Ivy Engel

Part-Time Reporter

Email: iengel@uwyo.edu

Ivy is a current undergraduate student at the University of Wyoming. She is studying biology with minors in chemistry, journalism, and business. Hoping to go into science communication upon graduation in 2020, she’s excited to get a taste of the world of broadcast journalism and to share her love of science. In her free time, Ivy enjoys baking, reading, and spending time outdoors.

In the fall of 2019, Ivy was promoted to a part-time paid position.

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Residents in Wyoming and across the country are reporting packages of mysterious seeds showing up at their doorstep, but the recipients never ordered them. 

barrasso.senate.gov

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on reducing the spread of zoonotic diseases on July 22. A zoonotic disease is one that spreads from animals into humans.

A male Sage Grouse (also known as the Greater Sage Grouse) in the USA
Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from Sacramento, US

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) is asking landowners and outdoor recreationists to report dead sage grouse they find as part of an ongoing effort to track West Nile Virus (WNV) outbreaks in the species.

Ivy Engel

The Pilot Hill Project started in 2017 when rancher Doug Samuelson approached Albany County with a proposition. They could have first dibs on his almost 5,500 acres of land just East of Laramie - it was already land where people liked to recreate in the past - but they had to raise the ten million dollars to purchase it within a year. Since then, it's blossomed into a community-wide project.

Wyoming toad
Sara Armstrong / USFWS Mountain-Prairie

Imperiled species - species that are threatened or endangered - are seeing population declines that are much faster than they were 100 years ago, according to a recent study by researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Stanford University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. While Wyoming is home to a relatively low number of imperiled vertebrate species, scientists warn that's no reason to be lax.

Photos courtesy of DEQ

As the summer season ramps up, so does the possibility of Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms (HCBs). Also known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria are found in many bodies of water worldwide. They're normally harmless, but when their growth explodes and forms a bloom, they can release toxic chemicals into the water around them. They can cause symptoms in people ranging from skin irritation to liver damage, and they can be deadly to animals.

BLM Wyoming Photo by Mark Thonhoff via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tracking wildlife in Wyoming is no easy task, but the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) is working to create comprehensive datasets on the state's animal populations.

courtesy of WYDOT

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) may soon adopt technology that could give them an earlier warning when a "creeper" landslide is occurring and allows them to respond. 

ZJ Zhang

A University of Wyoming professor has come up with a novel solution to get people, especially kids, to wash their hands for at least twenty seconds, which is how long the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends to prevent contracting COVID-19.

Ramaco

Ramaco Carbon has long sought to develop a complex in Wyoming involving the manufacturing, development, and mining of coal. Permit and transparency issues though have caused the company to face pushback and delays.

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Yellowstone National Park is seeking public comment on the possible impacts of a wifi expansion plan to historical properties. The proposal would connect areas like staff dormitories, administrative buildings, and high traffic tourist attractions like Old Faithful to wireless internet, or improve existing connections.

National Park Service

The National Park Service has partnered with Grand Teton National Park Foundation to improve access to the Snake River.

Lauren Ponisio

According to a recent study, bees in areas with natural fires are more resilient in the face of a changing climate. Not only do these typically small wildfires clear away underbrush and dead trees, preventing the chances of a megafire, but they also provide important signals for native plants to grow, leading to an increase in native plant diversity. 

USFWS Mountain-Prairie via CC BY 2.0

Sixty-eight and a half acres of land along the Wind River front range is now protected as a conservation easement - which is a voluntary legal agreement that permanently limits uses of the land to protect its conservation values.

Downtown Laramie, Wyoming
Bob Beck

Listen to the full show here.

Local Government Fears Loss Of Tax Revenue

This is a tough financial time for a lot of Wyomingites. But impacts on the general public also impact funding for local governments, which directly impacts a wide variety of services from law enforcement to streets.

Brandi Forgey

Part of a rancher's daily life is dealing with threats to their livestock. And one of the almost impossible threats to try and solve is depredation - especially if the culprit is a protected species, like the golden eagle.

Yasunori Koide via Wikimedia Commons ( Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)

An invasive species of insect, commonly referred to as the "murder hornet," has been spotted in Washington state and British Columbia. Its actual name is the Asian giant hornet and it's known to decimate whole hives of honeybees.

Runner1928 via Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A 4,350-acre parcel of land on the Wyoming-South Dakota border is now protected as state land. The property is in the western Black Hills and improves access to more than 8,000 acres of adjacent public land in the two states.

Pixel Acuity LLC via Smithsonian Institute Entomology Collections, Usage Rights: CC0

Suckley's cuckoo bumblebee has historically been found across western North America. But in the last 20 years, it's only been found in a handful of places. This has pushed the Center for Biological Diversity to petition for Endangered Species Act protections for the bee.

Diana Miller

Yellowstone cutthroat trout are starting to show signs of recovery after nearly 30 years of efforts to eliminate the invasive lake trout threatening their population. 

Notnarayan via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

A recent study by University of Wyoming (UW) economists found that parents have a bigger impact on the environment than those without kids.

Flickr - Live Once Live Wild under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

COVID-19 has many people concerned about the health and safety of their loved ones. For some people, that includes their pets. One question is whether the virus can be passed on to their dog or cat or if they can pass the virus to humans.

Yellowstone National Park

Thermus aquaticus is a bacteria found in Yellowstone's thermal lakes - it's what gives some their brilliant yellow color. It was discovered almost 50 years ago, and it turns out to be a key component in most COVID-19 testing.

Casper Police Department Facebook page

The Casper Police Department (CPD) is offering a new optional video 9-1-1 service for the next 30 days. The service, called 911eye, will allow callers to share video and location data from their phone with emergency dispatchers.

Ivy Engel

On March 19, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon issued an order requiring all food establishments to halt sit-down services and move exclusively to delivery or to-go orders. Just a couple of weeks later, the order was extended through April 30.

Pilot Hill Land Purchase

A recent partnership between the Pilot Hill Project and Occidental Petroleum will help protect the 5,500 acre parcel of land east of Laramie from future mineral development. 

cgpgrey.com under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Liscence

A new survey conducted by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center found that more than half of the state's residents or their immediate family members have seen impacts to work or pay because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Screen shot from http://www.uwyo.edu/diversity/council-on-dei/committee-membership.html

Joining many other Universities across the country, the University of Wyoming (UW) is allowing students to apply to change how they will be graded in any class.

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