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UW's School Of Energy Resources Seeing Decline In Enrollment

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University of Wyoming
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The University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources has seen a slow decline in enrollment in recent years. This has prompted the school to make changes to their marketing and recruitment strategies to try to interest new students.

Mark Northam, Executive Director of the school, is concerned that the drop in enrollment could affect students who are already a part of the single degree program. All 12 of last year's graduating class had confirmed job offers by graduation.

"When enrollment drops off, the people who come to campus to offer internships and the people who come here looking for employees drops off as well," he said. "So we're more concerned about outplacement impacts, than we are about viability of the degree program."

The degree program has two concentration options: Professional Land Management, and Energy, Land and Water Management. The school is starting to emphasize the renewable energy courses in each concentration more in their marketing materials.

"I think it has to do with all of the rhetoric on social media, deals with climate change, the future of coal, the pros and cons of continuing to use fossil energy, etcetera. I think kids are just losing sort of their interest in being part of the fossil energy sector," said Northam.

The school recently hired its first recruitment manager to help bolster enrollment.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Ivy Engel, at iengel@uwyo.edu.

Ivy started as a science news intern in the summer of 2019 and has been hooked on broadcast since. She was supported by the Wyoming EPSCoR Summer Science Journalism Internship program. In the spring of 2020, she virtually graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in biology with minors of journalism and business. She continues to spread her love of science, wildlife, and the outdoors with her stories. When she’s not writing for WPR, she enjoys baking, reading, playing with her dog, and caring for her many plants.
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