‘UW in Your Community’ event March 4 in Lovell

Members of the public will find out more about the University of Wyoming’s presence in Big Horn County, and UW alumni will connect with their alma mater during a “UW in Your Community” gathering Monday, March 4, in Lovell.

The public is invited to the event from 5-7 p.m. at the Lovell Community Center. Free appetizers and beverages will be served.

UW President Ed Seidel will be in attendance and speak during a brief program, highlighting the university’s collaborative efforts with the state’s community colleges to prepare students for the modern economy and boost entrepreneurism and the state’s economy, among other topics.

Also on the agenda:

-- UW Department of Geology and Geophysics Professor Tom Minckley will discuss his team’s research at the Natural Trap Cave in the low slopes of the nearby Big Horn Mountains, which has been collecting plants and animals for tens of thousands of years. On the cave floor are the remains of mammals including mammoths, camels, horses, short-faced bears, lions and cheetahs, mixed with sediments that contain pollen and plant fragments. Minckley’s research has reconstructed what climatic and other conditions were like for these animals and plants from 100,000 to 10,000 years ago in what is now northern Wyoming.

-- Research scientist Laura Vietti, museum and collections manager for UW’s Geological Museum, will discuss the university’s role as the repository for the fossils collected from the Natural Trap Cave -- and how they’re being digitized to make them accessible to everyone, including schoolchildren.

-- Melissa Cook, a UW Extension educator in Big Horn County, will discuss the local office’s activities, including presentations on winter survival skills, emergency medical technician training for local volunteers and food canning safety classes.

Also scheduled to speak are current UW students from Big Horn County, including UW rodeo team member Colton Farrow, a Greybull High School graduate who’s getting ready to start competing in the spring rodeo season. Other student speakers are Taylor Despain, a Rocky Mountain High School graduate, and Jacob Grant, a Lovell High School graduate.

The Big Horn County gathering is the 14th in a series of “UW in Your Community” gatherings taking place around the state.

“This will be a great opportunity for community members to interact with President Seidel and others from UW, learn about exciting initiatives for students and the state and see some of the collaborative work UW is doing with local partners,” said Chad Baldwin, UW’s associate vice president for marketing and communications. “UW alumni and everyone across Big Horn County are invited for what will be a fun evening.”