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UW Haub School Dean to Give Public Talk on Groundhog Day

January 24, 2023
man with a statue of a groundhog
John Koprowski, dean of UW’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and international squirrel expert, poses with the statue of Fremont County’s Lander Lil. He will present “Groundhog Day: Facts, Myths and a Celebration of Our Connection to Wildlife” Feb. 2. (UW Photo)

The dean of the University of Wyoming’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, international squirrel expert John Koprowski, is set to deliver a free public talk to discuss the history and significance of Groundhog Day, the biology of the groundhog and what the day tells us about our connection to the natural world.

Koprowski will present “Groundhog Day: Facts, Myths and a Celebration of Our Connection to Wildlife” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2 -- Groundhog Day -- at the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium on UW’s campus, as well as via Zoom webinar. The celebration is co-hosted by the Haub School and UW’s Biodiversity Institute and will include a Groundhog Day cake to share.

“This Groundhog Day, satisfy your quest for knowledge as we explore the meaning of life through our revered rodent prognosticator,” the Haub School says. “Obtain answers to important questions such as ‘What is a whistle pig?’; ‘How long will our winter last?’; and ‘How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?’”

Koprowski is a leading global expert on the ecology, conservation and management of squirrels, with more than 200 publications on this group, including the compendium “Squirrels of the World” from the Johns Hopkins University Press. He even includes a publication on groundhogs on his list.

His research uses squirrels and other wildlife species as common indicators of the complexity of environmental and conservation challenges in human-dominated landscapes. Koprowski’s research has focused on the ecology, conservation and management of biodiversity through community-based approaches in the United States and more than a dozen international locations, providing data-informed solutions to conservation challenges.

His efforts in wildlife conservation, with the help of more than a few squirrels, have led to his election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Wildlife Society and the Linnean Society of London. In 2022, he was recognized with the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award by The Wildlife Society, the professional society’s highest prize for contributions to wildlife conservation. He serves the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list as North American coordinator for small mammals and evaluates conservation status of squirrel species from around the world.

For more information, visit or email Anastasia Brady at To attend via Zoom, preregister for the free webinar at this link:

Follow the Haub School on Instagram for event updates and interactive Groundhog Day prediction polls.

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