The Institute for Science & Policy at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science debuts new narrative non-fiction podcast series Coal at Sunset: A Colorado Town in Transition

Tuesday, 16. November 2021 17:00

DENVER, Nov. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In rural northwestern Colorado, the town of Craig is at a crossroads. Coal has long been the primary employer and economic driver in this small, tight-knit community. It’s an identity. A way of life.

But now, something is about to change. The nearby coal plant and coal mines will close by decade's end as Colorado moves away from fossil fuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Suddenly, Craig faces a looming economic transition, the loss of hundreds of well-paying jobs, and an uncertain path forward.

The Institute for Science & Policy, a project of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, released today its first-ever narrative non-fiction podcast, Coal at Sunset: A Colorado Town in Transition. The eight-episode series explores Craig’s past, present and possible futures as this rural community grapples with the end of an era.

“Craig epitomizes the difficult tradeoffs at the heart of Colorado’s energy transition,” Kristan Uhlenbrock, director of the Institute for Science & Policy, says. “On one hand, we want reliable electricity. On the other, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning fossil fuels. Coal towns like Craig are caught in the middle, with real human consequences.”

The series blends science, history, culture and policy to tell Craig’s story, featuring on-the-ground reporting and more than 20 exclusive interviews including:

  • Waleed Abdalati, director, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder

  • K.C. Becker, former Colorado Speaker of the House
  • Wade Buchanan, executive director, Colorado Office of Just Transition
  • Duane Highley, CEO of Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association
  • Jennifer Holloway, executive director, Craig Chamber of Commerce
  • Lisa Jones, president, Colorado Northwestern Community College.
  • Tim Osborn, plant manager, Craig Power Station
  • Bob Rankin, Colorado State Senator, District 8
  • Graham Roberts, environmental supervisor, Trapper Mine
  • Suzanne Tegen, associate director, Center for the New Energy Economy, Colorado State University

The project marks the first-ever longform narrative podcast created by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

“We are humbled and honored to help tell Craig’s story,” Denver Museum of Nature & Science President & CEO George Sparks says. “We hope that this series will be the start of a thoughtful conversation, one in which we can move beyond polarization and approach complex societal questions with more empathy and humanity.”

The first two episodes are available now via all major podcast distributors. Future episodes will be released weekly.

Coal at Sunset: A Colorado Town in Transition is produced in partnership with House of Pod, a Denver-based podcast company that develops and incubates original audio content.

For more information, visit

For the Media:

Download the series graphic (square .JPG or 16:9 .JPG)

Listen to the series trailer on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Visit the podcast website

A selection of photos and captions are available for non-exclusive, non-commercial editorial use. All images must be credited to: The Institute for Science & Policy / Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Interviews with Kristan Uhlenbrock, Director of the Institute for Science & Policy, are available by request.

About the Institute for Science & Policy

Established in 2018, the Institute for Science & Policy at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science promotes civil dialogue and scientific thinking. Situated at the intersection of science, policy, media, and community engagement, the Institute is non-partisan and designed to work across divides to help solve our most complex statewide, national, and global challenges such as climate change, energy, public health, and more. The Institute’s overall objective is for science to become a second-nature consideration in public discourse and policymaking by providing resources and tools to facilitate productive conversations. Visit us on the web at

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region’s leading resource for informal science education. Our mission is to be a catalyst and ignite the community’s passion for nature and science. The Museum envisions an empowered community that loves, understands and protects our natural world. A variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the wonders of Colorado, Earth and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205. To learn more about the Museum, visit or call 303.370.6000. Many of the Museum’s educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). The Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Connect with the Museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Maura O’Neal

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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Coal at Sunset: A Colorado Town in Transition

The Craig power station, operated by Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, is visible south of Craig, Colorado at dusk on July 12, 2021. ©Institute for Science & Policy/Denver Museum of Nature & Science
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