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University of Wyoming Geological Museum: A Faltering Academic Institution's Rare Success Story Threatened by Ignorance and Far

University of Wyoming Geological Museum: A Faltering Academic Institution's Rare Success Story Threatened by Religious Intolerance, Ignorance and Fear

As an alum of UW, and a PhD recipient from the Department of Geology and Geophysics, I am naturally and profoundly disturbed at news of the closing of the Geological Museum and firing of the curator, Brent Breithaupt. The museum is one of the outstanding assets of the University and one of its most highly-recognized attributes. Internationally known and locally beloved, it is a gem–and a boon to the sciences of Geology, Paleontology and Biology; it should be prized, not closed.

In recent years as I have toured much of the Pacific Basin filming segments for my television show I have met literally hundreds of people who know UW only because of the Geological Museum, Curator Breithaupt and the paleontological collections. A University that can squander untold millions on useless athletic programs certainly can afford to continue one of its most outstanding outreach programs and most visible academic successes, especially given the comparatively marginal cost to do so.

People from all over the world know and love Brent Briethaupt and appreciate the incredible job he does…no one, NO ONE outside Wyoming remembers Fenis Dembo or any other Wyoming athlete. My father has a saying that applies directly: “Put your good where it will do the most”–and your “good” does the “most” by continuing to support and fund the UW Geological Museum and Brent Breithaupt, the curator.

To support the museum and express concern or protest, please write the following people:

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

Also, please sign the petition at


Donald B. MacGowan, PhD


  1. It never ceases to astound how easily “conservatives” trash decades-long investments that have borne considerable fruit not only in short-term profit but in long-term economic well-being such as the single most important factor in furthering the future economic health of this country: educating the public. The is yet another political travesty orchestrated by a mindset that is entirely self-serving and without a shred of consideration to future generations, who must inevitably shoulder the extra burdens of poor decisions exactly like this one. The word “shameless” is inadequate to describe the individuals responsible for this decision. I trust that far better-equipped minds in the good state of Wyoming will be able to persevere over the kind of thoughtless political and ideological-driven attitudes that have so long dogged the true interests of the people of that magnificent state.

  2. My father used to take me there many times when I was a little child. It was always a good experience and it would be a shame for future children to not have that chance.

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