Melodie Edwards

Reporter

Phone: 307-766-2405
Email: medward9@uwyo.edu   

Melodie Edwards covers a wide variety of Wyoming topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture. She is currently working on a civil discourse project called, “I Respectfully Disagree,” interviewing people in the state who are modeling how people find compromise to make change. She is the recipient of a national PRNDI award for her investigation of the reservation housing crisis and several regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, two for "best use of sound."

Melodie grew up in Walden, Colorado where her father worked in the oilfield and timber industries and her mother was the editor of the Jackson County Star. She graduated with an MFA from the University of Michigan on a Colby Fellowship and received two Hopwood Awards there for fiction and nonfiction. She is the recipient of the Doubleday Wyoming Arts Council Award for Women and is the author of Hikes Around Fort Collins published by Pruett Publishing. Melodie and her husband own Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse. She also loves to putz in the garden, and hike and ski in the mountains with her daughters and her dad.

Ways to Connect

Melodie Edwards

It isn't easy keeping America's folk arts alive, but the Wyoming Arts Council has been doing their best to preserve Wyoming's. Each year, they give out grants to folk artists who pass on their knowledge to the next generation.

Jack Mease braids rawhide to create beautiful horse tack like reins and hackamores, and now has taught numerous students, including Soliana Abernathy. Mease and Abernathy were among last year's recipients of the Wyoming Arts Council's Folk and Traditional Art Mentoring grant. You can see Mease's work at the State Museum in Cheyenne.

Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards visited Mease's workshop in Lander.

U.S. Capitol Building
Public Domain

Listen to the full show here.

Two Wyoming Republicans Are Playing A Role In The Impeachment Debate

Two Wyoming lawmakers are playing key roles in the impeachment saga slowly unfolding in Washington. Correspondent Matt Laslo has the details from the nation’s capital.

Ian Murphy

Writer Alexandra Fuller has penned numerous memoirs about her childhood growing up in war-torn Africa in a family constantly scrambling to find stability, and now Fuller has released a new book called Travel Light, Move Fast. It chronicles both her father's death in a Budapest hospital and the horror of her son's death soon after.

Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with Fuller at her home in Jackson to talk about how, as she gets older, it's even more necessary to process such trauma by writing about it.

USGS

The Wyoming State Engineer's Office recently heard a proposal to drill eight high-capacity water wells in Laramie County, and now 17 ranchers and farmers in the area are protesting.

Jingerwas/Flickr Creative Commons

This is the last week the public can comment on four options in an amended plan for how prairie dogs are managed on the Thunder Basin National Grasslands. Some wildlife groups hope to build their population in hopes of eventually re-introducing the endangered black footed ferret there since the prairie dogs are their main food source.

Wyoming is once again the state with the highest rate of workplace-related deaths according to a new report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Wyoming's Workforce Services. Last year, it was third. 31 workers died on the job in 2018 compared to 20 the year before. 

Go. See. Do.

Jackson-based writer Alexandra Fuller has released a new memoir that strives to reckon with her grief at the deaths of both her father and her son in close succession. 

United Nations

For the last couple of weeks, world leaders have been convening in Madrid, Spain for the United Nations' summit on climate change. Among them was a delegation of Indigenous youth. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards caught up with one of the delegates who is there representing the Wind River Reservation. Micah (Big Wind) Lott addressed over 500,000 people on a stage with renowned activist Greta Thunberg, and when the delegation protested at the U.S. Embassy, they were among 75 Indigenous activists, some who were arrested by Spanish police. 

Big Wind begins with an introduction in Arapaho.

Micah Lott

This week, nations are gathering in Madrid for the 25th United Nations summit on climate change and among them is a delegation of Indigenous youth. Northern Arapaho member Micah Lott, who goes by Big Wind, is among them. Over the next week, Big Wind will participate in panels describing how climate change is affecting their life back home.

Wyoming Public Media

If you listen to Wyoming Public Radio, you no doubt have heard the reoccurring promos for The Modern West. Some of you probably have checked the new and improved podcast out, but for the rest of you, podcast producer Melodie Edwards shifts into the guest chair to explain what it's all about.

Wyoming is one of the states with the most surviving glaciers in the lower 48 states. And trapped in the layers of all that ice is an intricate history of life on earth. During a visit to the University of Wyoming this week, Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down to talk with geoscientist Richard Alley about what this history tells us about climate change. Alley shared a Nobel Peace Prize for his work and participated in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Catherine Wheeler

Listen to the full show here.

Cheney And Barrasso Oppose Trump's Plan For Syria

This week Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney rebuked President Trump’s strategy - or lack there of - in Syria. And she’s not alone, as Correspondent Matt Laslo reports from Washington.

Native American Education, Research, and Cultural Center

Students gather in a sunny living room in the bright red house that serves as the Native American Center on the University of Wyoming campus. They lounge on couches, feet up on coffee tables, bemoaning homework and all the usual college kid stuff. They say they don't know what they'd do without the homey-ness of this center.

Steve Johnson via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The University of Wyoming College of Law will focus on Native American issues during its Law Week, an annual event when faculty, staff and the public share conversations on a theme. 

Melodie Edwards

African American history in the American West goes back hundreds of years, but not a lot of that history made it into the history books, and many stories are at risk of getting lost in time.

A museum in Denver is working to salvage them before that happens. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with the Black American West Museum's re-enactor guild when they came to Laramie's Higher Ground Fair. She wanted to find out about each of the characters they portrayed in full costume on stage at the fair.

University of Nebraska Press

Going to school might seem an ordinary rite of passage for children, but in Indian Country, school it has long meant assimilation and discrimination. It's why, back in the 1950's, the two tribes on the Wind River Reservation began the arduous process of starting their own school.

Melodie Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

Last week, Uinta County Commissioners made a trip to California to visit a privately-owned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility to evaluate whether the company should be allowed to build a similar one in Evanston. The original company, Management and Training Corporation or MTC, backed out, and a new company, CoreCivic, has stepped in.

Commissioner Mark Anderson said, during his visit, he saw a facility that was clean and comfortable.

WaterArchives.org/Flickr Creative Commons

A legislative committee is brainstorming ideas for how to protect communities from emergency infrastructure failures, like the recent irrigation tunnel collapse in Goshen County that left 100,000 acres of Wyoming and Nebraska farmland without water and effecting over 700 farms.

University of Nebraska Press

A new book details the hard-won battle fought by tribal leaders on the Wind River Reservation to open their own high school.

uwyo.edu

The University of Wyoming has hired a new dean to oversee the Department of Agriculture. Barbara Rasco is a food scientist, engineer and attorney known around the world for her work on food safety.

Now she's bringing that knowledge to bear on Wyoming's deep history in ranching and its new progress in local food entrepreneurship.

Global Indigenous Council

If you're driving I-25 in Casper, watch for a new billboard educating the public about the high rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Melodie Edwards

We line up in the sagebrush with a truly distracting view of the Wind River Range visible beyond, a bunch of gals pointing arrows at a herd of targets shaped like deer, turkey, even a stegosaurus. Each animal is tacked with several colorful balloons and it's our goal to pop them.

Pilot Hill Project

Efforts to create a 5,500-acre state park on the mountainside outside of Laramie called Pilot Hill is moving forward. Albany County commissioners recently approved a contractor to develop a land-use plan. SE Group will get paid $70,000 to seek public input and then plan out trailheads and trail systems for the park.

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