SHERIDAN — Two University of Wyoming faculty members and a graduate student from Cody are scheduled to speak about UW’s Science Initiative at the Sheridan Rotary Club’s regular weekly meeting Friday.
The meeting is from noon to 1 p.m. at the Best Western Sheridan Center.
David Williams, professor and head of UW’s Department of Botany, and Chip Kobulnicky, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will be joined by graduate student Amy Saville Rhoad to discuss the initiative that aims to revolutionize scientific education and discovery in Wyoming.
Rhoad, who is pursuing a master’s degree in animal and veterinary science, graduated from Cody High School in 2009.
In addition to the Rotary Club presentation, the UW representatives — joined by Jean Garrison, UW’s special assistant to the president for engagement — are scheduled to meet with middle and high school teachers, counselors and principals of Big Horn and Tongue River schools from 9-11 a.m. Friday at Big Horn High School. Topics of discussion will include the Science Initiative and UW’s community engagement initiative.
The Science Initiative, started by Gov. Matt Mead and the Legislature in 2014, is an effort to enable world-class research and education related to pillars of Wyoming’s present and future economy. Through life and data sciences research that impacts areas including mineral extraction, agriculture, tourism, resource management and high technology, the initiative will impact Wyoming’s economy and give UW students a leading-edge skill set. The Wyoming Research Scholars Program, one of the components of the Science Initiative, provides scholarships for undergraduates to study and conduct research with top UW researchers.
Central to the Science Initiative is construction of a $100 million facility at the northwest end of the UW campus, featuring flexible laboratories for interdisciplinary science research; the Center for Advanced Scientific Imaging; state-of-the-art greenhouses for plant research; a 200-seat active-learning classroom; and student collaboration areas to foster science innovation.
The governor, who describes the facility as “a unique research and teaching environment that will transform interdisciplinary research and education,” and the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee have recommended that lawmakers release $100 million previously appropriated for the project.