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Group Of USU Students Travel To Wyoming Dude Ranch For Research Trip


Lisa Gabbert is the director of the folklore program at Utah State University. She will being going to Wyoming with a group of 12 graduate students preparing for a dude ranching research trip at Grand Teton National Park.

​"Dude ranching, the idea is if a regular ranch would wrangle cattle, a dude ranch wrangles dudes," Gabbert said. "And the dudes are the guests who come and stay at the ranch. That’s what a dude ranch is. It’s a guest ranch, is another term for it.”

Gabbert said there are many dude ranches still working today, including one in the Tetons that has been working since the 1920’s.

"Right now they are doing CITI training, which is a training module that the IRB requires for anyone who’s doing research with human subjects," Gabbert said. "It’s an online training module that goes through ethical considerations. They all have to be CITI certified before they can do any kind of interviewing.”

The students will be given background reading assignments and a pretest before heading out.

“We are going to document ranching traditions at a dude ranch called The Triangle X Dude Ranch which is located inside Grand Teton National Park," Gabbert said. "So we’re going to be sleeping in bunk houses and out there for two weeks at the beginning of August.”

Students will attend morning classroom sessions on fieldwork ethics, hands-on training for interviewing and learning about the history of dude ranching and the west and have talks on general folklore ranching traditions. They will be engaged in field work and holding interviews with the owners, guides, local cowboys and guests at the dude ranches. At the end of the trip, students will present a slideshow of their discoveries.