Biodiversity Institute

Brandon Hays

When University of Wyoming Department of Botany Associate Professor Daniel Laughlin realized he would have to teach ecology online for the fall semester, he started searching for a resource to show his students landscapes from afar.

When he didn't find what he was looking for, Laughlin and his graduate students designed the Global Vegetation Project.

UW BIODIVERSITY INSTITUTE

The BioBlitz asks people in Wyoming to take pictures of wildlife and plants so that scientists can get a snapshot of the ecosystem in the state. 

Biodiversity Institute

The future of the Biodiversity Institute at the University of Wyoming has been uncertain for the last six months. Thursday the UW Board of Trustees approved plans to keep it open.

Rocky Mountain Citizen Science Conference

Citizen science is the focus of the last event planned by the Biodiversity Institute whose future is uncertain. This weekend, the Rocky Mountain Citizen Science Conference located in Cody brings scientists involved in projects where people in the community help collect data for science research projects. Community-engaged scientific research is booming.

Tennessee Watson

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees delayed action on the future of the Biodiversity Institute. Its funding runs out at the end of December. The UW administration originally announced it would shut down the institute, and its science education and outreach efforts, and turn to a heavier focus on biodiversity research.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

University of Wyoming leadership held a town hall meeting Wednesday to get input on a transition plan for the closing of the Biodiversity Institute, but many who attended are still uncertain about what's to come.

Biodiversity Institute

In its remaining months, the Biodiversity Institute is gearing up for a regional conference on citizen science. In late July, the University of Wyoming announced plans to shut down the institute, which promotes the study of living organisms by learners of all ages, from pre-schoolers to Ph.D. students.

The UW Biodiversity Institute, known for its citizen science projects and K-12 science outreach, is closing. UW Communications Directors, Chad Baldwin, said the decision was made by university administration.

Tom Koerner, USFWS

Early one spring evening, I meet University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute’s Zoe Nelson at a rest area between Gillette and Buffalo. Shadows grow long on red bluffs and green sagebrush prairie. It’s that time of night when all the birds are going bonkers. We’re out here as part of a program to get regular folks like me and my husband, Ken—he’s tonight’s driver—to help keep track of short-eared owls. The program is called WAFLS or Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study.

Willow Belden

Last year, a mysterious collection of stuffed birds was found at the Laramie high school. It was a discovery that was perplexing at the time, but that would end up being a goldmine for scientists at the University of Wyoming.

It all started last summer, when a biology teacher was packing up her classroom to move to a new building. In the process, she came across some boxes of stuffed birds.

Nobody at the school knew anything about them, and none of the teachers wanted them. So they offered them to the University of Wyoming.