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Presentation on UW Science Initiative Feb. 8 in Cody

February 1, 2018

Two University of Wyoming faculty members and a graduate student from Cody are scheduled to speak about UW’s Science Initiative at the Cody Rotary Club’s regular weekly meeting Thursday, Feb. 8.

The meeting is noon-1 p.m. at the Cody Holiday Inn.

David Williams, professor and head of UW’s Department of Botany, and Chip Kobulnicky, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will be joined by graduate student Amy Saville Rhoad to discuss the initiative that aims to revolutionize scientific education and discovery in Wyoming.

Rhoad, who is pursuing a master’s degree in animal and veterinary science, graduated from Cody High School in 2009.

In addition to the Rotary Club presentation, the UW representatives are scheduled to visit and work with students at Cody High School Feb. 8 -- including a morning stop in teacher Dean Olenik’s “Biology II” class (10 a.m.) and teacher Amy Gerber’s biology class (2 p.m.).

The Science Initiative, initiated by Gov. Matt Mead and the Legislature in 2014, is an effort to enable world-class research and education related to pillars of Wyoming’s present and future economy. Through life and data sciences research that impacts areas including mineral extraction, agriculture, tourism, resource management and high technology, the initiative will impact Wyoming’s economy and give UW students a leading-edge skill set.

The Wyoming Research Scholars Program, one of the components of the Science Initiative, provides scholarships for undergraduates to study and conduct research with top UW researchers.

Central to the Science Initiative is construction of a $100 million facility at the northwest end of the UW campus, featuring flexible laboratories for interdisciplinary science research; the Center for Advanced Scientific Imaging; state-of-the-art greenhouses for plant research; a 200-seat active-learning classroom; and student collaboration areas to foster science innovation.

The governor, who describes the facility as “a unique research and teaching environment that will transform interdisciplinary research and education,” and the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee have recommended that lawmakers release $100 million previously appropriated for the project.

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