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

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.

A gas flare, used to burn off flammable gas -- on Highway 59 from Gillette
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

Listen to the full show here.

Barrasso Pushes To Get Wyoming Natural Gas Sold Overseas

U.S. House Democrats are taking aim at an issue Wyoming Senator John Barrasso seems to have spent the most time on in the past few years: Exporting American, well – Wyoming energy – abroad. Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

Flickr Creative Commons/AgriLife Today

United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited the Thunder Basin National Grassland on Wednesday. He took a horseback ride through the area in eastern Wyoming where ranchers and wildlife advocates have been working to find an amicable solution to the question of prairie dogs.

Flickr Creative Commons/Julio Molero

The greater sage grouse narrowly escaped listing as an endangered species because of a 2015 federal plan that kept oil and gas drilling out of its core habitat in the eight Western states where it still exists. But a new report released Monday by the National Audubon Society, The Wilderness Society and The National Wildlife Federation, and authored by Western Ecosystem Technologies, says those obligations haven't been met under the Trump administration.

Wyoming Migration Initiative/Flickr Creative Commons

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has approved spending $1.25 million to build two wildlife underpasses in western Wyoming on Highway 189. Game and Fish's Sara DiRienzo said Wyoming Department of Transportation and other organizations are partnering on the projects because of the high number of wildlife crashes on a 28 mile stretch of road.

Bureau of Land Management

For the last few years, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been swabbing bats where they hibernate in winter to make sure the deadly white-nose syndrome hasn't spread into the state. But this year, the agency swabbed bats in the spring after they woke up, too.

It's been seven years since passing boaters found Dawn Day's body floating in a lake on the high plains of Wyoming. Sitting next to each other on the couch, a warm breeze coming in through the screen door, her dad Gregory Day and her aunt Madeleine Day miss Dawn's laughter.

"She was crazy," Madeleine Day says.

"Crazy in a good way, huh?" Gregory Day says. "Make you laugh."

"That's what she did. She always wanted everybody to be happy," agrees Madeleine Day. And she says it was trying to make people happy that kept Dawn from leaving an abusive boyfriend.

Bob Wick, BLM

The state's sage grouse stakeholder team has recommended that Gov. Mark Gordon not only keep sage grouse numbers from going down, but increase them. 

Roads Less Traveled

Multiple energy industry trucks have crashed on a stretch of mountain road between Laramie and a booming energy field in Jackson County, Colorado. The trucks spilled fracking fluids and diesel into a nearby creek; one driver was killed.

Melodie Edwards

It's dumping rain the day Patrick Lawson gives me a tour around Wind River Internet's warehouse. Through an open garage door, you can see giant yellow spools of fiber optics lines. He points out a pile of orange plastic signs.

Melodie Edwards

It's been seven years now since Dawn Day was found floating in a Fremont County lake by a passing boat. But, still, every day, her dad Gregory Day and her aunt Madeleine Day still miss her laughter.

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