UW Highlights

As Wyoming’s only university, the University of Wyoming is committed to explore, create, and share knowledge. Wyoming Public Media captures the work of scholars, learners, and leaders who are committed to serving the state of Wyoming and contributing to national and international intellectual growth. You can hear some of our stories and features on these pages. They reflect the work of hundreds of individuals dedicated to the University of Wyoming vision to imagine the future and to create it.

This weekend, the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees interviewed four candidates to replace President Tom Buchanan, who will retire this summer.

The search for a new UW president was originally confidential, to allow candidates to maintain security in their current jobs, but a judge in Laramie ruled that the University must release the names of its candidates to the public. In order to stay on schedule, the Board of Trustees obliged, but not before telling candidates the search would no longer be confidential.

Willow Belden

Sublette County has an ozone problem. Ozone is produced by emissions from the oil and gas fields and contributes to smog, which can cause health problems.  Several times in the past few years, ozone levels have exceeded federal limits, and the Environmental Protection Agency has given Wyoming three years to fix the problem. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has been working with local residents and industry to come up with a solution. But that’s hard to do, because nobody understands the exact chemistry of ozone formation.

mywindpowersystem.com

A group of University of Wyoming researchers received $508,000 from NASA to study aerodynamics and wind resistance at Wyoming’s Supercomputing Center.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Wyoming has one of the highest capacities for wind power production in the country. But University of Wyoming Mathematics Professor Stefan Heinz says most wind farms aren’t arranged as efficiently as they could be. He says the wake of one turbine often disrupts the turbines around it, reducing efficiency.

University of Wyoming just initiated a new program out of its burgeoning School of Energy Resources. The professional land management concentration will train landmen. Those are people who look for untapped oil and gas and other resources and negotiate contracts between their owners and companies that want to develop them.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that the program is just in time.

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UW Athletics

In the 2011-2012 academic year, UW athletes involved in NCAA sanctioned sports brought in an average GPA of 3.04. That’s the highest GPA in a decade, and it’s even higher than the general student body average. Wyoming Public Radio’s Sara Hossaini reports.

SARA HOSSAINI: Women’s basketball forward Chaundra Sewell is a fan favorite with nearly a thousand points scored at UW. She’s also a pharmacy student with a 4.0. She says that academics are more important to her than athletics.

The University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources is getting $4.4 million from the Hess Corporation to help fund a program that will investigate the flow of oil and gas through tight shale and sandstone.  It’s part of a UW effort to research unconventional oil and gas reservoirs through the Center for Advanced Oil and Gas technologies.   The Hess donation will specifically go towards the Nano Resolution Imaging Laboratory.  State matching funds make it a gift of nearly $9 million.  Governor Matt Mead says the gifts will lead to creative ways to improve energy development in Wyoming.

The ESPN/USA Today Basketball Coaches poll has ranked the unbeaten Wyoming Cowboys 25th in the nation.  The Cowboys just missed being ranked in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll by gathering just enough votes to place 27th.  

Head Coach Larry Shyatt is downplaying the ranking, comparing his team to riding in a car.

Shyatt is impressed with Wyoming's focus

Jan 4, 2013

Wyoming Cowboys basketball Coach Larry Shyatt says he is thrilled with the way his team has remained focused throughout its 13 game winning streak.  Despite the fact that Wyoming is unbeaten, it has failed to crack the national rankings.  Shyatt said the players have not let that distract them.

“And I think they have been really, really good at being at what I called it earlier laser focused on what’s important now.  They seem to repeat the saying that we’ve had around here that happy is for March.”

Sara Hossaini

A Wyoming Archaeologist’s work in Mongolia is shedding new light on the prehistoric people of the Rocky

Mountains. Wyoming Public Radio’s Sara Hossaini reports.

SARA HOSSAINI: University of Wyoming archaeologist Todd Surovell spends a lot of time thinking about how humans organize the space around us. In particular, our junk.

TODD SUROVELL: I don’t think archaeologists commonly portray themselves as studiers of trash, but that’s what we do. Ninety-nine percent of what we find in the archaeological record is refuse.

During the campaign season, many fossil fuel developers dreaded the idea of a second term for President Obama.

Bruce Hinchey of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming says during the last four years, it’s been harder to secure oil and gas leases on federal land, get drilling permits, and have environmental impact statements approved.

But Bob Spencer of the Equality State Policy Center says it’s prudent for the administration to strike a balance between mineral production and preserving land for wildlife and public enjoyment.

Architectural Design Students at the University of Wyoming are helping to re-design Buffalo, Wyoming’s historic downtown. The focal point will be an antique carousel with a unique local flair. 

UW Professor Phil Roberts on the WY Democratic Party’s Rise and Fall

Nov 2, 2012

University of Wyoming History Professor, Phil Roberts, says Wyoming’s Democratic Party lost many of its constituents when the state lost its large railroad and mining labor unions. But the Party also failed to make up for that loss by not painting itself as the party for the modern cowboy.   

Willow Belden / Wyoming Public Radio

The computing center that houses one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers opened today in Cheyenne. The new supercomputer, called Yellowstone, will replace an older computing facility that the National Center for Atmospheric Research has been using in Colorado.  Tom Bogdan is president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which manages the new computing center.

University of Wyoming trustees have decided on the process they’ll use to select a new university president, who will take over after Tom Buchannan retires next year.

UW’s Vice President for Government and Community Affairs Chris Boswell says the trustees’ resolution made a few things clear: “It sets out a prospective timeline, and also, very importantly, it sets out the very clear intention to involve faculty, students, staff at the university of wyoming, as well as external constituencies.”

The University of Wyoming’s fall job fair was Tuesday, and the students’ outlook was optimistic. A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers projects hiring will increase 13-percent for college graduates this spring compared with the same time in 2012.  The number of businesses represented at the fall job fair rose slightly this year, from the mid-80s to low-90s.

University of Wyoming College of Education students will now be part of a Comprehensive Teacher Performance Assessment that will determine the student teachers performance in a variety of skills.   UW was among the institutions that helped develop the assessment that is called edTPA.  Some states already require teachers to pass an assessment like this to get licensed, that is not the case in Wyoming.  But the College of Education will require the Assessment to help develop better teachers.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

Over the past few years, a growing number of people in Wyoming have been constructing buildings with an eye to making them more energy efficient. But Wyoming still lags behind the rest of the country when it comes to “green” building. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

Rocky Mountain Geology, which is UW’s only peer-reviewed scientific journal, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Editor Art Snoke says the journal’s mission – which is to cover a range of topics related to the area’s geology – will stay the same in the future,  but they’re considering some changes for the publication.

“We’re probably at a stage now where we may go totally digital,” Snoke said. “There’s many superb journals that are totally digital. And things have changed so much as far as publishing science, that that would be the next logical step.”

The University of Wyoming Symphony opens its season next week.  Director Michael Griffith joins Bob Beck.

Irina Zhorov

With the start of football season, comes the start of Cowboy Joe’s work season. Cowboy Joe, if you don’t know, is one of two University of Wyoming mascots. He’s a pony with a lot of attitude who arguably has more admirers than the football players themselves. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that the current mascot is actually Cowboy Joe four, and he’s passing the reigns to Cowboy Joe five.

Willow Belden

Talk to almost anyone who raises sheep in Wyoming, and they’ll tell you they’ve had problems with coyotes.  Traditionally, the response has been to kill the coyotes, often by aerial gunning. But researchers at the University of Wyoming are trying to come up with an alternative management tool, which they hope will work better in the long-term and be more  humane. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

The University of Wyoming just finished its second straight year raising over 40 million dollars in private donations.  U-W Foundation President Ben Blalock says the support the University gets from the state leads to donations from the public.

Listen to the story

This summer, the Snowy Range Dance Festival is drawing dancers from across the Rocky Mountains and as far away as Florida for a period of intensive dance training. Now in its eighteenth year, the festival has long been an important resource for dancers in the region.

The National Science Foundation announced today (Friday) that the University of Wyoming will receive a 20-million-dollar grant to study water resources in the state.  It’s the largest grant ever received by the University.   U-W Researcher Steve Holbrook says they hope to answer a number of water related questions and help future water managers.

Laramie resident Mark Jenkins recently returned to Wyoming after climbing Mount Everest. Jenkins is a travel writer for Outside Magazine and a contributor to National Geographic … and he joins us now to discuss his experience. He says Everest expeditions are long -- typically two months or even longer.

Wyoming basketball gets key transfer

Apr 23, 2012

The Wyoming Cowboys basketball team is adding an important piece to its future.  6-5 guard Charles Hankerson Junior is transferring from the University of Alabama where he was an occasional starter to play his last two years at Wyoming. 

He averaged 3-point-6 points a game in 30 games with the Crimson Tide last year and Wyoming Head Coach Larry Shyatt says he will be an important addition to what could be a young team in 2013.        

Rebecca Martinez / Wyoming Public Radio

By Sara Hossaini

The University of Wyoming dedicated its new Visual Arts building today.

Art student Beth Cochran loves the new art building, and points out a feature she’s particularly excited about while leading a tour.

“The lockers are brand new and we’re really, really excited. They’re really, really  nice,” Cochran says.

The Visual Arts building is huge, bright and energy efficient. The 79,000 square foot facility includes studios for faculty and staff, a gallery and brand new equipment.

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