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Brent Breithaupt, the World Renowned and Beloved Curator of the UW Geological Museum Has a Private Word with the Allosaurus (photo from:

Brent Breithaupt, the World Renowned and Beloved Curator of the UW Geological Museum Has a Private Word with the Allosaurus (photo from:

I received an email from Wyoming State Senator Stan Cooper containing this note Donald Richards, UW Deputy Director of Governmental Relations, sent to members of the 60th WY legislature in regards to the the closing of the UW Geological Museum.

Isn’t it nice to know they are going to let the people who PAY for the museum actually get to SEE it once in a blue moon?

Donald Richards’ memo: “Many of you have expressed concern regarding the closure of the
Geological Museum due to budget reductions. Several other concerns
relating to other cuts have also been raised, but the Museum has seen
the greatest public visibility. Please note that UW is working hard
to mitigate the impact to the students, faculty, staff, the community,
and the State of Wyoming with respect to ALL of our budget reductions.
We have had in place a plan for the operation of the Geological
Museum and have shared it widely with many of you who have expressed
interest. In short, the collection would remain and it would remain
open to faculty and students, but not external visitors. The largest
outcry has been with respect to access by tourists, school children,
alumni and families. In response to this specific and prominent
concern, UW’s Foundation has identified resources that will fund
security to allow external visitations during the upcoming school
year. President Buchanan has also initiated steps to identify a
financially sound path forward that best integrates the Museum and its
collection with our academic, research and service mission into the

To be clear, President Buchanan remains fully committed to meeting the
budget reductions and intends to achieve state appropriation savings
from the Museum’s operations. The Museum will not return to the
status quo that was in affect prior to July 1, 2009. Nonetheless, we
have taken every effort to thoughtfully design an approach that meets
the most pressing needs articulated by the public, and your

President Buchanan and UW’s Administration appreciate hearing any
concerns on this and the range of other budget reductions UW has
experienced. We fully intend to work to mitigate the adverse affects
of all of them, to the extent possible. If you have any questions,
please advise.


Don C. Richards
Deputy Director of Government Relations, University of Wyoming”

Please keep your letters and emails pouring in…without our prodding, we’d never have gotten the feckless University of Wyoming Administration to budge this far…

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Help Save the University of Wyoming Geological Museum!!!


The Casper Star-Tribune has an online poll today to vote for either a full time, part time or closed Geological Museum. We all need to show the administration at the University of Wyoming what we think of their recent decisions. So head on over to the Casper Star-Tribune website and scroll half-way down the page and vote! Thanks!

So far, the vote is 93% in favor of having the Museum open on some basis, 5% in favor of closing and 3% in favor of turning the Museum into a skate park. In fact, the facetious answer of “turn it into a skate park” is statistically similar to those who want to close it! Keep the pressure on the feckless UW Administrators who want to favor losing athletic teams over academic pursuits and the fanatic Religious Right who want the Museum closed on religious grounds

Add your voice, here!

ALSO: Remember to keep the letters to the Editor and to UW officials pouring in. Email address available below, as well as here.

Don’t let the creationists, religious zealots, christards and intelligent design hoaxers win! Express your opinion here:

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The Administration of the University of Wyoming have decided to close the Geological Museum due to a funding shortfall. Despite continuing to lavish millions upon millions of tax dollars on a lack-luster-to-losing Division 1-A Athletic Program, the Administration has tried to reconcile this shameful misallocation of funding as loss of Bowl and television revenue, loss of tradition and loss of long-standing inter-collegiate rivalries.

Well wah-fucking-wah.

What about the 122-year tradition of excellence at the UW Geological Museum? What about the thousands upon thousands of primary, secondary and college students who annually come to the museum to have their curiosity nurtured, scholastic experiences enriched and their intellects stimulated? What about the hundreds and hundreds of families who visit the museum each year who otherwise would not come to Laramie and spend money in the local economy?

In fact, revenues from athletics does not come close to compensating the residents of the State of Wyoming for the millions and millions of tax dollars in real cost these programs suck in–just look at the waste of many millions in the new stadium sky boxes as just a single example. The details of this bait-and-switch deviousness can be found in the UW budget numbers (see for example here: and here: and the thinly disguised misinformation-as-rationale here (

If we can flush millions away on a robust, if dismally-performing, athletic program, can we not find a couple hundred thousand dollars to keep the successful and popular Museum funded?

Provost Myron Allen proposes his plans for the UW Geological Museum here ( Although a brilliant mathematician and otherwise decent guy, Dr. Allen’s proposal for closing the museum manages to be simultaneously short-sighted, amateurishly incomplete and maddeningly misleading.

In a personal e-mail, Dr. Allen assured me that Christian intolerance, religious superstitions and irrational creationist beliefs played no part in the closing of the Museum. However, a quick survey shows that such scientific illiteracy and non-reality-based belief systems are rife among many of the the UW Trustees as well as some Members of the Wyoming State Senate and House of Representatives; perhaps this explains the lack of vociferous opposition to this obscene and perverse misallocation of University resources.

The fact that, in this day and age, in this state, so many University Trustees, Senators and Congressmen do not understand the value of a Museum, the fundamentals of science nor even subscribe to any modern notion of science, underlines emphatically and exactly why this University has an absolute ethical responsibility and urgent need to keep this museum open.

Perhaps it is not possible for non-scientists (such as the UW President and Provost) to understand the importance of science museums, but science and technology only grow though fostering early interest in young students–this is done primarily through programs like the UW Geological Museum. Every time Drs. Buchannan or Allen listen to their iPod, check their schedules on their handheld, email their colleagues or microwave popcorn to eat while watching their plasma screen Televisions, perhaps they should stop and consider the enormous debt Americans pay daily to scientists and engineers developing and refining new technology to produce new products. Scientists and engineers who chose, and excel at, their professions precisely because as children they had access to, and were captivated by, programs such as the UW Geological Museum provides.

Or perhaps it is our job to remind Dr. Buchannan and Allen of their debt and responsibility to the future. Below are a list of the most essential people for you to contact and express your outrage at an institution that is willing to pour millions and millions and millions of tax dollars, year after year, into losing athletic programs that produce nothing, while letting a successful, brilliant and beloved academic program, such as the UW Geological Museum, die simply to save a couple measly hundred thousand dollars. It is clear to even the most casual observer that this is not in the best interests of the people of Wyoming, nor in the spirit of academic excellence to which UW claims to aspire, nor even in keeping with the simple recognition that these men are responsible for preserving for the future the best parts of the present at UW.

Drs. Buchannan and Allen, if allowed to carry through with this hideous misallocation of tax money, are failing miserably at all three tasks.

I am reminded of how Winston Churchill is reported to have once characterized a similar caliber decision: “Save us from the maliciously ignorant and the aggressively stupid!”


Sincerely and with hope-

Donald B. MacGowan, PhD

For MORE go here and here.

Important UW email Addresses:
President of the University of Wyoming
Tom Buchannan

Provost of the University of Wyoming
Prof. Myron Allen, Provost

Chairman, Department of Geology and Geophysics
Prof. Art Snoke

State Geologist
Dr. Ronald C. Surdam

Governor of the State of Wyoming
Governor Dave Freudenthal

Letters to the Editor:

University of Wyoming Trustees:
Jim D. Neiman

Warren A. Lauer

Dave Bostrom

Dick Davis

Betty Fear

Taylor Haynes, M.D.

David F. Palmerlee

Bradford S. Mead

Ann Rochelle

James Trosper

Ex Officio Trustees:
Jim McBride

Kelsey Day

Elected Officials:
Members of the Wyoming House of Representatives
Representative Rodney “Pete” Anderson

Representative George Bagby

Representative Joseph M. Barbuto

Representative Rosie Berger

Representative Stan Blake

Representative Dave Bonner, Jr.

Representative Bob Brechtel

Representative Kermit C. Brown

Representative Edward A. Buchanan

Representative James W. Byrd

Representative Richard L. Cannady

Representative Seth Carson

Representative Pat Childers

Representative Roy Cohee

Representative Cathy Connolly

Representative Bernadine Craft

Representative Kathy Davison

Representative Ross Diercks

Representative Amy L. Edmonds

Representative Ken A. Esquibel

Representative Mike Gilmore

Representative Keith Gingery

Representative W. Patrick Goggles

Representative Mary Hales

Representative Timothy P. Hallinan, M.D.

Representative Debbie Hammons

Representative Steve Harshman

Representative Elaine D. Harvey

Representative Peter S. Illoway

Representative Allen M. Jaggi

Representative Peter M. Jorgensen

Representative Jack Landon, Jr.

Representative Thomas A. Lockhart

Representative Thomas E. Lubnau, II

Representative Michael K. Madden

Representative Robert M. McKim

Representative Del McOmie

Representative Erin E. Mercer

Representative Saundra Meyer

Representative David R. Miller

Representative Lori Millin

Representative Glenn Moniz

Representative John W. Patton

Representative Frank Peasley

Representative Bryan K. Pedersen

Representative Owen Petersen

Representative Frank Philp

Representative Lorraine K. Quarberg

Representative Jim Roscoe

Representative Mark A. Semlek

Representative Lisa A. Shepperson

Representative Colin M. Simpson

Representative William “Jeb” Steward

Representative Tim Stubson

Representative Matt Teeters

Representative Bill Thompson

Representative Mary Throne

Representative Sue Wallis

Representative Dan Zwonitzer

Representative David L. Zwonitzer

Members of the Wyoming State Senate
Senator Jim Anderson

Senator Eli D. Bebout

Senator Bruce Burns

Senator Cale Case, Ph.D

Senator Henry H.R. “Hank” Coe

Senator Stan Cooper

Senator Dan Dockstader
Senator Floyd A. Esquibel

Senator Gerald E. Geis

Senator John M. Hastert

Senator John J. Hines

Senator Rick Hunnicutt

Senator Kit Jennings

Senator Wayne H. Johnson

Senator Bill Landen

Senator Grant Larson

Senator Marty Martin

Senator Mike Massie

Senator Curt Meier

Senator Phil Nicholas

Senator Drew A. Perkins

Senator R. Ray Peterson

Senator Tony Ross

Senator John C. Schiffer

Senator Charles K. Scott

Senator Kathryn Sessions

Senator Charles Townsend

Senator Bill Vasey

Senator Michael Von Flatern

US Senator John Barrasso

US Senator Mike Enzi

US Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis


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