The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, University of Wyoming, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation have announced the winners of the second triennial Camp Monaco Prize. The $100,000 prize supports integrated scientific research and public education initiatives in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to inform, inspire, and enhance biodiversity conservation here and around the world.
First awarded in 2013, the Camp Monaco Prize is an initiative of an international partnership of the Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum, the University of Wyoming’s Biodiversity Institute, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA. The Prize invites proposals from around the world; the Jury received submissions representing more than twenty-five domestic and international organizations, institutions, and agencies for the 2016 award.
The award-winning project, Biodiversity of the longue durée: melting ice and the synergy of humans, bison, bighorn sheep, and whitebark pine in Greater Yellowstone, seeks to examine newly discovered plant, animal, and archaeological remains in retreating ice fields.
Prizewinners Dr. Craig M. Lee (University of Colorado), Dr. David McWethy (Montana State University), and Dr. Gregory T. Pederson (U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center) plan to develop a broader perspective and better understanding of environmental change and past human activity in the high elevations of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
The Prize Jury includes leading scientific and environmental organizations from across the world. The 2016 prizewinners hope to shed new light on past climate variability on high elevation environments and the use of these landscapes by Native Americans.
Presented every three years, the Camp Monaco Prize is named for a hunting camp established near Yellowstone National Park in 1913 by His Serene Highness, The Sovereign Prince of Monaco Albert II’s great, great grandfather, Prince Albert I, and William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. That trip resulted in extensive press coverage and discussions of the American wilderness—much like the same conversations today. This year, HSH Prince Albert II awards the 2016 Camp Monaco Prize on June 30 at the Principality of Monaco as part of celebrations in honor of the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the prince’s foundation.
“One of the exciting aspects of the retreating ice fields project is that it takes advantage of a newly emerging source of information to understand our past and perhaps help predict our future,” said Jury Co-Chair Dr. C.R. Preston, Founding Curator of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum. “This innovative use of the ice patch record in Greater Yellowstone carries significance for similar environments across the globe.”
According to the project authors, “What happens with ice patch research in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has profound implications for the preservation of this archive of biodiversity and its informative potential here and around the world.”
For more information about the research team and the Camp Monaco Prize partners, click here.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s Facebook page.