Student Highlights: Ethan Collins


Class:  Graduate Student

Major:  Atmospheric Science

Ethan Collins is a fifth-year Ph.D. student at the University of Wyoming in the Department of Atmospheric Science. He was born and raised in Illinois and has loved weather ever since he was young. Before coming to UW to pursue both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, he received his B.S. in Meteorology from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign. When not submitting weather model simulations to be run on the NCAR supercomputer in Cheyenne, he can be found watching TV, working out at the gym, or having fun around Laramie with his friends.


Ethan’s Ph.D. research focuses on atmospheric models. He has primarily been running and analyzing high-resolution Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations over Wyoming to understand differing weather phenomena; more specifically, wildfire changes by the end of the century and extreme wind events over Wyoming. Ethan has also been utilizing these high-resolution WRF simulations to help the National Weather Service in Cheyenne improve their extreme wind forecasting ability.

On the other side of Ethan’s research, he has been utilizing high-resolution climate models to see how wildfire potential and meteorological conditions in Wyoming may change by the end of the century. The preliminary results of this work have found, unexpectedly, that wildfire risks will increase over Wyoming.


Every year, we award fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students attending the University of Wyoming or one of Wyoming’s community colleges in order to provide them with the opportunity to do “real” research. Occasionally, we feature one of these students and their research on this blog. For more information about our student fellowships, visit our College Programs page.