University of Wyoming Extension News

UW horticultural experts begin monthly live webinar series

Chris Hilgert

Chris Hilgert

Gardeners and others vexed by plant problems and insect nuisances can send their particular pest questions to a panel of University of Wyoming horticultural experts for monthly live webinars beginning Thursday, June 25.

UW Extension county offices are host sites, said Chris Hilgert, state master gardener coordinator and a member of the panel. Other panelists are extension specialists Scott Schell, entomologist, Karen Panter, horticulture, and William Stump, plant pathologist.

Hilgert asked residents to let local extension office know they want to attend the “Plants, Pests, and Pathogens” webinar series. They should also send in their questions and any photographs that help show a particular problem.

The four will give updates about plant and insect questions they have observed around the state then answer questions sent from residents and those asked at the host sites.

All sessions are noon to 1:30 p.m. Dates in addition to June 25 are Thursday, July 30, Wednesday, Aug. 26, and Thursday, Sept. 24. The conferencing software Zoom is being used, said Hilgert, which allows 25 host sites. Panelists will be on the UW campus in Laramie.

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Outstanding UW agriculture students receive honors

In addition to outstanding students being honored, so was the Wyoming Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta. The chapter received the New Chapter Activity Award from Gamma Sigma Delta International for the chapter's efforts in 2014. From left, Anowar Islam, secretary-treasurer; Connie Kercher, historian;, 2015 president Kelly Wiseman; Mike Brugger, secretary, Gamma Sigma Delta International; 2014 president Cole Ehmke, incoming treasurer Brant Shumaker, Dannele Peck, vice president.

In addition to outstanding students being honored, so was the Wyoming Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta. The chapter received the New Chapter Activity Award from Gamma Sigma Delta International for the chapter’s efforts in 2014. From left, Anowar Islam, secretary-treasurer; Connie Kercher, historian;, 2015 president Kelly Wiseman; Mike Brugger, secretary, Gamma Sigma Delta International, who presented the award; 2014 president Cole Ehmke; incoming treasurer Brant Shumaker; and Dannele Peck, vice president.

Outstanding students affiliated with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming were recognized by the Wyoming chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta during its awards program Saturday, May 2, in Laramie.

Gamma Sigma Delta is the international honor society of agriculture.

Receiving outstanding student awards were:

Outstanding Freshman – Melanie Whitmore, Bear River, animal and veterinary sciences

Outstanding Sophomore – Tevyn Baldwin, Mitchell, Neb., agricultural business/ rangeland ecology and watershed management; Cole Foreman, San Jose, Calif., agricultural business/animal and veterinary sciences; Rachel Purdy, Pine Bluffs, agricultural business

Outstanding Junior – Jonathan Miller, Laramie, animal and veterinary sciences; Hannah Shoults, Van Tassell, animal and veterinary sciences

Outstanding Senior – Daniel Adamson, Laramie, agroecology; McKensie Harris, Laramie, animal and veterinary sciences; Marley Mardock, Estes Park, Colo., animal and veterinary sciences; Courtney Nordhus, Commerce City, Colo., family and consumer sciences

Outstanding Masters student – Hannah Cunningham, Meeker, Colo., animal and veterinary sciences; Samantha Day, Lorton, Va., soil science

Outstanding Doctoral student – Helmuth Aguirre, Bogota, Colombia, entomology

Departments within the college also presented honors. They include:

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Fresh produce safety workshop in Casper

Fresh produce growers and buyers will learn appropriate agricultural practices to prevent food-borne illnesses as part of a two-day workshop in Casper.

“Good Agricultural Practices” is Thursday and Friday, April 9-10, at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel as part of the Wyoming Farmers Marketing Association’s annual conference.

“This workshop will benefit producers as well as those who buy and use local produce in inspected kitchens like schools, hospitals and restaurants,” said Cole Ehmke, University of Wyoming Extension specialist, who helped organize the sessions.

Recent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses involving fresh and processed food products heightened public concern about food safety, he said. Illness-causing pathogens, such as salmonella and listeria, come from a variety of sources. The most common source is fecal matter, Ehmke said, which can be spread by water, wildlife, waste and workers.

Producers will stay competitive in the specialty produce business by becoming food safety compliant.

“Many fresh produce retailers now require their suppliers to have third-party audits to verify safe food production and handling practices on the farm,” he said.

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University of Wyoming scientists receive awards for hydrology, cell research

Associate Professor Scott Miller measures streamflow in a creek in Wyoming's Snowy Range as part of a doctoral research project in hydrology.

Scott Miller measures streamflow in a creek in Wyoming’s Snowy Range as part of a doctoral research project in hydrology.

Researchers specializing in hydrology and in nuclear size control mechanisms in the cell won outstanding research and early career research awards from the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Wyoming.

Scott Miller is one of three principal investigators in a $20 million grant – the largest ever to UW – from the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to establish the Wyoming Center for Environmental Hydrology and Geophysics.

His research focus is spatial hydrology, and his laboratory focuses on the use of innovative field and modeling techniques to better understand the eventual outcome and transport of water and how humans change hydrologic response.

Miller, a professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, has worked around the world on topics ranging from deforestation to risk assessment, but more recently has focused his research energy on Wyoming-related issues.

He joined UW in 2002 as an assistant professor in the then-Department of Renewable Resources.

Dan Levy’s laboratory goal is to reveal nuclear size control mechanisms to understand how nuclear size affects cell and nuclear function and sub-nuclear organization. An assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, he joined UW in 2011 after working as a postdoctoral fellow in molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

His previous research and training as a mechanistic biochemist, investigating size control of intracellular structures and developing in vitro reconstitution systems, positioned him to solve problems relating to nuclear size regulation.

The Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station is housed in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Educators join Teton County UW Extension office

Jordan McCoy

Jordan McCoy

An area nutrition and food safety educator and a 4-H educator will join the Teton County University of Wyoming Extension office in January.

Jordan McCoy will serve as the nutrition and food safety educator for Sweetwater, Uinta, Lincoln, Sublette and Teton counties beginning Jan. 2.

She is a registered and licensed dietitian who grew up in northern Wyoming and is returning from Albuquerque, where she has been working as a pediatric dietician at the Cystic Fibrosis Center and as an adjunct professor of nutrition at the University of New Mexico.

Kenzie Krinkee

Kenzie Krinkee

McCoy received a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science in 2002 from UW. She continued her education at Georgia Southern University, receiving a master’s degree in kinesiology with emphasis in coaching, and then completed a second bachelor’s degree in dietetics in 2010 at Kansas State University. In 2012, McCoy completed a dietetic internship at Idaho State University.

Kenzie Krinkee will begin as the Teton County 4-H educator Jan. 5. A 10-year 4-H alumnus, her first involvement with 4-H began at 8 years old with western horse and family and consumer science projects in Bozeman, Mont.

Krinkee graduated from Colorado State University in May with a bachelor’s degree in equine science and a minor in business administration. She was active in the CSU rodeo team and managed volunteers to run the Skyline Stampede Rodeo. Following graduation, Krinkee completed a 4-H internship with the Adams County Colorado Extension Service.