University of Wyoming Extension News

Meetings explore small hydropower possibilities in Big Horn Basin

Milt Geiger

Milt Geiger

Opportunities for agricultural producers, irrigation districts and other water users to develop small hydropower resources at existing water infrastructure will be covered in a series of meetings and roundtables in Worland, Powell and Basin Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 7-8.

The Wyoming Business Council and State Energy Office partnered with University of Wyoming Extension and the UW School of Energy Resources to develop the Wyoming Small Hydropower Handbook, which is the foundation of the discussion, said Milt Geiger, UW Extension energy coordinator.

Geiger will offer an overview of the development process and typical characteristics of a feasible development opportunity.

 “Small hydropower offers water users the opportunity to make our Wyoming waters work even harder, producing electricity while serving the needs of irrigators and municipalities,” said Geiger.

The roundtables and presentation highlight the “where, what and how” of the evaluation process, including Wyoming case studies, he said.  Recent reports by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation identifying potential development locations in the Big Horn Basin will be discussed.  Incentives and a simplified permitting process will also receive attention.

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UW Extension educator’s work prompts diversity enhancement award

Educator Justina Russell

Educator Justina Russell

Innovative programs and responding to the needs of her clientele earned a University of Wyoming Extension educator the organization’s Diversity Enhancement Award.

Tina Russell, who serves the Wind River Reservation and Big Horn, Fremont, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie counties, was recognized Nov. 5 during extension’s annual training in Laramie. Russell, also a 4-H educator, is based in Ethete.

Russell’s specialties include agriculture and natural resources, forestry, energy efficiency and conservation and recycling education.

Her demeanor and persistence drew praise.

“She responds to the needs of her audience and collaborates well with community organizers and colleagues with quiet persistence, friendly professionalism and cultural understanding,” wrote one nominator.

She has many accomplishments. Russell assembled a committee of members of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes to generate the first Wind River Reservation Leadership Program.

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Extension educator serving northwestern Wyoming begins Aug. 29

Caitlin Youngquist

Caitlin Youngquist

Caitlin Youngquist joins the Washakie County office of University of Wyoming Extension Aug. 29 as an educator serving northwestern Wyoming.

Youngquist, a member of the Agricultural and Horticultural Systems Initiative Team, will be based in Washakie County and also serve Big Horn, Hot Springs, Fremont and Park counties and the Wind River Reservation.

Youngquist was a farm planner-compost and manure specialist for the Snohomish Conservation District in Washington. She has worked as a research assistant with Washington State University Extension and a ranch manager.

She is a certified livestock adviser with WSU Extension, a trained compost facility operator, and co-owner/operator of a grass-fed beef and fresh market berry enterprise.

Her research includes agricultural uses and public perceptions of biosolids compost from rural wastewater treatment plants, large animal mortality composting, soil nutrient management, and several soil fertility, management and quality assessment projects.

Youngquist has a bachelor’s degree in animal science, a master’s degree in soil science, and completed a Ph.D. in soil science in May from Washington State University.

UW Extension educator joins Big Horn County

Mae Smith

Mae Smith

Mae Smith will begin as the University of Wyoming Extension educator in Big Horn County Monday, March 31.

Smith is based in Greybull and also serves Fremont, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie counties and the Wind River Reservation.

She has been the extension educator based in Carbon County and serving southeast Wyoming since June 2011. Her specialty is rangeland resources.

A Pinedale native, Smith graduated from Colorado State University with a master’s degree in rangeland ecosystem science. She received her bachelor’s degree in rangeland ecology and watershed management from UW in May 2008.

UW Extension chooses 4-H-ers for American Youth Leadership Program in Samoa

Four Wyoming 4-H’ers were chosen by the University of Wyoming Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program for the American Youth Leadership Program (AYLP) in Samoa next winter.

The Wyoming 4-H-ers – along with 18 others from 10 other states – and three adults will travel to Samoa on a three-week cultural trip Dec. 11 to Jan. 1, 2014.

“We were able to select 22 youths and three adults so you can probably imagine the selection process was grueling and awesome at the same,” said Warren Crawford, 4-H youth development specialist.

The Wyoming 4-H-ers and their hometowns are: LaQuisha Buffalo, Lander; Jaycey Lindsey, Wright; Quinton Migneault, Basin; and Mary Schwope, Cowley. Additionally, JD Slagowski from Farson was chosen as one of five alternates.

Applications from 96 youths in 13 states were received and an additional 43 adult applications were submitted.

“We had another tremendous response with such an amazing quality of applicants,” said Crawford. A similar leadership trip to Mongolia occurred in 2012.

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