Monday, June 8, 2009

University of Wyoming Geological Museum cuts

An open letter regarding the University of Wyoming cuts. Please feel free to post this on your blogs and try to share this information with as many as you can! Please sign this petition as well to keep the museum open and pass the link around. Thanks! ~ ReBecca

"We are dismayed to report that the University of Wyoming has decided to include the Geological Museum in the programs to be cut as a result of a decrease in funding by the state. 45 people across the University lost their jobs, including the Director of the Geological Museum Brent Breithaupt and the part-time museum secretary. This decision was made by the University administration, and in no way reflects a lack of support from the Department of Geology and Geophysics.

The museum itself and the paleontological research program that has been built around it is an amazing educational resource that is utilized daily by everyone from university professors to preschool children. The museum was founded in 1887 by Wilbur C. Knight, shortly after the university itself was founded. One of the first curators was William Harlow Reed, one of the railroad workers who discovered the first dinosaurian fossils at Como Bluff, WY. The current museum building was built under the direction of Samuel H. “Doc” Knight, for whom the S. H. Knight Geology building is named. The museum’s physical connection to the Geology Building allows it to be routinely incorporated into laboratory and classroom activities. In addition, public and private school classes frequently tour the museum as part of their curricula, making this museum a significant educational resource not just for Laramie but for the entire state of Wyoming.

The museum houses many fossils of interest to children and researchers alike, including one of the only mounted skeletons
of Apatosaurus (“Brontosaurus”) which recently was re-mounted with its tail in the air. Visitors from across the country come to see “Big Al” the Allosaurus as well as numerous other exhibits. Several holotype specimens are on display and have been available for research. Other specimens currently under study include the Columbian mammoth (ancient DNA) and microvertebrates from the Mesaverde Fm. A working preparation station has been integrated into the museum, and visitors can ask questions while watching fossils being prepared.

We want to stress that the Collection of Fossil Vertebrates is separate from the museum, and is not affected by these cuts at this time.

...We will keep the community apprised of any further developments in regards to the status of the University of Wyoming Geological Museum.

Letters of concern and support can be addressed to:

Tom Buchanan

Office of the President

Dept. 3434

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Myron Allen

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dept. 3302

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Please also sign the on-line petition at:"

1 comment:

Doug said...

See, it's stuff like this that make's me wish i was a rich oil tycoon. Then museums wouldn't have to worry about stuff like this. "Going under? Here's a few million dollars. No it's okay. Not like i need a diamond studded swimming pool."