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Biodiversity Institute Shut Down By UW Administration

The UW Biodiversity Institute, known for its citizen science projects and K-12 science outreach, is closing. UW Communications Directors, Chad Baldwin, said the decision was made by university administration.

He attributed the decision to a loss in private funding, and he said efforts to come up with other funds have not been fruitful.

Baldwin said the scholarly work conducted at the institute, like the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, will continue at the university. But the community outreach and citizen science projects, which Baldwin characterized as “not scholarly” and “less impactful” will be going away.

“We’re talking about the moose counts that they’ve done, and there’s a project they've done counting amphibians and other animals across the state,” said Baldwin. “At this point, there are not plans to continue those.”

The Biodiversity Institute recently hosted its Bi-annual Moose Day. 48 citizens spent a day helping scientists with the conservation and management of the herd in Southeast Wyoming.

Baldwin said the institute will close at the end of this year. He didn’t know how many staff would be let go.

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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