CWC’s Alpine Science Institute incorporates science with outdoor education studies

LANDER, Wyo. — The section of Central Wyoming College’s campus, housed in the foothills of the Wind River Mountain Range, merged with the outdoor education, anthropology and expedition science programs to become the Alpine Science Institute on October 18, 2018. Formerly called the Sinks Canyon Center, the Alpine Science Institute (ASI) now includes both the physical campus along with instruction and research efforts.

The Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition inspired CWC faculty members to streamline the subsets of ASI into a unified program in 2014. This annual wilderness expedition allows students to simultaneously conduct research while exercising their wilderness travel and risk management abilities.

“We saw the success of ICCE and we thought we could do more,” said Jacki Klancher, Professor of Environmental Health. “We wanted to house the program in a specific location.”

Because they already had a site, the name change just made sense. “We’re located in the field,” said Klancher. “So we decided to merge the physical location with a field-based education center.”

As part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the campus offers a biodiverse climate that is ideal for ecological, environmental and geospatial science studies. That is exactly how CWC’s students use the area. They conduct glaciology, hydrology and archaeology-based high elevation studies. They also measure air quality and test snow and surface water for the presence of microplastics and black carbon particulate matter.

Click here to learn more about the name change from the Sinks Canyon Center to the Alpine Science Institute and the goals for this program moving forward.

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Central Wyoming College

Central Wyoming College is a community college that offers both associate's and bachelor's degrees and serves Fremont, Hot Springs, and Teton Counties Our main campus is located in Riverton, Wyoming and we have outreach centers in Lander, Jackson, and Dubois, each with programming designed to serve their communities

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