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Q&A: Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources Dean John Koprowski

January 24, 2022
man outside with a rock formation in the background
John Koprowski at Vedauwoo Recreation Area.

Last September, UW’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources welcomed new Dean John Koprowski, who formerly directed the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Wildlife Society and the Linnean Society of London, he holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in zoology and wildlife ecology from Southern Illinois University, and a bachelor’s degree in zoology and wildlife biology from Ohio State University. Here, we spoke with Koprowski about his new role and vision for the school.

 

What drew you to this deanship?

The opportunity to make a difference in our future. The Haub School is so well positioned to have impact. Diverse expertise and broad-based approaches to engage in the most challenging issues faced on our wild and working lands have long been a signature of the school faculty and staff in topics ranging from wildlife conservation and food security to land management and the carbon economy.

 

What are your current goals as dean?

My ultimate goal is to maximize the impact of the Haub School on the future of UW and Wyoming. A 21st century land-grant university must have a strong interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to the environment and natural resources. I want to be certain to empower students to address the pressing needs and emerging issues to ensure a future of sustainable landscapes and livelihoods. I look to continue to grow our student body and to provide immersive experiences in the field. We are working to connect more with the economy of our state through new collaborative efforts such as the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality (WORTH) Center and joint ventures on the challenges of the carbon economy and energy transition —all of this while continuing our diverse portfolio of existing applied research that permits data-informed decision making on our natural resources and quality of life.

 

What do you love about Wyoming? 

I love the fact that all Wyomingites have a connection to the land for recreation or livelihood in ways that enrich our lives. No matter our differences, we are joined in an appreciation for Wyoming’s landscapes and an economy that is intimately connected to these lands. We can share stories of a Wyoming sunset across the mountains or plains spent with a loved one, a stately pronghorn buck surprised while we hike alone over a rolling hilltop, a trout caught with our grandparents, or a job where we get to drive across our beautiful lands on the way to and from work. Making a difference is easier when we are reminded that we start with much in common.

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