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UW College of Arts and Sciences to Honor Outstanding Former Faculty Member and Alumni

April 24, 2017
head portraits of Matthew Greenhous, Klaus Hanson and Bruce Smith

A former University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) faculty member and two outstanding alumni will be honored Saturday, May 6.

Honored will be Professor Emeritus Klaus Hanson, of Laramie; and A&S graduates Matthew Greenhouse, of Annapolis, Md., and Bruce Smith, of Bozeman, Mont., and Jackson. They will be recognized at the UW Conference Center, located at 2229 Grand Ave., at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow the reception.

The awards luncheon is open to the public at a cost of $35 per person. For more information, or to RSVP and pay online, visit

Hanson is the 2017 Outstanding Former Faculty award recipient. Born in Berlin, Germany, Hanson came to the U.S. on a Fulbright scholarship to learn English. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Muskingum University, he went on to earn both a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1973, Hanson joined the UW Department of Modern and Classical Languages, where he taught German language, literature, culture and translation until his retirement in 2005.

Concurrent with his excellent teaching, Hanson is a well-respected scholar. His research interests include older German literature, modern German drama, and history and phonetics of the German language. He published the biography and works of the early Baroque poet Theobald Hoeck and various articles covering German language, drama and theater. Hanson also was actively involved with international exchange programs with the University of Erlangen, Germany, and the University of Osaka, Japan.

In addition to teaching and research, he served as head of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages from 1986-89, and again from 2000-03. A renaissance man, Hanson maintained an interest in theater and performed in UW productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Death of a Salesman,” “Anne of the Thousand Days” and “Becket.” While a professor, Hanson served the Laramie community on the city council and still holds a seat today.

As the UW College of Arts and Sciences 2017 Outstanding Alumnus, Greenhouse earned a Ph.D. in physics from UW in 1989. He specializes in infrared imaging spectroscopy, development of related instrumentation and technologies, flight project science and technical management.

Inspired by the concept of serving the nation, Greenhouse became a federal civil service astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., after completing his doctoral degree.

He continued his civil service at NASA, beginning in 1996, where he could fulfill his wish of enabling more science for the global astronomical community.

Greenhouse works on the Webb Telescope, the largest science project currently worked on by the U.S. and one of NASA’s three top priorities. A partnership among NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, the Webb Telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in October 2018. Greenhouse is responsible for all of the science instrumentation on the Webb Telescope, which will have the capability to open the complete fossil record of the universe for study by the worldwide science community.

He is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the International Astronomical Union. Greenhouse also serves as chair of the NASA Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy program users group to provide input on matters that concern the scientific effectiveness of this airborne observatory.

An avid sailor, Greenhouse has a 30-foot sailboat named Friendship, which he takes out almost every weekend. He and his wife of more than 35 years live in Annapolis, Md., with their two children.

A wildlife biologist and science writer, Smith is the recipient of the 2017 UW College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumnus award. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Montana. Midway through his career as a federal wildlife manager, Smith entered the doctoral program in the UW Department of Zoology and Physiology. With Professor Stan Anderson as his adviser, Smith’s dissertation investigated population regulation of the Jackson elk herd. Smith spent most of his 30 years as a federal civil servant on the Wind River Indian Reservation and the National Elk Refuge in Jackson.

Smith’s dedication and enthusiasm for his vocation as a wildlife biologist is further exhibited by his production of more than 40 technical and popular papers and book chapters, primarily on large mammal population ecology, diseases, migratory behavior and predator-prey relationships. Widely respected by contributors and editors of peer-reviewed science journals, Smith has been a reviewer for Journal of Mammalogy, Journal of Wildlife Management, the Wildlife Society Bulletin, Wildlife Monographs, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, Journal of Rangeland and Forest Ecology, and Global Change Biology.

A natural outgrowth of Smith’s experiences are several books, including “Imperfect Pasture,” “Wildlife on the Wind,” “Where Elk Roam,” “Life on the Rocks” and “Stories from Afield,” in which he shares the products of his work and love of nature.

Smith is recognized for his dedication as a wildlife biologist; an advocate for wildlife and wildland conservation during changing climatic conditions; and a science writer who informs policy change.

Awards he has received include: Friends of the Wapiti Award from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; Wildlife Conservationist of the Year from the Wyoming Wildlife Federation for reducing elk dependency on artificial feed; Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance’s Hats Off Award; the Certificate of Merit from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation; Grand Teton National Park’s Outstanding Resource Manager Award; Craighead Wildlife Conservation Award; and a Montana Book Award.

He retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2004. Smith and his wife, Diana, live in Montana, where he continues his conservation work and writing.

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