Maggie Mullen | KUNR

Maggie Mullen

Maggie Mullen is a fifth generation Wyomingite, born and raised in Casper. She is currently a Masters candidate in American Studies and will defend her thesis on female body hair in contemporary American culture this May. Before graduate school, she earned her BA in English and French from the University of Wyoming. Maggie enjoys writing, cooking, her bicycle, swimming in rivers and lakes, and most any dog. 

While there's an insect named after Lady Gaga, and a lichen named after former President Barack Obama, a lot of the time species get named after scientists - especially white men.

An image from inside the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
Brian Wilkins / Creative Commons, CC BY-NC 2.0

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.

An image of a runner on a big, winding road.
Nico Aguilera / Creative Commons, Flickr

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.


Rebecca Travers lives in Casper, Wyo. Until late last year, the 42-year-old had been working at a non-profit that helps volunteer organizations across the state.

A close-up image showing a COVID-19 vaccine being loaded into a syringe.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.

Whether you get the help you need after a wildfire may depend on how wealthy or White your neighborhood is, a new paper suggests.

About a third of Americans living in rural areas say they probably or definitely would not get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

This week, the northern spotted owl and the monarch butterfly were denied protections under the Endangered Species Act, even though both animals qualify.


When Willow Belden goes holiday shopping she likes to support local businesses. This year, though, it's meant calling stores and asking, "Are you guys wearing masks? But are you really wearing masks? And, like, what else are you doing?"

Back in 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey and several Western states formed the Corridor Mapping Team, a first-of-its-kind collaboration among state and federal wildlife biologists to map ungulate migrations.

Last week, the team published its first volume of maps, which document more than 40 big-game migration routes in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.


Vanessa Chavarriaga loves to be outside, whether it's floating down a river in the desert or ice skating on a frozen alpine lake. And when she posts photos of her adventures, she includes information about where exactly she was.


Here's a scenario you may have found yourself in recently: You open up Facebook or Twitter, and someone you know is posting about a conspiracy theory. You wonder, Do I say something? Is there any convincing them otherwise?


This time of year usually means the start of college football. Not this year. Without game days and big crowds of tailgaters, college towns across the Mountain West and beyond look different - and sound a lot different, too.

Skies are hazy across the region thanks to the many wildfires burning in the West, and that smoke is more dangerous during the pandemic. 

The Rural West Covid Project was conducted back in June and July, when cases of the novel coronavirus were spiking across the country.

Daniel Bear lives in Kenilworth, Utah, a small community of around 200 people between Salt Lake City and Moab. Earlier this year, Bear suffered a woodworking accident that involved his hand and a tablesaw. It was messy.

Grand Teton National Park is asking for the public's help in addressing its non-native mountain goat problem. The park announced Thursday, August 6, it is now accepting applications from qualified volunteers for a culling program. Culling is set to begin mid-September and wrap up by the middle of November.


There's a lot to consider with schools reopening this fall. That's especially true for teachers and other staff members. Take Ken Hiltonhe's a middle school counselor in Laramie, Wyoming. He also has a daughter going into the seventh grade. He says he's not sure what the best approach is. This piece was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau's Maggie Mullen and was made possible with the support of America Amplified.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill being hailed as the biggest public lands and conservation legislation in a generation.


The first time Mark Ritchie and Leah Hardy laid eyes on their new camper, it was after they'd bought it.

"It was like, 'Oh my God, it's tiny.' Which was great," Ritchie said recently while standing outside their home in Laramie, Wyo. "It made me feel actually more confident dragging it around. Because when I see people with giant trailers, I go, 'Thank God that's not me.'"

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