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Byrnes to Lead UW Energy School Outreach Efforts

January 12, 2009
Mary Byrnes is associate director of outreach at the UW School of Energy Resources. (UW Photo)

Scientific and economic practices developed by faculty in the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) will be promoted locally, regionally and internationally by the school's new associate director of energy outreach, Mary Byrnes.

She comes to SER after serving three years as a commissioner with the Wyoming Public Service Commission (PSC).

Byrnes brings a wealth of experience and talent to this position, says Mark Northam, SER director.

"Mary is intimately familiar with the workings of state and local governments, and the energy concerns of the public and communities," Northam says "She has the demonstrated ability to organize and contribute to public forums in many areas of interest, including energy."

The SER already is involved in several programs to enhance Wyoming economic position in energy development while engaging in the best available ecological practices, Byrnes says. As a PSC commissioner she promoted cost effective energy efficiency and encouraged the most efficient use of Wyoming's renewable and non-renewable resources and the protection of state's physical and economic landscapes.

"I am delighted to be working with such a dedicated and talented group to develop opportunities in all corners of the state, including the Wind River Indian Reservation," she says. "The SER has been able to attract outstanding faculty to best utilize Wyoming's energy resources, including renewable energy, and to address challenges such as climate change and carbon sequestration."

Byrnes coordinates SER programs to support scientific and engineering outreach through dissemination of information to Wyoming's energy industries, companies, community colleges and government agencies. She also coordinates UW's participation in numerous conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs. She says SER already has developed plans to augment educational opportunities for UW and community college students.

"These efforts will build upon the strengths of their academic and research programs to help them better understand the issues facing not only Wyoming but the planet and to prepare them for sustainable livelihoods in energy-related fields," she says.

Between 1996-2005, Byrnes worked on school finance issues as a senior legislative analyst with the state's Legislative Service Office, and from 1992-2004 was an independent consultant on a wide range of economic research and policy issues. From 1984-1991 she was an analyst and administrator with the state Division of Economic Analysis.

Byrnes received her B.S. (1979) and M.S. (1985) degrees at UW. She served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Jamaica during 1991-92.

Posted on Monday, January 12, 2009

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