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Hailey Wilmer
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Hailey Wilmer

 Climate Hub Fellow

Crops Research Laboratory
1701 Center Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80526
PHONE: 970-492-7121
FAX:     970-492-7160





Hailey is a social rangeland scientist studying the intersection of cultural, political and ecological systems and adaptive rangeland management. Originally from Montana, she earned her Ph.D. from Colorado State University in Rangeland Ecosystem Science in 2016. As Climate Hub Fellow, Hailey works with the RRRU and across USDA agencies and agriculture stakeholder groups on research that supports adaptive management in drought and extreme weather events.  Hailey’s research methods include qualitative (interviews, focus groups) and quantitative ecological monitoring that document the decision-making processes of family ranches in Colorado and Wyoming.


B.S. 2009 Cornell University, International Agriculture and Rural Development; Agriculture Science Education

M.S. 2014 Colorado State University, Rangeland Ecosystem Science

Ph.D. 2016 Colorado State University, Rangeland Ecosystem Science with certificate in Women’s Studies.


Her specific research questions are:
-What processes and strategies support adaptive decision-making in ranching systems operating under highly variable weather conditions?
-At what scales (social, temporal, and spatial) do adaptive decisions take place?
-What are the ecological outcomes of ranch decision-making strategies?
-How do diverse rangeland stakeholders make management decisions for multiple rangeland stewardship objectives in a 10-year collaborative adaptive rangeland management experiment?


Derner, J.D., Wilmer, H., Stackhouse-Lawson, K., Place, S., and Boggess, M. 2023. Practical considerations for adaptive strategies by US grazing land managers with a changing climate. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment 6: 1–13.

Spiegal, S., Webb, N.P., Boughton, E.H., Boughton, R.K., Brymer, A.B., Clark, P.E., Collins, C.D.H., Hoover, D.L., Kaplan, N., McCord, S.E., Meredith, G., Porensky, L.M., Toledo, D., Wilmer, H., Wulfhorst, J.D. and Bestelmeyer, B.T. 2022. Measuring the social and ecological performance of agricultural innovations on rangelands: Progress and plans for an indicator framework in the LTAR network. Rangelands 44: 334–344.

Wilmer, H., Schulz, T., Fernández-Giménez, M.E., Derner, J.D., Porensky, L.M., Augustine, D.J., Ritten, J., Dwyer, A. and Meade, R. 2022. Social learning lessons from collaborative adaptive rangeland management. Rangelands 44(5): 316-326.

Derner, J.D., Roberts, K., Eisele, M., Wilmer, H., Mortenson, M., Freeman, P. and Lockman, R. 2022. King Ranch: Ranching on the edge. Rangelands 44(6), 411-417.

Greene, C., Wilmer, H., Ferguson, D.B., Crimmins, M.A., McClaran, M.P. 2022. Using scale and human agency to frame ranchers’ discussions about socio-ecological change and resilience. Journal of Rural Studies 96, 217-226.

Baldwin, T., Ritten, J.P., Derner, J.D., Augustine, D.J., Wilmer, H., Wahlert, J., Anderson, S., Irisarri, G. and Peck, D.E. 2022. Stocking rate and marketing dates for yearling steers grazing rangelands: Can producers do things differently to increase economic net benefits? Rangelands 44(4):251–257.

Derner, J.D., Budd, B., Grissom, G., Kachergis, E.J., Augustine, D.J., Wilmer, H.Scasta, J.D. and Ritten, J.P. 2021. Adaptive grazing management in semiarid rangelands: An outcome-driven focus. Rangelands 44(1):111–118. doi 10.1016/j.rala.2021.02.004.

Derner, J. D, D. J. Augustine, D. D. Briske, H. Wilmer, L. M. Porensky, M. E. Fernández-Giménez , D. E. Peck,  J. P. Ritten , and the CARM Stakeholder Group. 2021. Can Collaborative Adaptive Management Improve Cattle Production in Multipaddock Grazing Systems? Rangeland Ecology & Management 75:1-8.

Wilmer, H., D. J. Augustine, J. D. Derner, D. G. Milchunas. 2020. Assessing the rate and reversibility of large-herbivore effects on community composition in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem. Journal of Vegetation Science, DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12934

Lassa, M. J., H. Wilmer, M. Boone, Z. Brown, J.D. Derner, D.E. Peck, C. Thissen, C. Marlow. 2020. How to talk with ranchers about drought and climate resilience: Lessons from Knowledge exchange workshops in Montana. Journal of Extension 58: 1-14.

Augustine, D. J. , J. D. Derner, M. E. Fernández-Giménez, L. M. Porensky , H. Wilmer, D. D. Briske  , the CARM Stakeholder Group. 2020.  Adaptive, multipaddock rotational grazing management: a ranch-scale assessment of effects on vegetation and livestock performance in semiarid rangeland. Rangeland Ecology & Management 73: 796–810.

Wilmer, H. and J. Sturrock. 2020. “Humbled by Nature” A rancher’s mental model of adaptation in the great plains. Great Plains Research, 30: 15-33.

Hoover, D. L., B. Bestelmeyer, N. B. Grimm, T. E. Huxman, S. C. Reed, O. Sala, T. R. Seastedt, H. Wilmer, And S. Ferrenberg. 2020.  Traversing the Wasteland: A Framework for Assessing Ecological Threats to Drylands. BioScience XX: 1–13, doi:10.1093/biosci/biz126

Reynolds, A. Q., J. D. Derner, D. J. Augustine, L. M. Porensky, H. Wilmer, T. Jorns, D. D. Briske, J. D. Scasta, and M. E. Fernández-Giménez, and the CARM Stakeholder Group. 2019. Ecological sites: can they be managed to promote livestock production? Rangelands 41:239–243, doi 10.1016/j.rala.2019.07.003

Wilmer, H., M. E. Fernandez‑Gimenez, S. Ghajar, P. L. Taylor, C. Souza, J. D. Derner. 2019. Managing for the middle: rancher care ethics under uncertainty on Western Great Plains rangelands. Agriculture and Human Values,

Bruno, J.E, C. Jamsranjav, K. E. Jablonski, E. G. Dosamantes, H. Wilmer, M. E. Fernandez-Gimenez. 2019. Landscape of North American Rangeland Social Science: Systematic Map, Rangeland Ecology & Management,

Ma, L., Derner, J. D., Harmel, R. D., Tatarko, J., Moore, A. D., Rotz, C. A., Augustine, D. J., Boone, R. B., Coughenour, M. B., Beukes, P. C., van Wijk, M. T., Bellocchi, G., Cullen, B. R., and Wilmer. H. 2019. Application of Grazing Land Models in Ecosystem Management: Current Status and Next Frontiers. Advances in Agronomy 158:173-216.

Rink, K.A., P. Turk, S. L. Archibeque-Engle, H. Wilmer, J. K. Ahola, J. C. Hadrich, and I. N. Roman-Muniz. 2019. Dairy producer perceptions of the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Animal Care Program. Journal Dairy Science, 102;

Ghajar, S., M. E. Fernández-Giménez, H. Wilmer.  2019. Home on the digital range: ranchers’ web access and use. Rangeland Ecology & Management 72:711–720

Fernández-Giménez, M. E., D. J. Augustine, L. M. Porensky, H. Wilmer, J. D. Derner, D. D. Briske, and M. Olsgard Stewart. 2019.Complexity fosters learning in collaborative adaptive management. Ecology and Society 24(2):29.

Wilmer, H.,  L.M. Porensky,  M.E. Fernández-Giménez,  J.D. Derner, D.J. Augustine,  J.P. Ritten, D.P. Peck. 2019. Community-Engaged Research Builds a Nature-Culture of Hope on North American Great Plains Rangelands. Social Sciences, 8, 22; doi:10.3390/socsci8010022

Fernández-Giménez, M. E., L. B. Jennings & H. Wilmer. 2018. Poetic Inquiry as a Research and Engagement Method in Natural Resource Science. Society & Natural Resources, 1-12. DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2018.1486493

Wilmer,  H., D. J. Augustine ,  J. D. Derner,  M. E. Fernández-Giménez  D. D. Briske, L. M. Roche, K. W. Tate , K. E. Miller. 2018.  Diverse Management Strategies Produce Similar Ecological Outcomes on Ranches in Western Great Plains: Social-Ecological Assessment. Rangeland Ecology & Management 71: 626–636  Fact sheet Summary 

Wilmer, H.,  J. D. Derner, M. E. Fernández-Giménez , D. D. Briske , D. J. Augustine, L. M. Porensky , the CARM Stakeholder Group.  2018.  Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management Fosters Management-Science Partnerships. Rangeland Ecology & Management 71: 646–657  Fact Sheet Summary

Derner, J. , D. Briske,  M.  Reeves, T. Brown-Brandl, M.  Meehan, D. Blumenthal, W. Travi ,D. Augustine,  H.  Wilmer, D. Scasta, J. Hendrickson,  J. Volesky, L. Edwards, D. Peck. 2017. Vulnerability of grazing and confined livestock in the Northern Great Plains to projected mid and late-twenty-first century climate. Climatic Change DOI 10.1007/s10584-017-2029-6

Stephenson, M.B., H. Wilmer, R. Bolze, and B. Schiltz 2017. Evaluating an on-ranch rangeland monitoring program in Nebraska. Rangelands, 39: 143-151;

Iniesta-Arandia I, Ravera F, Buechler S, Díaz-Reviriego I, Fernández-Giménez ME, Reed MG, Thompson-Hall M, Wilmer H, Aregu L, Cohen P, Djoudi H. 2016. A synthesis of convergent reflections, tensions and silences in linking gender and global environmental change research. Ambio. 45:383-93.

Wilmer, H., & Fernandez-Gimenez, M. E.  2016. Some years you live like a coyote: Gendered practices of cultural resilience in working rangeland landscapes. Ambio 45:S363–S372, DOI 10.1007/s13280-016-0835-0

Wilmer, H., York, E., Kelley, W. K., & Brunson, M. W. (2016.  “In Every Rancher’s Mind”: Effects of Drought on Ranch Planning and Practice. Rangelands, 38: 216-221.

Wilmer, H., & Fernandez-Gimenez, M. E.  2016. Voices of change:  Narratives from ranching women of the southwest US. Rangeland Ecology & Management 69: 150-158.

Wilmer, H., & Fernández-Giménez, M.E.  2015. Rethinking rancher decision-making: a grounded theory of ranching approaches to drought and succession management. The Rangeland Journal 37: 517–528.

Wilmer, H., & Mealor, R. 2013. Incorporating women's voices into Wyoming rangeland research and extension. Rangelands 35:36-40.