Science

A recent report card on climate change education in public middle and high schools across the U.S. ranked Wyoming at the top of the class with a solid A. The rest of the Mountain West was mixed.

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Scientists know there is a reservoir of water deep beneath Yellowstone National Park. Somehow, that water rises through the earth, creating the features that make Yellowstone unique. Researchers at the University of Wyoming and Montana State University are trying to figure out what's going on beneath the surface and what that means for life in the park and beyond.

Photos courtesy of USFS National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation

It's a bit like CSI - if the cops suspect someone has been there, they check for DNA, take it back to the lab, and figure out who it belongs to. Only these researchers aren't looking for crooks - they're looking for endangered or invasive species, using environmental DNA (eDNA).

Roy Anderson / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Denialism isn't just for climate change anymore.

A new paper published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution calls attention to "the creeping rise of extinction denial."

Courtesy of NYU's Applied Mathematics Lab

How the unique topography of places like Sinks Canyon State Park in Wyoming formed has puzzled researchers for a long time. But researchers at New York University published research last week that gave some insight into the process.

The lab going up in Boise, Idaho, will be part of a new, larger U.S. Geological Survey building. And it would test environmental DNA, or eDNA, from around the nation. That is, instead of trying to find an invasive animal, like a single mussel or fish in a lake, scientists could just sample water to test for DNA of certain species.


A vaccine against the virus behind COVID-19 offers the only certain return to normalcy. Even so, misinformation and conspiracy theories abound – and a vaccine hasn’t even been developed yet. It’s an issue people have been trying to combat for other vaccines that do exist. Colorado researchers are taking an interesting approach to bridge the gap.

NASA

Wyomingites have a rare opportunity to look to the skies for rocky and icy remnants left over from when our solar system formed—also known as a comet.

Kristen Landreville

According to a Pew Research Center study, scientist is one of the most trusted professions in the U.S., second only to the military. Trust levels are lower for K-12 principals, religious leaders, the media, and elected officials. So why do we hear so many people question scientific findings?

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. 

The microbe known as Verrucomicrobium spinosum, catalogued by microbestiary.org
Dennis Kunkel and James T. Staley

The microbesitary is a University of Wyoming program and website that seeks to illustrate the microbial world.

Imagine something like a velociraptor, but faster and stronger, and with feathers.


Mike Lockhart

Wyoming is one of the most important golden eagle habitats in North America. But the iconic raptors are facing a potential population decline due to conventional and renewable energy development and other human-caused threats.

Savannah Maher

Every Wednesday afternoon, one hallway at Wyoming Indian High School turns into a robotics arena.

During an after school scrimmage in December, two teams were using remote controlled robots — which they built and programmed themselves — to move big yellow blocks called “stones” around an obstacle course. 12th grader Maranda Blackbird explained the rules.

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.

The Trump administration on Friday ordered agencies to eliminate at least one-third of their advisory committees, a move that has government watchdogs and science advocacy groups concerned.

Lusha Tronstad

Alpine areas are predicted to be one of the areas most affected by climate change and some unique microbes have made their homes in the glacier-fed streams there. The loss of these little critters can have large effects on both the ecosystem around them and on people, says University of Wyoming invertebrate zoologist Lusha Tronstad.

Wikimedia Commons

Every year, the University of Wyoming hosts the annual Wyoming Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) conference. The event is focused on inspiring young women, 7th grade through high school, who are interested in STEM subjects to continue in the field by providing them with role models and networks on campus.

An organization called ‘500 Women Scientists’ got its start in the Mountain West. Now, it has gone global with a database of experts who are also women.

It all started when members of the group noticed a pattern: an overabundance of something they call ‘manels.’

“They are all-male panels,” says Liz McCullagh, a neuroscientist at the University of Colorado and a member of 500 Women Scientists. “And in particular in fields where we know there’s a lot of representation of women, it’s incredibly frustrating.”

A junior high school robotics team from Casper has won a state LEGO robotics competition and will travel to Houston to compete against teams from across the world.

Archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Golden, Colorado, have found that people lived there thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

The site is called “Magic Mountain” after an amusement park that used to own the land back when excavations started in the 1950s.

Archaeologists like Mark Mitchell knew that people, likely nomadic hunter-gatherers, had lived and camped at the site for much of the last 5,000 years. 

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.

A paper published in BioScience looks at how poetry can be used to teach scientific concepts and how researchers can use poetry to gain a new perspective.

London Homer-Wambeam

Last Friday, lawmakers gathered in Laramie for the groundbreaking of the new University of Wyoming Science Initiative Building.

Yellowstone National Park

In September, Ear Spring Geyser in Yellowstone National Park erupted. At 20 feet, it was the largest eruption in over 60 years. But it wasn't just water that spewed out.

Wellcome Images

Two researchers at the University of Wyoming have contributed to a study that paints a picture of human population over the last 10,000 years.

The Department of Interior just released a new science policy that it says will increase transparency. But conservationists are concerned. 

Wyoming Geological Survey

A rare mammal fossil found near Kemmerer will be displayed publicly for the first time since it was found in 2016.

Starting this fall, our region will host something new: a graduate program in space resources.

“This is the very first program in the world that is focused on space resources,” says Angel Abbud-Madrid, the director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines.

Melodie Edwards

In the last few years, researchers have discovered the earth is literally filled with microbes, those little single-celled critters we sometimes call germs. They’ve even been found living as deep as the earth’s core. And they say these microbes could help us gain access to thousands of years of knowledge. Now scientists at the University of Wyoming want to use those layers of ancient history to help us recover from wildfires as the climate warms up.

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