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UW Launches Professional Land Management Program

September 17, 2013
Three men
UW Professional Land Management (PLM) Program Director Don Roth, right, discusses job opportunities with Fred Eden of Powell, left, and James “Olie” Houston Moss, Riverton, both majoring in the university’s new PLM program. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming will launch its new nationally accredited Professional Land Management program with a celebration Monday, Sept. 23, from 1-5 p.m. at the UW Energy Innovation Center.

UW’s program is one of just nine in North America accredited by the American Association of Professional Landmen. This fall, 13 UW students are enrolled in the new program, developed in partnership with the Wyoming Association of Professional Landmen and the energy industry, says Don Roth, the program’s director and deputy director for academics in UW’s School of Energy Resources. He says the Professional Land Management (PLM) program, a concentration within the Energy Resource Management and Development major, offers an innovative education that will prepare graduates for long-term competitive success in the oil, gas and mining industries.

“There’s a tremendous demand for landmen, particularly in the West,” Roth says.

Landmen have a vital role in maintaining sound stewardship of energy and mineral resources, Roth says. They determine land ownership and availability for mineral leasing; negotiate agreements with landowners for drilling and production rights; draft and administer contracts with the assistance of corporate counsel; coordinate workflow with geologists and engineers; and ensure compliance with government regulations.

Among the speakers at Monday’s program are Don Key, American Association of Professional Landmen president; Boyd Nelson, Wyoming Association of Professional Landmen president, along with 2012 President Marc Strahn, a member of the Professional Landman External Advisory Board; Erin Nelson, Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen university liaison; Diana Hulme, UW School of Energy Resources (SER) deputy director for research; UW Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dick McGinity; and Roth.

The program connects coursework in law, business, geology, engineering and math with opportunities for practical application. It emphasizes direct industry experience through internships, collaborations with practicing professional landmen and attorneys, field trips and other interactions with the energy sector.

“These experiences will position our graduates for immediate workforce success,” Roth says. “The program’s comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach gives UW’s program a competitive advantage, especially in the area of federal, state, private and Indian land issues.”

“We are proud to support the link between the students at Wyoming and the professionals in Denver and throughout the country,” says Nelson. “With the diverse class selection available, the professional will be an asset to any company, no matter where they go.”

Roth says key program features are small classes, peer mentors, dynamic career counseling and an active energy land management student club. Numerous competitive scholarships are available through SER for both new and transferring PLM students.

Fred Eden of Powell, a senior in Energy Resource Management and Development and president of the student PLM program, says the UW Program is “a perfect fit.”

“It provides the highest quality training in science, engineering, business and law,” Eden says. “Most importantly, the unique opportunities to connect with practicing land professionals and the personalized advising really set this program apart for me.”

“There will be an increasing demand for well-trained energy land professionals with specific knowledge of Western land issues, and understanding of Western culture, heritage and environment, and a good work ethic,” Roth says. “This program provides a great opportunity to be in on the ground floor.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the new program should contact Roth by calling (307) 766-6816 or emailing

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