Contact Us

UW Science Initiative

SIB Rm 2030

Department 4325, 1000 E. University

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4415


UW Top-Tier Science Initiative Logo

Science Initiative Task Force

image of Dave Freudenthal

Dave Freudenthal, Co-Chairman, Former Governor, State of Wyoming University of Wyoming–J.D. 1980

Dave Freudenthal, a Wyoming native, served two terms as Wyoming’s 31st governor. In 2002, as a Democrat and first-time candidate, he won an upset victory in one of America’s most overwhelmingly Republican states. After his first term, he was re- elected in 2006 by the greatest percentage in the state’s history. By the end of his tenure, Wyoming was ranked as the “Best Run State in America” by 24/7 Wall St., based on a review of hundreds of data sets and a variety of metrics ranging from debt rating agency reports to median income.When he left office in 2011, his approval rating was over 80%—at the top among all U.S. governors—and he left his successor with a balanced budget and a billion dollar surplus.

Dave’s eight years as governor were marked by a constructive bi- partisan relationship with a Republican dominated legislature.This working relationship moved Wyoming forward on many fronts. As the nation’s least populous state,Wyoming maintains a resource- based economy, relying primarily on mineral and energy extraction, tourism, and agriculture for its economic livelihood. Recognizing the strengths and opportunities that this economic base represents for the state, Dave’s administration focused on balancing resource extraction and preservation with regulatory approaches designed to enhance long-term growth. 

image of Carol BrewerDr. Carol Brewer, Co-Chairwoman, University of Wyoming–B.S. Biological Sciences Secondary Education 1985;  M.S. Zoology and Physiology 1986; Ph.D. Botany 1993.

Carol A. Brewer, Ph.D., joined the faculty at the University of Montana in 1993.Today she is a professor emerita of Biology and retired associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UM and founder and principal of the Prairie Ecotone Research Group, LLC, a firm that provides consulting, assessment, and research services for scientists and educators in the life sciences. As a graduate student at the University of Wyoming, she received both the Ellbogen Award for a GraduateTeaching Assistant (1990) and the Outstanding Dissertation Award (1993).After graduating from UW, she conducted research and mentored graduate students at the University of Montana in both physiological plant ecology and ecological education. Her major areas of research and collaboration included studying the functional morphology and physiological ecology of plants from the northern Rockies in the United States to the southern Andes of Patagonian Argentina; exploring how film and television programs influenced science literacy; cofounding a citizen science campaign called Project BudBurst to monitor plant phenology nationwide; and training teachers to use their schoolyards to lead ecological investigations. Over the past 25 years, Carol has led dozens of workshops on teaching, assessment, and mentoring.

image of Tom BottsTom Botts, University of Wyoming-B.S. Civil Engineering 1977

Tom was born in 1955 and grew up on a ranch near Riverton, Wyoming. He earned a civil engineering degree in 1977 from
the University of Wyoming and joined Shell Oil Company in
the same year inVentura,California,as a production engineer in the upstream. After various onshore and offshore engineering assignments, he became division engineer in 1982 and then completed assignments in staff planning and corporate economics. In 1987,Tom became division engineering manager for Shell’s onshore U.S. production. In 1990, he became division operations manager and later assumed responsibility for both engineering and operations as division production manager.

In 1993,Tom was appointed manager of corporate planning for Shell Oil, a role that also covered the oil products and chemicals businesses. In 1995, he was appointed treasurer of Shell Oil while retaining his corporate planning responsibilities.Tom moved

to London in mid-1998, and then to Scotland in 2001, holding positions as UK gas director, UK oil director and UK managing director in Royal Dutch Shell. During his various roles in the UK he was also chairman of step change in safety, and a member of the Industry Leadership Team and PILOT (the Industry/Government cooperative body in the UK). In October 2003,Tom moved to the Netherlands and became executive vice president for EP Europe, leading Shell’s largest upstream unit with activities across Europe. In March 2009, he moved back to the U.S. and was appointed executive vice president for Shell’s Global Manufacturing portfolio, responsible for all of Shell’s refineries and chemical plants globally. Tom retired at the end of 2012.

Tom is currently on the Board of Directors for EnPro Industries based in the U.S. and Wood Group based in Scotland. He is co- chairman of the Governor’s Energy, Engineering, STEM Integration Task Force as well as a member of the Energy Resources Council at the University of Wyoming.Tom is also a long standing member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. 

image of Greg Brown

Dr. Greg BrownColorado State University – B.S. Botany 1973; Arizona State University – M.S. Botany 1978, Ph.D. Botany 1980 

Greg Brown, task force member and head of the campus Leadership Team, is associate dean of the UW College of Arts and Sciences, where he oversees biological sciences, fine arts, humanities,mathematical sciences,research support,and the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.

He is also former head of the Department of Botany and
former director of the Robert and Carol Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center. His research focuses on plant systematics and the morphology, chromosomes, and breeding systems of select members of the tropical Bromeliaceae or the bromeliad family, which includes pineapples and Spanish moss. He teaches plant form and function, and plant diversity and systematics.

He earned his bachelor’s from Colorado State University in 1973, his master’s from Arizona State University in 1978, and his doctorate from Arizona State University in 1980. 

image of Lowell Burnett

Dr. Lowell J. Burnett, University of Wyoming–M.S. Physics 1967; Ph.D. Physics 1971; Portland State University–B.S. Physics and Mathematics 1964

In 2005, Dr. Lowell Burnett joined Quasar Federal Systems as an officer and director. He currently serves as chief technology officer for the company, which is a member of the privately- owned Quasar Group. Quasar Federal Systems develops high- performance electromagnetic (EM) sensors and commercializes new applications for EM sensing technology with an emphasis on defense, intelligence, and security.

Earlier, Lowell co-founded Quantum Magnetics, Inc. (QM) and served as president and CEO from 1987 to 2005. QM is a high-tech R&D company specializing in the development of advanced systems for the detection of explosives, narcotics, and concealed weapons. Applications for QM’s technologies include aviation security, mine detection, and military force protection. As CEO, he guided QM through a period of sustained growth, with revenues expanding at a compounded rate in excess of 25% per year. In 1997, QM became a wholly owned subsidiary of InVision Technologies, the world leader in security applications of computed tomography X-ray technology. In December 2004, General Electric purchased both companies for $900 million.

In his career, Lowell has published widely and served as principal investigator on numerous grants and contracts. He served as a consultant to the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress, and was invited to address the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military R&D. Lowell served as a physics professor and department chair at San Diego State University, and was appointed a presidential postdoctoral fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was honored by the University of Wyoming as an Arts and Sciences Exemplary Alumni in 1993, and by Portland State University as an Outstanding Alumnus in 2003. 

image of Jeffrey Cummings

Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, University of Wyoming–B.S. Zoology and Physiology 1970, Honorary Degree 2011; University of Washington School of Medicine–M.D. 1974; Boston University–Fellowship in Behavioral Neurology 1979; National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, London–Fellowship in Neuropathology and Neuropsychiatry 1980

Jeffrey L. Cummings, M.D., Sc.D., is director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Cleveland, Ohio. He is the Camille and Lary Ruvo Chair for Brain Health of the Neurological Institute of Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Cummings is an experienced clinical trialist with expertise in clinical trial design and analysis, global trial implementation, and trial outcome measures.

Dr. Cummings was formerly professor of neurology and psychiatry at UCLA, director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA and director of the Deane F. Johnson Center for Neurotherapeutics at UCLA.

Dr. Cummings is the past president of the Behavioral Neurology Society and of the American Neuropsychiatric Association. He has also authored or edited over 30 books and published 600 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Cummings has been the recipient of a number of awards including the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry Distinguished Scientist Award in 2010. 

image of Brent Eastman

Dr. A. Brent Eastman, University of Wyoming–B.S. Zoology and Physiology 1962; University of California, San Francisco–M.D. 1966

Dr. Eastman, M.D., FACS, a general, vascular and trauma surgeon, served as the 93rd President of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) from 2012 -2013. He also recently retired as chief medical officer of Scripps Health and director of trauma services at Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla (1984–2014).

He is also an associate clinical professor of surgery and trauma at the University of California, San Diego (1994 to present). Dr. Eastman was the chair of the Board of Regents for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) from 2009–2010 where he played a key role in the college’s efforts to provide care to the victims of the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010.

During his time as the chair for the Committee on Trauma with ACS, Dr. Eastman helped create the COT Trauma System Consul- tation Committee. One of Dr. Eastman’s proudest moments was when he led the ACS Trauma Systems Consultation Team to Wyo- ming. Furthermore, he served as an instructor for the internation- ally acclaimed Advanced Trauma Life Support course since 1982.

Dr. Brent Eastman is a former member of the UW College of Art and Sciences Board of Visitors. He was the recipient of the UW Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997 and the UW Arts and Sciences Exemplary Alumni in 1993.

image of Fred Eshelman

Fred Eshelman, Pharm.D., University of North Carolina–B.S. Pharmacy 1972; University of Cincinnati–Pharm.D. 1974

Fred Eshelman founded Pharmaceutical Products Development in 1985 and served as CEO and executive chairman until retirement. Fred is the current owner of Iron Bar Holdings, Elk Mountain Ranch, where he operates the properties as a cattle and hay operation.

Earlier in his career, Fred was senior vice president of development and a director at Glaxo, Inc. (now GlaxoSmithKline), a multinational pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines, and consumer healthcare company. He is a former adjunct assistant professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy and former clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois School of Pharmacy.

Fred is founding chairman of Furiex Pharmaceuticals. He has served as a member of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and is a former Chairman of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations in Washington D.C. He is also the president of the Board of Directors of, Inc., a conservative nonprofit political organization with the mission of holding America's elected leaders accountable for their actions. He also served on the Pharmacy Deans Advisory Council for the University of Wyoming. 

image of Robert Grieve

Dr. Robert B. GrieveUniversity of Wyoming–B.S. Molecular Biology 1973; M.S. Molecular Biology 1975; University of Florida – Ph.D. 1978

Bob Grieve, a fourth-generation Wyoming native, was born in Torrington,Wyoming and raised on family ranches. He has experienced two distinct careers, one in academic science and one in business.

Dr. Grieve developed extramurally funded programs across four academic institutions over a span of about 15 years where he researched immune responses to parasitic diseases and taught undergraduate, graduate and professional students. He generated over 90 scientific publications and was an inventor or co-inventor on more than 50 issued patents. Bob received various awards, most notably the Henry Baldwin Ward Medal the top research award from the American Society of Parasitologists. In parallel with his research and teaching, Bob served editorial functions for three scientific periodicals and in advisory roles with the National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.

In 1994 Bob left his tenured professorship to work asVice President of Research and Development and then Chief Scientific Officer at Heska Corporation, a company that he co-founded in 1988. In 1999 he assumed the role of CEO, a position he retained for over 15 years. As CEO he accomplished a business turnaround, positioning the Company for growth, then moved to the role of Executive Chair of the Board of Directors in 2014. 

image of Philip Nicholas

Philip A. Nicholas, Oregon State University–B.S. Microbiology; University of Wyoming–J.D. 1979

Phil Nicholas first clerked for a Wyoming District Court Judge, then served for two years as an assistant attorney general for the State of Wyoming. Phil entered into general practice in Laramie in 1982, representing individual, corporate, and government clients. He also has extensive experience with business matters including contract and planning issues, along with administrative matters involving safety, environmental, personnel and natural resources concerns. Phil is a member of the Wyoming, Colorado, and Oregon State Bar Associations, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of Bond Lawyers.

Phil has served 18 years in the Wyoming Legislature consisting of ten years in the Senate and eight years in the House of Rep- resentatives. He has served on numerous committees including Appropriations, Judiciary, Revenue,Travel and Recreation, and Wildlife Committee. Locally, Phil previously served on the Albany County Hospital Board of Trustees, the Laramie Area Chamber of Commerce Board, the Albany County Planning Commission and the Laramie Economic Development Corporation. He is presently co-chairman of the Laramie Beautification Committee. 

Contact Us

UW Science Initiative

SIB Rm 2030

Department 4325, 1000 E. University

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4415


UW Top-Tier Science Initiative Logo