-preserved specimens of small vertebrates tell us about terrestrial ecosystem evolution at the end of the Jurassic in western North America? Final Report

Excavation of Dinosaurs at the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry

Principal investigator: Michael D’Emic, Adelphi University

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

This research aims to excavate dinosaurs from the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry while simultaneously offering a unique public education experience.

Linking Comb Ridge to the Rest of Triassic Utah

Principal investigator: Robert Gay, Museums of Western Colorado Dinosaur Journey

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Research question: How do the Early Mesozoic faunas of Comb Ridge relate to the other, better-known localities across southeastern Utah? Final Report

La Sal Mountain Alpine Arthropod Communities: Establishing Baseline Conditions - Year 2

Principal investigator: Tim Graham, PhD, University of Utah & Northern Arizona University

Agency: U.S. Forest Service

Research question: Will introduced mountain goats significantly alter alpine pollinator and ground-dwelling arthropod community structure, either directly, or indirectly via their effects on alpine plant communities? Final Report

Documentation of Perishable Artifacts at the American Museum of Natural History

Principal Investigator: Laurie D. Webster, University of Arizona

Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Documentation of archaeological perishable artifacts from southeastern Utah

2016

Cedar Mesa Building Murals and Social Identities Project: Phase III

Principal Investigator: Benjamin A. Bellorado

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Excavation of a New Small Vertebrate Locality in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation

Principal investigator: Brian M. Davis, PhD, University of Louisville.

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Paleontological Investigations of Comb Ridge, Utah; a Public Education Field School Principal investigator

Principal investigator: Robert Gay, Museums of Western Colorado Dinosaur Journey

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Documentation of Perishable Artifacts at the American Museum of Natural History

Principal investigator: Laurie D. Webster, University of Arizona

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Prehistoric Site Documentation and Chronology on BLM Sites in SE Utah

Principal investigator: Thomas C. Windes, University of New Mexico.

Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Potential Impacts from Introduced Mountain Goats on the La Sal Mountains Alpine Arthropod Communities: Baseline Conditions

Principal investigator: Tim Graham, PhD, Northern Arizona University.

Agency: Manti-La Sal National Forest

2015

Cedar Mesa Building Murals and Social Identities Project: Phase II

This phase of the project will continue the inventory of the remaining Ancestral Puebloan building murals in the Cedar Mesa area and define their context, content, and chronology. Principal Investigator: Benjamin A. Bellorado

Excavation of New Fossil Localities in Cedar Mountain Formation

Dr. Zanno’s team will excavate a new species of plant-eating dinosaur discovered in 2014 in southeastern Utah. Principal Investigator: Lindsay Zanno, PhD

Mammal Response to Holocene Climate and Land Use Change on the Colorado Plateau ($15,000.00)

How did the mammal community in the Canyon Rims area of southeastern Utah change through time, and how does it compare to the modern mammal community? Principal Investigator: M. Allison Stegne

Newly Discovered Fossil Assemblages and Their Paleoenvironmental Context in the Upper Chinle Formation ($15,385.00)

This research will test for paleolatitudinal differences in paleoenvironment and biota over the last eight million years of the Triassic Period. Principal Investigators: Andrew R.C. Milner, Randall B. Irmis

Paleontological Investigations of Comb Ridge, Utah (BLM) ($3,335.96)

Robert Gay will have high school students participate in a paleontological field school. Principal Investigator: Robert J. Gay

2014

Cedar Mesa Building Murals and Social Identities Project (BLM) ($5,000.00)

This project seeks to continue an inventory of the remaining building murals in the Cedar Mesa area, in southeastern Utah, to define the context, content, and chronology of building murals across the larger landscape and through time.

Excavation and Identification of the Geologically Oldest Sauropod Dinosaur in North America (BLM) ($8,695.00)

This project will excavate a Dystrophaeus site 155 years its discovery, to identify this sauropod. and determine how it fits in the evolutionary picture of these animals in North America

Excavation of New Fossil Vertebrates Localities in the Upper Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation (BLM) ($5,000.00)

Dinosaurs of the mid-Cretaceous are extremely rare worldwide. This project will continue excavation of the Cedar Mountain Formation, that has yielded mulitple formerly unknown dinosaur faunas.

2013

Distance and Temperature Effects on Pika Forage (USFS) ($11,873.00)

This research will measure soil surface temperature and plant species composition to establish a baseline for future species composition and temperature change comparisons.

Documentation of Perishable Artifacts at the Museum of the American Indian (BLM) ($18,625.00)

This project will survey and photodocument approximately 400 archaeological textiles, baskets, wooden implements, hides and other perishable artifacts.

Gardeners and Gatekeepers: Pueblo I Community Study II (USFS) ($12,779.00)

The principle aim of this project is to collect additional field data from a selection of important Pueblo I period ancestral Puebloan sites within the Monticello Ranger District of the Manti-La Sal National Forest

Phase II of Analysis of Ceramic Sherd Collections from Hovenweep National Monument (NPS) ($15,500.00)

Anaysis will be completed on approx. 2,500 sherds. Rim arc and temper data will also be collected to increase understanding of vessel size and distribution.

2012

Ceramic Analysis of Sherd Collections from Hovenweep National Monument ($15,000.00)

This project seeks to bring Hovenweep’s ceramic collection together for examination to obtain data that can be used to answer research questions and provide interpretive information.

Completion of Documentation of Perishable Artifacts ($15,000.00)

Completion of the survey and documentation of textiles, baskets, and other perishable artifacts in the Green and Lang collections, the Field Museum of Natural History.

2011

Chemical Matching of Ceramics to Material Source Areas—Goodman Point ($11,000.00)

This study will use chemical matching of ceramics from the Goodman Point Unit of Hovenweep National Monument to material source areas to determine social and economic ties of prehistoric groups through time.

Climate Driven Changes in Englemann Spruce Stands in the La Sal Mountains ($9,600.00)

How will global warming and changing precipitation patterns effect timberline elevation and spruce tree stands in the La Sal Mountains?

Documentation of Perishable Artifacts ($7,395.00)

This project will survey and photodocument archaeological textiles, baskets, and other perishable artifacts in the Green and Lang collections at the Field Museum of Natural History from Grand Gulch and adjacent public lands.

Gardeners and Gatekeepers: Pueblo I Community in Allen Canyon ($12,726.00)

The goal of this project is to collect field data from the Pueblo I period Ancestral Puebloan community and investigate the development and nature of the Pueblo I community in the area.1

Structural Wood Documentation and Dendrochronology in SE Utah ($7,980.00)

The project goals are to document the perisible structural wood resources of standing prehistoric cliff structures on a site-by-site basis. The information gathered will broaden our understanding of 12th and 13th century Puebloan settlement and abandonmen

2010

Multi-Spectral Imaging of Rock Art in Canyonlands National Park ($15,000.00)

Private contractor Bud Turner continues his work using spectral photography documenting pictographs and reveal hidden elements of this ancient artwork, aiding in their preservation and restoration.

2009

Alpine Habitat Baseline Study ($14,996.00)

Erigeron mancus (La Sal daisy) elevational density gradient as a baseline to detect future climate change in LaSal Mountain alpine habitats. U.S. Forest Service, Jim Fowler/Barb Smith

Bighorn Sheep Study ($5,000.00)

Determining migrational corridors used by desert bighorn sheep rams and compiling 12 years of mortality and home range data on ram and ewe home ranges in southeastern Utah. Bureau of Land Management, Pam Riddle.

2008

Alpine Habitat Baseline Study ($14,996.00)

Erigeron mancus (La Sal daisy) elevational density gradient as a baseline to detect future climate change in LaSal Mountain alpine habitats. U.S. Forest Service, Jim Fowler/Barb Smith.

Aquatic Invertebrate Surveys ($7,000.00)

Aquatic invertebrate surveys on the Green River in Desolation and Grey Canyons (pre-dam vs. current condition).

Bighorn Sheep Collaring ($15,000.00)

Bighorn Sheep Collaring, Maze District, Canyonlands National Park

Documenting a Threatened Cultural Landscape ($15,000.00)

Comb Ridge Heritage Initiative Project, San Juan Corridor; Documenting a Threatened Cultural Landscape.

Multi-Spectral Imaging of Rock Art in Canyonlands National Park ($15,000.00)

Bud Turner, private contractor, employed spectral photography to document pictographs and reveal elements of this ancient artwork, aiding in their preservation and restoration.

Springs, Seeps, and Hanging Garden Ecosystems ($10,000.00)

Biology Department Mesa State College, Assessment of Biological and Physical Relationships of Springs, Seeps, and Hanging Garden Ecosystems Across a Gradient of Human Impacts

2007

Bighorn Sheep Collaring

The National Park Service is interested in maintaining a viable herd of Desert Bighorn sheep in areas of the park where sheep historically roamed.

Goodman Point Archeological Project

Crow Canyon Archeological Center was awarded a grant for studying the Goodman Point unit of Hovenweep National Monument.

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