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University Of Wyoming Funds Five Grand Challenges Initiative Projects

A stone building called Old Main on the University of Wyoming campus in the summer
CC BY-SA 3.0
Old Main at the University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming (UW) is moving forward with a plan to deal with a range of issues, from rural health care access, to developing live stream access to remote wildlife viewing. It will explore that avenue through the school's Grand Challenges Initiative.

UW officials say the five projects selected for the Grand Challenges are issues important to the university and the state. Five different groups will oversee the projects. UW Excellence Chair in the Humanities Scott Henkel is among those working on the initiative.

"The Grand Challenges Initiative is an effort to build some resources and organization around some of the biggest challenges we face as a state, in the community and the country," said Henkel.

Funding was provided to kickstart the projects, but Henkel said the idea is for the five groups to secure long-term funding to help develop the solutions. He said many of the issues may be dealt with quickly, while others could take years to resolve. But Henkel added that the university community is excited about the opportunity to find solutions to some of the state's biggest challenges.

"The people involved in the initiative really do feel a sense of civic duty. They feel a sense of using whatever resources and talents we have to improve our community," said Henkel.

Other topics include developing a democracy laboratory, transforming UW's approach to research, and developing next-generation, secure, digital platforms that promote sustainable energy, production, transportation and consumption.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.

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