Generosity Transforms Environmental Program
It is not an overstatement to say that the University of Wyoming's educational program in Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) was largely made possible by two people, Helga and Erivan Haub.
The Haubs' generous gift of $3 million in 2004-which was doubled to $6 million by the Wyoming Legislature's state matching program-provided the funding to establish the school, which was renamed the Helga Otto Haub School of Environmental and Natural Resources.
"Growing up in Austria I have appreciated the beauty of nature and learned at a young age how precious the environment is and that preserving it is vital for the future of human kind," says Liliane Haub, Erivan and Helga's daughter-in-law. Liliane serves on the ENR Board, providing gracious and energetic leadership. "This sense of care and responsibility has only intensified in the last 25 years as I experienced the exceptional natural environment of Wyoming. It is an honor and a deeply felt duty for me to help support the outstanding and immensely important work envisioned by my parents-in-law and embodied by ENR today."
"We have enormous gratitude to the Haubs for their investment," says Indy Burke, Director of the Environment and Natural Resources program. "It has allowed us to go far beyond student learning, to catalyze our engagement in complex interdisciplinary issues to change how we manage public lands and shared resources around the world."
Since the endowment was established, the school has awarded a considerable number of Haub Research and Creative Activities Grants, which has allowed nearly 40 students to travel abroad for independent research or creative activity in North America and around the world-Kenya, China, Germany, Chile, Argentina, and Belize, to name a few.
In addition, thanks to this endowment a number of Erivan Haub Scholarships have been awarded to UW students. These scholarships have supported student study abroad, fieldwork in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and both undergraduate and graduate student presentations at conferences around the world.
Also thanks to the endowment, the Haub School has dedicated significant funds toward international ENR coursework. Students in the ENR capstone course (ENR 4900/5900) have traveled to Baja, Mexico, to assess the impacts of a liquified natural gas facility, to Gamboa, Panama, to evaluate the environmental impacts of road development, and to the Bahamas to study ocean acidification and the impacts to coral reef ecosystems.
"The Haubs have a deep appreciation for the complexity of natural resource issues, with a global experience of the interactions among people, resource use, and the environment," says Burke. "They had the vision of supporting students to engage in these complex issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives, in Wyoming and around the world, to prepare them to be the problem solvers of the future."
For almost 30 years, Erivan and Helga Haub have spent summers on their ranch in Sublette County, Wyoming, while they spend the rest of their time in Germany leading the Tenglemann group, a family-owned retail company with locations in 16 countries that sells food, textiles, do-it-yourself supplies, and pharmaceuticals.
The ENR program also embraces the William D. Ruckelshaus Institute, the research and outreach arm of the organization. The institute brings faculty from across the university together with experts from throughout the state and nation to study complex environmental and natural resources issues, and it engages students, stakeholders, and policymakers in interdisciplinary problem solving. The program also includes the Wyoming Conservation Corps, providing students with leadership opportunities through public lands service projects.
Helga and Erivan Haub