UW Highlights

As Wyoming’s only university, UW 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.

A change in University of Wyoming course requirements is causing controversy among faculty and students.

The change affects the general education curriculum of the entire university.  Students seeking a bachelor’s degree have to take the courses required under this program.

The new requirements are scheduled to take effect in the Fall of 2015.  It eliminates diversity, global awareness, and foreign language requirements from the required undergraduate curriculum.  It also reduces science and math requirements. 

Governor Matt Mead recently attended an Advanced Coal Technology Conference in Australia.  Eight students from the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources joined him.

Graduate student Mary Kate McCarney is a geochemist who attended the coal conference.  She said she appreciated the fact that students were included in the conversation at the conference.

University of Wyoming President Dick McGinity is proposing that UW raise tuition and fees in the next academic year. In a recent letter McGinity proposed that the university increase tuition by four percent and student fees by $91. This would mean a rise in full time resident tuition by $211 to $4,615.

UW Vice President of Government and Communication affairs Chris Boswell says though that the University has several options in the future to help with rising costs of utilities, building maintenance and supplies.

The University of Wyoming is hosting its first annual jazz festival Thursday, March 27 and Friday, March 28. Both days are filled with concerts by high school and middle school jazz groups from around Wyoming. Guest artists from around the country will provide feedback to the performers and conduct clinics with the groups. UW professor and festival organizer Scott Turpen says first and foremost, the festival is about education.

Governor Matt Mead has appointed three new board members to the Wyoming Arts Council.

One of them is writer and University of Wyoming instructor Nina McConigley. McConigley published her first short story collection, “Cowboys and East Indians” late last year. She won a major Arts Council grant in 2010, an experience McConigley says gave her the confidence to finish her book.

A study by several University of Wyoming researchers on salmon spawning in the Pacific Northwest could help pacific fish populations as well as Wyoming trout numbers. Clifford Riebe is an assistant professor in UW's Geology Department and helped author the study.

The report says certain kinds of riverbeds help salmon spawning and since trout and salmon are closely related Riebe says managers in both areas could use the data to grow fish populations.

David Blehert

Alison Teal grew up traveling the world with her adventure-photographer parents. She’s following in their footsteps by globetrotting with a camera and a pink surfboard to create the online TV show Alison’s Adventures. Teal shares her cross-cultural experiences at the University of Wyoming on Wednesday, March 12. She stopped by the WPM studios to speak with Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer.

School of the Museum of Fine Arts

Eminent Artist in Residence Bently Spang is spending the spring semester at the University of Wyoming. His exhibition 'Bently Spang: On Fire' is on display through March 22 at the UW Art Museum, and he'll host the multi-media Tekcno Pow Wow III April 2 at the Wyoming Union Ballroom.

The University of Wyoming won the national college basketball championship in 1943. Shortly after their triumph, several Cowboys started training for a bigger fight: World War II.

A new movie about the Cowboys’ epic championship game victory over St. John’s University in fabled Madison Square Garden premieres tonight, March 6, in Laramie at The Wyo Theater at 7pm.

Rachael L. Shaw

A new video-dance premiers at the University of Wyoming this week. To make the five-minute video, three dancers improvised in front of the camera at Curt Gowdy State Park and Lake Hattie, near Laramie. The video-dance explores what it means for the dancers to be fully present in and influenced by nature—hence the title, ‘by and in.’ Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with the film’s director, Rachael Shaw.

On Thursday, March 6, the University of Wyoming Symphony is collaborating with two guest artists: jazz harmonica virtuoso Gregoire Maret and visiting conductor Tonu Kalam. Kalam has directed professional orchestras around the world, and for more than two decades, he’s directed the University of North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer asked Kalam what he most enjoys about conducting student orchestras.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming is getting a major donation for its new energy and engineering research complex.  Halliburton is giving $2 million to be applied towards a 'high bay' research facility.  

The facility's size will allow for large scale experiments.  Halliburton is also giving UW an additional $1 million for research into unconventional oil and gas reservoirs.  The gift will be matched by the state.  Governor Matt Mead says it was an exciting discussion with Halliburton.

Wyoming’s pronghorn populations have been declining rapidly in the last ten years and a coalition of groups including the University of Wyoming and Game and Fish are trying to figure out why.  In 2010, there were over 500,000 pronghorn in the state.  Today, that number has dropped to a little more than 400,000.

Jeff Beck is an associate professor of Ecosystems Science and Management at UW.  Last November, he and a team of scientists took to the field to figure out why. They helicopter-netted 130 pronghorns in three test areas of the Red Desert. 

The Wyoming House and Senate approved their versions of the state budget on Friday and will now work on reaching a compromise to send to the Governor.  One of the entities that received a lot of attention was the University of Wyoming.  Senate Appropriations Chairman Eli Bebout said that UW was treated well.

“We made some cuts, that’s what we do.  But we gave some endowment money, we are moving ahead on a tier 1 Engineering College, we did the double-A, looking at the Corbett pools, we did that endowed chair for petroleum engineering.”

The Wyoming House and Senate withdrew an amendment that stirred up segments of the University of Wyoming community Wednesday. The Amendment would have been added to the budget bill. 

It required UW deans to meet with a special legislative committee to discuss areas of mutual concern and ways to enhance the educational missions of their departments.

A study by UW scientists finds that bedrock plays as big of a role as climate in determining how much vegetation grows in an area.

Bedrock is the layer of rock beneath the soil.

Lead author Jesse Hahm says he did the research because he was puzzled by the patchiness of forest cover.

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has formalized a public art policy that's been informally in effect since 2012. The policy creates the President’s Public Art Committee, which is made up of five members from art and non-art departments on campus. The Committee is responsible for reviewing art works proposed for installation on and around campus, and providing recommendations. The UW President, in consultation with the President of the Trustees makes the final call.

Grammy-award winning jazz group, the Yellowjackets, will perform with the University of Wyoming Jazz Ensemble Thursday night. The Yellowjackets will also conduct workshops with UW musicians.  UW Jazz Ensemble director Scott Turpen says the Yellowjackets’ visit is part of the music department’s Eminent Artist-in-Residence program.

Micah Schweizer

The University of Wyoming Art Museum’s spring exhibitions are now open to the public. Current displays feature everything from visiting artist Bently Spang’s burnt tree rubbings to student and faculty work to American Gothic landscapes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a look at what goes into putting all that art on the wall.

In collaboration with the University of Wyoming, a local food advocacy group conducted a study to find out just how many vegetables a backyard garden in Wyoming can produce.  The project is called Team G.R.O.W., or Gardening Research of Wyoming. 

Debra Fine

On Thursday acclaimed author and speaker Debra Fine will appear at the University of Wyoming Ballroom at 4:30  discussing the art of a conversation.  Fine is a former engineer and the founder of the company called The Fine Art of Small Talk.

VanHouten Photography

Maestro Gerard Schwarz raises his baton at the University of Wyoming. The former Seattle Symphony Orchestra director has 13 Grammy nominations and two Emmy wins to his credit, among numerous other awards. Tonight (Feb. 6), he’ll conduct three university ensembles in a public performance at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 PM. UW music department chair Theresa Bogard says Schwarz is honing the student groups’ sound.

A research lab dedicated to finding new ways to collect and use carbon dioxide is a step closer to becoming a reality. 

The Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee has recommended that $15 million be set aside for the project, which would be located at one of Wyoming’s coal-fired power plants.  The project would be a collaboration between the state, the University of Wyoming, and a power company.

Former University of Wyoming rodeo coach Pete Burns died at his home in Laramie on January 25.  He was 85 years old.  Pete Burns served as the university’s rodeo coach from 1982 until 1996. 

His oldest son, Hal Burns, says his father leaves behind a well-regarded legacy for the UW rodeo team. “Fourteen years, he coached the University of Wyoming rodeo team,” Hal says.  “During his tenure, the Wyoming women won eight regional championships and three national championships, which is pretty amazing.  He was very, very top coach in the college rodeo.  Had lots of success.”

The University of Wyoming Athletics Department says that ten million dollars in private donations has been raised as it moves forward with the 30 million dollar Arena Auditorium renovation project. 

The redesign and remodel of the facility will include a new a statute to honor Wyoming basketball legend Kenny Sailors and the court will be named after Cheyenne businessman Maury Brown.  U-W Athletics Director Tom Burman says Brown’s contribution allowed the project to go forward.                     

For forty years the U-S has banned the export of most all crude oil. Matt Laslo reports a new debate is raging in Washington over whether to end the ban.

MATT LASLO: The U-S banned crude oil exports after the Arab oil embargo of 1973. It’s been in place since, which has negatively impacted global oil prices. Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso says he’s ready to lift the ban.

Willow Belden

When energy development happens on public lands, companies have to reclaim the land. That means restoring the landscape after it’s been disturbed. But exactly what’s required varies from one part of the state to another. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that agencies are making those rules more consistent, in hopes of helping keep sage grouse off the endangered species list.

UW News Service

Last summer Paula Lutz from Montana State University was hired to replace longtime University of Wyoming Arts and Sciences Dean Oliver Walter.  She joins us today on Open Spaces to share her vision for the College.  She speaks with Bob Beck.

UW Conservation Corps Still Alive

Jan 23, 2014

Almost a month after saying they didn’t have the funds to operate this summer, the Wyoming Conservation Corps is back in business. 

Last month program leaders said the Corps was short on money, but a loan from the U-W Research Office and money from Residence Life and Dining Service will allow the program to move forward.

The program pays students to perform conservation work around the state during the summer.  This year it will be a scaled down program, according to Director Patrick Call. 

University of Wyoming

For many years, Wyoming lawmakers have been reluctant to impose new regulations on industry.  At the national level, the congressional delegation has been highly critical anytime the Environmental Protection Agency proposes new regulations on energy production, saying that it costs jobs. 

State leaders have echoed those statements, and over the years many legislators have even expressed concern about adding staff to the Department of Environmental Quality, fearing that it could lead to over regulation. 

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