The Program in Ecology (PiE) is an interdepartmental doctoral program housed at the University of Wyoming in the high plains of Laramie. PiE is the largest PhD program at the University of Wyoming, and provides advanced, integrated training in the science of ecology.
The Program's central mission is to produce broadly trained scientists who will lead the field of ecology in the coming decades. As part of their education, PiE students develop skills in relevant technologies, gain exposure to a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and prepare to look ahead as new scientific opportunities and societal needs emerge. The Program instills a strong commitment to advancing ecological knowledge and applying it effectively to problems of societal concern.
The Program is grounded in the natural history of organisms in their environment, but incorporates tools and perspectives from across the biological, physical, mathematical, computational, and earth sciences. Students develop conceptual, historical, and philosophical perspectives spanning the entire range of sub-disciplines in ecology, while receiving advanced training in the sub-discipline of their individual interest. PiE fosters long-term career development by exploring the linkages of ecology with other disciplines, and by scanning the ecological horizon or emerging questions, concepts, and approaches that will shape the field in years to come.
The Program in Ecology was created in 2005 by a group of five faculty members from three different departments at the University of Wyoming. It originally began as a Ecology Project under a National Science Foundation grant administered by the Wyoming EPSCor Program. In 2010 and 2011, PiE has become a financially and administratively self-sufficient program, and is now housed in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center on the University of Wyoming campus.
The original cadre of PhD students in 2005 consisted of three students in Botany and Zoology/Physiology. Since then, PiE has grown to include 43 students, five alumni, 36 faculty members, and 21 affiliates.
The Program continues to expand and progress, largely due to a superbly engaged student body that seeks excellence in themselves and the program. Click here to learn more about applying to the Program as a PhD student, or click here to learn more about applying as a faculty member.
Click here to view a interview of Dr. Bob Hall, Director of Program in Ecology, who discusses the difference between ecology and environmentalism.