Open Spaces
12:23 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

April 8th, 2011

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A listing of today's stories:

State regulators are not sure how to keep high ozone levels in Sublette County under control
In March, Sublette County, in the shadow of the Wind River and Wyoming Ranges, registered ozone levels higher than any recorded in Los Angeles last year. State regulators don't dispute that gas development plays a large role in the county's air quality problem - but they're less sure about how to keep local ozone levels under control.

The NCAR Wyoming supercomputing center is over 50 percent complete
The National Center for Atmospheric Research says its newest facility is moving along. The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing center will be used for high tech weather research. Project Director Krista Laursen tells Bob Beck that the project is over 50 percent complete.

Those hoping to make money off of bark beetle killed trees are finding it difficult
Millions of acres of timber are dying off due to the bark beetle. Entrepreneurs are attempting to make the best of the decimation. But, despite efforts by the Forest Service to make the logs accessible, there are many factors that make things difficult for these fledgling businesses. Startup loans are hard to come by, the infrastructure is missing, competition is grave, and no one seems to be buying. Irina Zhorov reports that, with four million acres of beetle kill in the region, these business' success or failures could make the difference in whether the timber is wasted or not.

A Wyoming native talks about his new book, In the Shadow of the Buddha
Matteo Pistono grew up in Wyoming, in Lander. His family was passionate about politics, and Pistono worked on environmental issues in the state. But in the late 90s, he decided to change course. He went to live in the Himalayas, to study Tibetan Buddhism. Pistono tells that story in his new book, In the Shadow of the Buddha. He tells Molly Messick that the decision to go to Tibet very quickly set him on a different kind of path.

Some low income college programs face a federal budget cut
Among the proposed federal budget cuts in the U-S House version of the federal budget is several million dollars to what are called Trio programs. U-W's Associate Director of Student Educational Opportunities is Michael Wade. He tells Bob Beck that the proposed cuts would mainly hurt low income students.

The federal wild lands policy has Wyoming's Congressional delegation concerned
The Obama administration's controversial wild lands policy certainly has the attention of Wyoming's Congressional delegation. It is also about to become a pawn in Congress' fight over the federal budget. From Washington, Elizabeth Wynne Johnson explains.

A teacher in Thermopolis teaches using technology
Hot Springs County High school in Thermopolis is home to one of the most high tech teachers in the state. London Jenks teaches science to high school students based on technology. They log their notes and comments on an interactive chat room, they use a number of ipod applications and other types of technology courtesy of Google. In fact, this month Jenks, who is a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation fellow, will join other teachers from around the globe as part of Google's teacher academy. The goal is for Jenks to educate other teachers how to use technology in the classroom. Jenks joins Bob Beck to explain how learning is different in his classroom.

A new program is trying to encourage Wyoming high school and community college students to attend college
In January the University of Wyoming sent some of its recent graduates out in the state to try and encourage more students to attend college and find ways to better help them succeed while they are in school. The new project is funded by what is called a federal College access challenge grant. The college advisors are in Evanston, Rock Springs and Rawlins high school. Another serves all the Community Colleges. Although the program is in its initial stage, it already seems to be having an impact. Bob Beck reports.

Life is difficult for young ranchers
Young people in Wyoming angling for a career in agriculture face plenty of hurdles. Land is expensive and profit margins are narrow. But as the average age of Wyoming's ranchers creeps up, agricultural leaders in the state are looking for ways to make ranching a viable career for interested young producers. Wyoming Public Radio's Kathryn Flagg visits a ranch near Cheyenne for this report.