Melodie Edwards

Reporter

Phone: 307-766-2405
Email: medward9@uwyo.edu   

Melodie Edwards covers a wide variety of Wyoming topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture. She is currently working on a civil discourse project called, “I Respectfully Disagree,” interviewing people in the state who are modeling how people find compromise to make change. She is the recipient of a national PRNDI award for her investigation of the reservation housing crisis and several regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, two for "best use of sound."

Melodie grew up in Walden, Colorado where her father worked in the oilfield and timber industries and her mother was the editor of the Jackson County Star. She graduated with an MFA from the University of Michigan on a Colby Fellowship and received two Hopwood Awards there for fiction and nonfiction. She is the recipient of the Doubleday Wyoming Arts Council Award for Women and is the author of Hikes Around Fort Collins published by Pruett Publishing. Melodie and her husband own Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse. She also loves to putz in the garden, and hike and ski in the mountains with her daughters and her dad.

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Melodie Edwards

In the last few years, researchers have discovered the earth is literally filled with microbes, those little single-celled critters we sometimes call germs. They’ve even been found living as deep as the earth’s core. And they say these microbes could help us gain access to thousands of years of knowledge. Now scientists at the University of Wyoming want to use those layers of ancient history to help us recover from wildfires as the climate warms up.

Melodie S. Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

It’s year two in a major project to catalog the microbes of Wyoming, and now University of Wyoming scientists have a robot to help them do the job.

pills
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Teton County Commissioners recently voted not to file a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department logo
Wyoming Game and Fish Department

More and more people are applying for hunting licenses in Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The 2018 application rate went up by over six-percent for the May 31 limited quota draw and that’s after a similar rise last year.

US Fish and Wildlife Service-Mountain Prairie Region

States in the Colorado River’s upper basin, including Wyoming, are considering ways to start saving any water conserved from efforts like avoiding irrigation in hayfields or watering lawns. It’s a novel idea being considered in the wake of low snow packs this year in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah that have caused Lake Powell to receive less than half its usual flow. That flow is needed to satisfy water allocations promised to states downstream. 

Greg Kevarian

Young children in rural areas are unintentionally injured by guns at higher rates than kids in cities, according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Anna Rader

It seems like people don’t agree on much these days, but there’s one thing many people do agree on: the need for more dialogue across ideological divides. So, Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards started setting up these kinds of conversation for the series, “I Respectfully Disagree.” 

Mark Elbroch

Wildlife management policies have contributed to a steep decline of mountain lions in northwest Wyoming, according to a new report published last week in the journal “Ecology and Evolution,” which found that population numbers have dropped by almost 50-percent in only 16 years.

Darrah Perez

Nationally, there’s a shortage of about 68,000 homes on tribal reservations, and on the Wind River Reservation, both the Northern Arapaho and the Eastern Shoshone tribes are hundreds of homes short. That’s led to severe overcrowding and homelessness there.

Melodie Edwards


Wyomingites once grew food in their own backyards or hunted it in the mountains. These days, though, more rural people are driving distances to reach a grocer, or even just a mini-mart, for their food. It’s led to nearly 75,000 people in Wyoming struggling with hunger and access to healthy fresh foods.

But now farmers markets, food pantries and nutrition groups in the state are collaborating to start a council to address the state’s food security issues.

Pilot Hill Project

Community organizers in Laramie have been working to raise over $10 million to buy 5,500 acres of privately-owned land, turning the mountainside property east of town known as Pilot Hill into a park. 

Miles Bryan


Aftab Khan and his family have lived in the Gillette area for over a hundred years, and a few years back the family opened a mosque there. Bret Colvin started a Facebook page called Stop Islam In Gillette and, after the mosque opened, he knocked on the door during services while a large number of people rallied behind him, some of them armed. The event was covered extensively in the local and the international news. Quickly, the online rhetoric between them grew ugly. 

But until now, they’ve never met in person.

Bison in Yellowstone
Daniel Mayer via CC BY-SA 3.0

Northern Plains tribes are calling for the Interior Department to keep Yellowstone National Park Supervisor Dan Wenk on board until after a program to relocate wild bison from the park onto their reservations is complete. 

National Museum of Wildlife Art/James Prosek

In recent years, scientists have been astounded to learn how far large animals like elk, pronghorn and mule deer migrate in Wyoming. But a new show at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson looks at both the great and small creatures that travel to and fro to reach the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards sat down with painter and writer James Prosek to talk about evolution, language and whether to name waterfalls.

US Fish and Wildlife Service-Mountain Prairie Region

After less than 20 years on the list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing the removal of a flowering plant from the list of threatened species. The pink and white Colorado butterfly plant grows up to three feet tall and along waterways in southeast Wyoming and Colorado’s Front Range but urban encroachment nearly wiped it out.

Melodie Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

Nearly 75,000 people in Wyoming qualify as food insecure, meaning they struggle with hunger and access to healthy foods. That’s almost 13 percent of the state and it’s even higher for children. That’s why several groups—including Centcible Nutrition, Casper’s Food For Thought, Gillette’s Sharing the Harvest and the Wind River Reservation’s Growing Resilience—met for a summit last month to discuss the need for a food policy council. Wyoming is the only state without such a council. 

National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

At a recent public hearing in Lander to decide whether to allow grizzly bear hunting, the Northern Arapaho elder society released a statement calling such hunting an act of genocide against the species. Elders Crawford White Sr. and Nelson White Sr. stated that, as a sovereign nation, they should have been consulted in the decision as required by law.

National Museum of Wildlife Art/James Prosek

A new exhibit at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson highlights the artwork of painter and nature writer, James Prosek, one of three people in the show exploring the meaning of animal migration.

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At a public meeting on Wednesday, tribal members from around the country spoke out against the decision by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to hold a fall grizzly bear hunt. Blackfeet member Tom Rogers is with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council. He said the federal government is required by law to consult tribes on natural resource issues that affect them, like a grizzly bear hunt.

Darrah Perez

Hundreds of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park each year are rounded up and killed to keep them from spreading brucellosis. But tribes have long wanted the disease-free bison to go to reservations.

Random Retail

Carbon County recently filed suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors, and Teton County is considering the idea too. But Wyoming’s attorney general would rather the state take the lead on an opioid lawsuit.

Bridger Teton National Forest

For the third year in a row, students from seven schools on the Wind River Reservation traveled to the Bridger-Teton National Forest to learn outdoor education. But this year fifth graders got some added instruction from tribal elders.

Tom Koerner, USFWS

Early one spring evening, I meet University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute’s Zoe Nelson at a rest area between Gillette and Buffalo. Shadows grow long on red bluffs and green sagebrush prairie. It’s that time of night when all the birds are going bonkers. We’re out here as part of a program to get regular folks like me and my husband, Ken—he’s tonight’s driver—to help keep track of short-eared owls. The program is called WAFLS or Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study.

As part of the 150th anniversary of the city of Laramie, an art group is working to create a community quilt in hopes of promoting civil discourse in the community. Laramie artists June Glasson and Adrienne Vetter recently started the Art and Action effort to teach people how to employ art in political engagement.

Dana Arbaugh

Zarif Khan, also known as Hot Tamale Louie. The idea for the sculpture came from Dana Arbaugh whose wife remembers buying hamburgers from him for 25 cents. Her father was friends with Khan. Dana Arbaugh commissioned the sculpture and said Khan’s story embodies the American dream.

Jean Harris

An Attack

It was on Thanksgiving night that Eastern Shoshone member Jean Harris’ life took a terrifying turn. She had been waiting for a text from her Northern Arapaho boyfriend of over three years, asking her to come pick him up and bring him home. He’d been staying with his parents for several weeks and she missed him. She put on her clothes, re-applied her makeup and drove from her house in Lander to his parents’ house on the reservation to get him.

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