Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Giron, Rhianna. Adventuring in the Winds: An Exploration of Water Accessibility, Keystone Species, Environmental Justice, and Forest Fires in the Wind River Range. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. December 2020.


Copyright Rhianna Giron 2020


This thesis is a braided narrative that incorporates personal experience, ecological research, and poetry to explain some of the impacts of human interaction in wild spaces and of climate change. The specific areas of study in this essay are the Wind River Range, Wyoming and Nebraska. The purpose of this paper is to discuss topics related to water availability and quality, forest fires, keystone species, and social injustices related to people and environments in the Wind River Range. It is important to learn about other places than the ones we are already familiar with as it helps to instill a sense of stewardship in individuals. This is necessary as the climate continues to be negatively impacted by humans. Storytelling is an effective way to engage readers in conversations about climate change and human impact, so presenting statistics and research within a narrative is a good way to engage the audience and get them to care about the areas being discussed. In order to write this essay, I drew on my personal experience of backpacking in the Wind River Range and paired these experiences with historical and ecological research. One of the important key features and findings of this essay is that everything is connected to something else. Our actions affect other parts of our ecosphere and we are responsible for taking care of the environment, not just for ourselves, but for all other species that exist within it.