The University of Wyoming has lost a beloved professor. On Thursday, March 17th, Ecosystem Science and Management instructor Professor Jay Norton, 61, lost his life while skiing in Northern Wyoming.
Officials announced the avalanche incident late Thursday evening. Two victims were pulled from the avalanche by skiing companions before emergency services arrived on the scene. The second victim has not been identified but survived the avalanche.
Officials confirmed Jay Norton as a victim of an avalanche that occurred in the Game Creek drainage area of the Teton backcountry.
Jay Norton was a beloved member of UW's Department of Ecosystem Science and Management faculty. He began his career at UW in 2006, becoming a full professor at the University by 2018 for the Ecosystem Science and Management department. Norton dedicated his time to researching Wyoming's soil and ecosystem health with his students to improve Wyoming agriculture. His colleagues knew him for bringing excitement and energy to the department and investing in the education and success of his students.
In a statement to the public, UW President Ed Seidel affirmed that the University "lost a talented and beloved member of our community" and extended the family the University's deepest condolences.
Norton is survived by his spouse, Urszula Norton, who is an associate professor at the University of Wyoming's Department of Plant Sciences, and his son Cruz Norton.
Jay's colleagues have expressed their sadness at losing such an esteemed community member. In his statement regarding the loss of Jay Norton, Professor Scott Miller had this to say: "[Jay] had an infectious positive spirit that he carried everywhere. He is remembered for his excellence in scholarly activities as well as the warmth, friendship, and good humor he brought to his community."