New Educator Joins UW Extension’s Big Horn County Office

The University of Wyoming Extension welcomes Melissa Cook as Big Horn County’s community vitality and health educator.

Cook is a former K-12 classroom teacher and school district administrator who began her career as an educator in the Alaskan bush. A lifelong learner and adventurer, she is also an author, publisher, EMT, and volunteer firefighter.

Close-up portrait of brown-haired woman wearing a white shirt with decorative tile in the background
Melissa Cook

Building on her passion for safety and emergency medical services, Cook looks forward to serving Big Horn County in a new capacity.

“I am eager to dive into Big Horn County research data to identify the specific needs of the communities,” she says. “The data will allow me to develop meaningful projects and programs that directly address those needs.”

She is especially excited to explore potential options for an EMT certification class, a project that aligns well with her interests and expertise.

“Melissa’s professional and volunteer work have been focused on developing educational programs to meet community needs,” says Mandy Marney, senior associate director of UW Extension. “Her experience will add diversity to our team, and we look forward to seeing the great things she will accomplish in Big Horn County, and the state of Wyoming.”

Cook received undergraduate degrees in secondary education and composite social science from Black Hills State University, later earning master’s degrees in educational technology and K-12 school administration from the University of Alaska.

Her book The Call of the Last Frontier chronicles her family’s adventures during their unforgettable two decades in Alaska.

In 2016, Cook and her husband returned to Wyoming, settling in Burlington. “We have developed a deep love for Wyoming, enjoying the vast beauty of the state by exploring its backroads in our Jeep,” she shares.

Cook assumed her new role with UW Extension on June 19. She can be contacted at or (307) 568-4160.

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