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UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

UWyo Magazine

January 2016 | Vol. 17, No. 2

New Era of Science

Associate Professor Robert Godby is part of a team researching wind farm modeling, transmission grid monitoring and the economics derived from wind-generated power.

Economic Research

Whether it’s assessing salary ranges or predicting future turns in the economy, economics Associate Professor Robert Godby’s research helps the state make important decisions.

“I got into economics because I wanted to make a difference. I always wanted to try to make public policy a little better,” says Godby, who serves as director of the School of Energy Resources’ Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy.

“It’s a great opportunity for our students and our faculty to become more engaged in the state,” he says of the research opportunities. “It’s also a really good value for the state because you get local knowledge, and there’s a lot of expertise here. In addition, you don’t have to pay a high-priced consultant, so it’s a good value to taxpayers.”

Godby began his state work for the Wyoming Department of Education back in 2001. “I helped develop some of the original ideas for the school funding model,” he says. This included assessing teacher salaries across the state.

His service to the state doesn’t end there. States must pay a minimum wage for skilled occupations in construction based on current prevailing wages. For the past 12 years, Godby has provided these estimates for Wyoming. “That has allowed the state to really have a continuous process where they use external academic knowledge to do this,” he says.

Much of Godby’s research focuses on how energy economies are affected by changes in energy cycles. Seeking this knowledge, the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority approached UW and Godby in 2014 to look at the future of coal revenues in Wyoming. “We were the only state in the country to actually have a project like this as the EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposal was being discussed nationally, so it’s gotten a lot of press,” he says.

“The project attempts to evaluate how coal production in the state might change over time. The numbers are dramatic. We think that coal could be reduced by anywhere from 25 to 50 percent by the 2030s.

“The state commissioned this study because they need to be able to see what’s around the corner.”

One of Godby’s current studies involves six UW departments. The colleagues received a $4.25 million Department of Energy-EPSCoR grant to research wind farm modeling, transmission grid monitoring and the economics derived from wind-generated power.

Godby and the College of Business are also working with the Southeast Wyoming Economic Development District to collect data and make it available to firms thinking of relocating to Wyoming. “The university could be a central part of partnering with people around the state to help with economic development and diversifying the economy,” Godby says.


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The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the University of Wyoming


About UWyo

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Subscribe

UWyo Archives

Contact Us

UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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