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September 4th, 2020

Cooper McKim

Listen to the full show here.

Wyoming Ratchets Up Carbon Capture Support, As Some Look Back Decades

Wyoming leadership is doubling down on carbon capture as a tool to help preserve coal. That effort is building urgency as the pandemic devastates the struggling industry. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim reports that some think it's too late.

Wyoming Job Outlook Is Not All Doom And Gloom

As many of you know it was a rough spring for Wyoming's workforce. Unemployment skyrocketed with the closure of many businesses due to COVID-19. The federal government provided assistance, but it took awhile to get the roughly $336 million it paid out into people's hands. Robin Cooley is the Director of Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. She says when the pandemic hit Wyoming things changed overnight.

Successful Bidders On Occidental Assets Have A Plan Forward

As we've reported, Wyoming withdrew its bid for roughly four million acres of mineral rights and a million acres of land owned by the oil and gas company Occidental Petroleum. The winning bidder of the assets is Orion Mine Finance. Jon Lamb is a portfolio manager with the larger company Orion Resource Partners. Lamb joins Cooper McKim to provide some insight into their thinking behind the purchase… which is still underway.

Reno's Arts Economy Dries Up Without Burning Man

If this was a normal year, many of you would be flocking to the middle of the northern Nevada desert to watch "The Man" - burn. But it's not a normal year, and this year's Burning Man counterculture outdoor festival has been canceled along with many, many live events across the region. As the Mountain West News Bureau's Paul Boger reports, that's taking its toll on the arts, the community and the economy.

How The Yellowstone Bison Quarantine Program Came To Be

Last month, the first transfer of 40 Yellowstone National Park bison to 16 tribes across the nation occurred. Known as the quarantine program, it took a lot of negotiations between stakeholders for the program to move forward. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska explains why it's so hard to simply move bison outside of Yellowstone.

Historic Buffalo Transfer Shows An Alternative To Yellowstone's Annual Cull

Hundreds of American Bison, sometimes known as buffalo, are slaughtered outside of Yellowstone National Park every year. It's a population control measure. But as Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher reports, some tribal nations are intervening.

University Of Wyoming Team Catalogs Quasars To Study Dark Energy, Black Holes

From Bison to the stars. A team of University of Wyoming astronomy students have compiled the largest ever catalog of quasars. Wyoming Public Radio's Ashley Piccone spoke with graduate student Brad Lyke about what a quasar is and why they are important.

Brinton Named True West's Best Western Art Museum

The Brinton Museum sits on the historic Circle A Ranch at the base of the Bighorn Mountains. Named after the ranch owner, Bradford Brinton, the museum prides itself on its extensive collection of Western and American Indian art. Recently, the magazine True West announced it as the top western art museum of 2020. Ken Schuster, the Brinton's director and chief curator, spoke with Catherine Wheeler about what honor means for the museum.

With Marching Bands Sidelined, College Campuses Lack The Pomp Of Fall

For many, this time of year means the start of college football. But not this year. Without game days and everything that goes along with tailgating, college towns across our region will look different--and they'll sound a lot different too. Wyoming Public Radio's Maggie Mullen reports.


Ashley is a PhD student in Astronomy and Physics at UW. She loves to communicate science and does so with WPM, on the Astrobites blog, and through outreach events. She was born in Colorado and got her BS in Engineering Physics at Colorado School of Mines. Ashley loves hiking and backpacking during Wyoming days and the clear starry skies at night!
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.
Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
Before Wyoming, Cooper McKim has reported for NPR stations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. He's reported breaking news segments and features for several national NPR news programs. Cooper is the host of the limited podcast series Carbon Valley. Cooper studied Environmental Policy and Music. He's an avid jazz piano player, backpacker, and podcast listener.
Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
Savannah comes to Wyoming Public Media from NPR’s midday show Here & Now, where her work explored everything from Native peoples’ fraught relationship with American elections to the erosion of press freedoms for tribal media outlets. A proud citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, she’s excited to get to know the people of the Wind River reservation and dig into the stories that matter to them.
Maggie Mullen is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. Her work has aired on NPR, Marketplace, Science Friday, and Here and Now. She was awarded a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her story on the Black 14.