Tom Minckley, PhD, UW Geography

Tom Minckley is an Arizona native who is a self-admitted desertphile. He is an expert on environmental change in the arid West. He is interested in applying lessons learned by studying the history of ecological resilience of the western landscapes to conservation issues of the present.


Patrick Kikut MFA, UW Art

Patrick was raised in a small beach town in Southern California. He left in 1987, earned a BFA from the University of Colorado then went on to earn his MFA from the University of Montana. Currently he is living in Laramie, painting and teaching at the University of Wyoming. Themes in his work often come from extensive highway travel. Patrick explains, "Traveling allows me access into compelling landscapes, stories, and cultures. These things help me gain an understanding of the West and drives the work I produce in the studio." Kikut's work is included in the collections of The El Paso Art Museum, The Missoula Art Museum, and The University of Wyoming.


Rica Fulton, MA, UW Geography

Rica Fulton grew up in Southwest Colorado and loves exploring desert rivers and mountains. Stemming from this passion for the outdoors, she received a BA in Environmental Studies and GIS from Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado in 2014. After working for two years at a Geospatial firm in Portland, Oregon, a perpetual passion for the Colorado River brought her back to the Colorado River Basin. Rica is interested in fostering creative solutions to Upper Colorado River management and conservation issues that stem from grassroots ideas and collaboration. Her current research is along the Dolores River in Colorado, and is focused on designing a collaborative stakeholder framework in which to alternatively manage flow regimes and improve the ecology and recreational opportunities downstream of McPhee Dam. Rica also manages the Upper Green River Network, a Colorado Riverkeeper Affiliate program in Wyoming as a part of the Waterkeeper Alliance Network.


William Gribb, PhD, UW Geography

Dr. William Gribb's research has concentrated on the legal and spiritual definitions of land base and land use. His interests are in the location and distrubution of resources, and the management techniques used to utilize and conserve those resources within the cultural context of Native American heritage and spiritual perspectives.


David Jones, MFA, UW Art

David Jones, originally from Augusta, Georgia, received his BFA in sculpture from the University of Georgia in 2000. For the following year he resided in Birmingham, Alabama where he worked in the Sloss Metal Arts Artist-in-Residency program casting iron before going on to pursue his masters degree. In 2004 he received his MFA in sculpture from the University of Tennessee. After graduate school, he moved to the Rocky Mountain West in Laramie, Wyoming.

The western landscape has proved to be a significant influence that has surfaced in the aesthetic and themes of Jones’s work over the last thirteen years. This influence has helped to form three distinct bodies of work that defines his studio process. In addition to working in the studio, Jones has began to expand his creative process to working outdoors in sites such as the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover UT, and the Red Desert region in southern Wyoming. David actively exhibits nationally, but more prominently throughout the intermountain west in cities such as Denver, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. David is currently on faculty in the Visual Art Department at the University of Wyoming as an Instructional Art Technician.

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Jessica Flock

Flock holds an BA in Secondary Education from the University of Wyoming. Currently, she is the State Coordinator for the Wyoming History Day program, facilitating the program and hosting professional development for educators throughout Wyoming. For the past 20 years, Jessica has worked in a variety of roles within education to include as an ESL instructor, Social Studies/Title I Reading teacher, Teaching with Primary Sources (LOC) Workshop facilitator and young adult librarian.


Bailey Edward Russel, MA

- - Bailey Russel grew up in New Jersey and attended Princeton University for a BA in Art History. After spending a year working in Malaysia, he attended a joint NYU / International Center for Photography MA program in photography. He worked for a number of years in New York City for an array of artists and museums (spending a year at the Met), before moving to Seattle for two years. He moved to Laramie in the Fall of 2011.


Jason Robison SJD, UW Law

Jason is an Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law. He teaches in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, serves on President Nichols’s Advisory Committee on Native American Affairs, and writes mainly about transboundary water law and policy, particularly relations over water among federal, state, and tribal sovereigns in the American West. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Jason came to UW in fall 2013 after completing his Ph.D. in law (S.J.D.) at Harvard University, where he focused his dissertation on the labyrinthine body of laws governing water allocation and management in the Colorado River Basin—i.e., the “Law of the River.” A great admirer of Wallace Stegner and Bernard DeVoto, Jason has the honor of serving as lead editor for the multi-author volume being produced for the sesquicentennial of the 1869 Powell Expedition—tentatively entitled, Vision and Place: John Wesley Powell and Reimagination of the Colorado River Basin.


Benjamin Kraushaar, MA, UW - Geography

Benjamin kraushaar grew up in southwest Colorado, an area rich in public land access and recreational opportunities. From the desolate deserts of Canyonlands to the rugged ridges of the San Juan Mountains, the unique geography of the southwest influenced Ben’s decision to pursue a life in the outdoors. Ben received a B.S. in Environmental Geology from Fort Lewis College in 2008 and has since worked as a Land Surveyor, Hydrologist and freelance photographer. Now, Ben is at the University of Wyoming and is pursuing a MA in Geography and Water Resources. He will use the raft trip as a means to communicate both social and environmental issues that pertain to the Colorado River Basin. He will harness the power of visual arts and social media networks to engage communities before, during, and after the trip.