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Published July 03, 2023
State, national and international media frequently feature the University of Wyoming and members of its community in stories. Here is a summary of some of the recent coverage:
Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down affirmative action in higher education will not affect UW much because, according to school officials, the university does not include any race-based considerations in its admissions process, reported Cowboy State Daily. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle published a related article.
National Public Radio interviewed UW Department of Anthropology Professor Robert Kelly and incoming faculty member Randy Haas on a new study focusing on female hunters among ethnographic hunter-gatherers. The study suggests the vision of early men as the exclusive hunters is wrong, and evidence that early women also were hunting has been there all along. The new research upends one of the key strands of evidence that scientists have relied on to infer what life was probably like during the period that started about 200,000 years ago.
UW economist Rob Godby commented in a WyoFile article that focused on a recent tornado that caused damage at Peabody Energy’s North Antelope Rochelle mine, the nation’s largest coal mine, located in northeast Wyoming. Godby said coal plants typically increase their stockpiles ahead of the high-electrical-demand summer and winter seasons, and the storm should not cause major production delays.
Politico profiled Chris Rothfuss, a UW Honors College assistant professor of practice and Wyoming Senate minority leader, for an article on what it is like to be a member of a tiny caucus up against a powerful majority. Rothfuss is one of only two Democrats in the Wyoming Senate.
Curiosity Stream, an American media company and subscription video streaming service, recently debuted the four-part docuseries “The Real Wild West” that explores the definitive story of the American West, telling the real story of the era where a diverse group of pioneers shaped a country and built the foundation for modern America. MovieWeb noted that UW history Professor Renee Laegreid was among experts contributing to the project.
Big Horn Basin Media and Buckrail published UW’s release noting that efforts to improve sage grouse habitat through conventional management practices may be ineffective -- and even counterproductive -- according to research by UW and other scientists.
UW botany Professor Dan Laughlin was among many scientific contributors for a paper published in Nature that focused on two previously published reports on the importance of roots for understanding plant form and function that reached opposite conclusions mostly by overlapping data. The new paper focused on the causes for the apparent discrepancies showing that the rationale behind trait selection is vital for the conclusions.
Education Week reported that Tiffany Hunt, an associate lecturer in UW’s School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy and Design, developed a smart speaker-enabled PD (professional development) lesson on providing feedback to students in special education. Hunt and her colleagues -- who see promise in smart speaker technology as a PD tool -- shared their findings at the International Society for Technology in Education’s annual conference last week in Philadelphia.
A working group appointed by UW President Ed Seidel submitted an 18-page report regarding freedom of expression, intellectual freedom and constructive dialogue at UW, according to Wyoming News Now. Wyoming Public Radio detailed many aspects of the report that can be found here.
Sheridan Media interviewed Chad Baldwin, UW associate vice president for communications and marketing, about a recent survey in which a majority of UW students said the university practices academic and intellectual freedom, constructive dialogue and freedom of expression. The survey was conducted for Seidel’s Freedom of Expression, Intellectual Freedom and Constructive Dialogue Working Group in collaboration with the Associated Students of UW. The Casper Star-Tribune (CS-T) published a similar article.
UW is among state agencies named by Gov. Mark Gordon to the Wyoming Semiquincentennial Planning Task Force that will make recommendations on the planning of events to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the U.S. Wyoming News Now, Big Horn Basin Media and K2 Radio were among media outlets noting that the task force will prepare proposals for events and activities as part of the celebration in 2026.
The CS-T reported that UW will receive a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish a new nuclear chemistry research facility on campus. The grant will allow UW’s Nuclear Energy Research Center in the School of Energy Resources (SER) to conduct the first nuclear chemistry research in the state while extending nuclear chemistry training to students.
Jerry Fowler, an assistant professor of law and director of UW’s International Human Rights Clinic, talked with WyoFile about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Established in 2012, DACA provides eligible immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday with a renewable two-year immigration status that allows them to study and work legally in the U.S. The legality of the policy is being challenged in court, and experts say the case is destined for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Oprah Daily included comments from Evan Johnson, an associate professor in the UW Division of Kinesiology and Health, for an article titled “Why Am I Tired All the Time?”
UW’s Biodiversity Institute joined local groups in sponsoring a bat walk to teach the public about the world’s only flying mammal. The Sheridan Press reported that Mason Lee, a senior project coordinator for the institute, led the tour.
Oil City News reported that UW-Casper unveiled a new mural in recognition of the students attending UW-Casper who have served in the U.S. military. The mural is related to the college’s new veteran support services, which include a scholarship program for veterans attending the school.
UW is among several institutions nationwide participating in a project that is gathering air quality data as part of a multistate project to determine the chemical content and physical properties of airborne particulate matter. KINY Radio, in Juneau, Alaska, reported that the Delta Junction air quality monitoring site has come online as part of a new national network that involves 10 states, including Wyoming.
Markets Insider published a CoinDesk article in which Steve Lupien, director of UW’s Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation, discussed how Wyoming’s regulatory clarity and crypto-friendly banks have started a blockchain revolution. Since 2016, the state Legislature has passed over 35 crypto-friendly laws. Lupien said more than 3,000 companies have domiciled in Wyoming, and they are bringing well-paying jobs.
UW entomologist Scott Schell was interviewed by Cowboy State Daily on the possibility of Potomac horse fever killing several horses recently in Wyoming. He said that a vaccine was developed for the eastern strain of the disease, but it does not work as well on the strain that is here in the state.
UW graduate Judith Herreid, from Green River, was selected for a competitive postdoctoral fellowship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. According to UW’s release, published by Wyo4News and SweetwaterNOW, Herreid’s two-year fellowship will be at the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory.
The Thermopolis Independent Record published UW’s release announcing that self-measured blood pressure monitoring kits are now available for checkout at the library in Thermopolis. The kits are offered through a collaborative pilot project involving the Wyoming Center on Aging at UW, the Wyoming Department of Health and the Hot Springs County Library.
The Wyoming State Library published UW’s release announcing that UW Libraries received a Core PR Xchange Award from the American Library Association for its Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone 2022 conference program. The annual Core PR Xchange Awards Competition recognizes the best public relations materials produced by libraries in the past year.
The Sublette Examiner reported that Sublette County School District 9 is attempting to make teacher and staff salaries more competitive to attract and retain top-notch employees. Superintendent Charles Jenks said that UW College of Education graduates are typically hired by Laramie and Cheyenne schools. He added that greater incentives are needed to attract new teachers to rural Big Piney.
Jeremiah Vardiman, a UW Extension educator in Park County, told The Powell Tribune that the wet, cool weather in the county is causing various problems for local farmers.
In a Cowboy State Daily article titled “Wyoming May Owe Utah Tribe Water From Green River, Flaming Gorge,” UW College of Law Professor Jason Robison commented that the Ute Tribe’s water rights claim remains uncertain. Robison is an expert in the 1922 Colorado River Compact, which set the precedent for water rights among Native American tribes, the seven Colorado River states and Mexico.
UW’s SER has a new lease at the Wyoming Innovation Center, a coal-to-products research facility north of Gillette. County 17 reported that, with the new lease, SER will expand its research and demonstration of a coal processing technology that originated in its Center for Carbon Capture and Conversion.
The Laramie Boomerang featured UW’s Astro Camp, a free weeklong program for rising seventh and eighth grade students to learn more about key scientific concepts and experience life on a college campus.
The Sheridan County Commission recently approved an amendment to an agreement between the county and UW’s IMPACT 307 business incubator program. Sheridan Media noted that UW’s IMPACT 307 has helped with the creation and launch of more than 300 companies across its incubators in Laramie, Casper and Sheridan since 2018, with 121 started in 2022 alone.
Sheridan Media also published UW’s release announcing that those interested in learning how to build a geodesic dome greenhouse have an opportunity -- presented by UW Extension -- to attend dome-building events at the Boys and Girls Club of Douglas and the Wyoming State Fairgrounds July 10-14.
Berit Bangoura, an associate professor in UW’s Department of Veterinary Sciences, will serve as the interim director of the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory for up to one year. County 17 published UW’s release.