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Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Jun. 27, 2017

Water Experts Debate Benefits of Draining Lake Powell

An environmental group in Utah wants to drain Lake Powell and move its water downstream to Lake Mead. Supporters say the plan will save water and restore a natural ecosystem in Glen Canyon. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports. The proposal is called “Fill Mead First.” It was suggested by Utah’s Glen Canyon Institute. Executive director Eric Balken says it’s more efficient to have one full reservoir, instead of two half-empty ones. ... But Jack Schmidt of Utah State University calculated the water savings could be much less. He wants better numbers for how much water seeps into rock and evaporates at the two reservoirs. "The potential savings are too small and the uncertainties that there would be any savings at all are simply too large," he says.

Agrinews Sunday, Jun. 25, 2017

Calculating Hay Quality on the Go

Hay producers can see the quality of bales on the go with a relative feed value calculator. “Instead of coring your bales, we can show you individual bale quality as it is changing throughout the day,” said Bryan Henningfield, with Harvest Tec. “We have developed an on-baler RFV calculator for large square balers.” Located in Hudson, Wis., the company worked with Utah State University to bring the technology to the industry. ... “Research by Utah State shows that by feeding hay based on quality, there is an opportunity to increase milk production of dairy cows by six pounds per head per day,” he said. ... Hay producers have a lot of challenges with humid days and a lack of wind on some days. ... To open the window of opportunity, he said, most hay preservatives provide the ability to bale hay up to 25 percent moisture.

Deseret News Sunday, Jun. 25, 2017

These Summer Programs for Kids Teach STEM with Hands-On Fun

Gabriel Rethlake’s dimples show as he demonstrates how turning the wheels on the car he’s just built will provide tension to make it move. ... Across the room, Livia Anderson stares at what seems to be five drinking straws glued in a fan shape onto a popsicle stick. ... Soon, though, she's brandishing what resembles a somewhat arthritic human hand, the knuckles bending at odd angles as she pulls the strings. “Gravity helped me this time,” she proclaims, and her friend Kameryn Grose, also 12, nods happily at her as she threads her own straw hand. The youths are part of summer STEM camps through the Salt Lake County Library system in partnership with Utah State University, which has provided instructors like Stocks. Over the course of the summer, the free sessions at different library branches will take kids to Mars, help them explore robotics and the human body and engage them in other hands-on activities. ... That’s part of the point, said Riverton librarian Liu. “People are intimidated," thinking science has to be high-tech and may be out of reach. "We're using low-tech stuff they have at home to teach science in a fun and engaging manner.” Livia’s dad, Dean Anderson, is happy whenever he sees Livia and her older brother, Owen, excited about learning. Any time he can get his kids involved in something involving academics, science, teamwork and a common goal, “I’m all for it.”

Herald Journal Saturday, Jun. 24, 2017

USU Gets More Land to Feed Research Animals

More animal research at Utah State University is most likely going to mean more animals to feed. That’s why USU on Friday asked the Board of Trustees to approve purchase of 40.5 acres of land at 300 W. 8800 North in Richmond to expand its production of animal feed for animals who are located at the school’s Agriculture Experiment Stations. The land is adjacent to another 38 acres that USU owns to produce feed. Both plots are located on the west side of U.S. Highway 91.  “We have new faculty hires that are doing state-of-the-art animal research, and these efforts are expanding to address the increased research demands and results in a concomitant increased need for animal feed,” Ken White, dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences and director of the AES, wrote in an email to The Herald Journal. “By expanding our production land we can better meet these needs.” ... What’s more, USU producing its own feed for animal research at AES is cheaper than it would be to get feed from an outside source, as the the latter scenario could “negatively impact our ability to support more animal research,” White wrote. The AES is a network of locations around Cache Valley run by USU that allows faculty and students to conduct hundreds of research projects on topics ranging from plant and animal genetics to food safety and processing, according to USU’s website. The AES is in keeping with USU’s unique role in the state as a land-grant school.

Herald Journal Friday, Jun. 23, 2017

Craig Jessop Talks Time with Singing Sergeants

Years ago, Craig Jessop was an Air Force reserve officer who had just wrapped up his doctoral studies at Stanford University when he got a call from Washington, D.C., asking if he would audition for director of the Singing Sergeants. His first thought was, “the Singing what?” ... Thirty years later, Jessop, now the dean of the Caine College of the Arts, considers the gig with the group a milestone in his career and is pleased to have USU host a reunion concert of former Air Force Singing Sergeants members on the quad at Utah State University on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ... Nothing prepared me more for the rest of my professional life than my years with the Air Force band. I was working with some of the finest instrumentalists in the nation. To that point, I had worked primarily with students, but never professional musicians before. I found a wonderful, very stimulating, very high-standard environment. It pushed me to the absolute limit, and I couldn’t have asked for more.

Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2017

Discussing the Year of the Arts with Dr. Craig Jessop on Access Utah

Craig Jessop, Dean of Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts, Director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra, and former Music Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, has led an interesting life in the arts. He’ll join us today to talk about USU’s Year of the Arts which begins this month. He’ll also tell us some stories from his friendship with John Rutter, from his time in groups led by Robert Shaw, and from his time as leader of several U.S. Air Force musical ensembles, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We’ll also ask him about the role the arts play in our lives and get his take on the somewhat precarious state of funding for the arts.

Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2017

People of All Faiths Invited to Ramadan Dinner Thursday night

Tien Lindsay had recently become a resident assistant with Utah State University Housing when she put together a potluck dinner for her residents, but she also wanted to include those who practice Islam. It was during Ramadan, a one-month period each year when Muslims worldwide abstain from eating and drinking between dawn and sunset, so she scheduled the dinner to be after the sun had gone down. Lindsay said it turned out to be a very successful, uniting event. In addition to Muslims, there were also members of the LDS faith, Catholics and Buddhists. ... The goal, she said, is for those who attend to find some commonality with each other and to help people realize not everyone holds the strong, damaging views often portrayed in the media. “We want to promote unity and goodwill toward one another,” Lindsay said. “That’s it really.”

Herald Journal Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2017

USU Says No to Cannabis Research on Humans; Hemp Growth a Long Shot

Utah State University is not interested in doing research on the effects of medical marijuana on humans, and even if the university had the facilities necessary to grow the controlled substance for research purposes, it would only consider growing it if federal and state laws become untangled. That was what Mark McLellan, USU vice president for research and dean of the School for Graduate Studies, told The Herald Journal this week in reaction to a new state law that approved medical research of cannabis, cannabinoid products and expanded cannabinoid products on humans. “This bill, there’s no production research,” McLellan said. “This is all medical research. This would be something that the University of Utah might explore. But for us, we have no human medical research on controlled substances — none. And we would not expect to start it with this.” ... McLellan said regardless of the new state law, federal restrictions would still make starting marijuana research at USU a significant undertaking. “In the case of possession, growth or distribution of marijuana, we are still bound by federal law no matter what a state may choose to enact, even if it is for research purposes,” he wrote in an email to the newspaper.

UB Media Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2017

USU-Uintah Basin Professor Named Executive Director

After a comprehensive national search, Utah State University announced Lianna Etchberger, a Uintah Basin professor, as the executive director of USU-Moab and Southwest region. “The Moab and Southwest region are gaining a strong leader and visionary for distance education in Lianna, ” said James Taylor, executive director for USU-Uintah Basin. “While Lianna will be greatly missed, we are proud seeing how her career has developed in the Basin and are confident she will excel in her new role.” ... As part of the move, Moab will also gain Rich Etchberger, a former USU-Uintah Basin wildlife science professor. Rich Etchberger was named USU’s vice provost in January and will continue his new role from Moab. USU-Uintah Basin intends to fill both faculty vacancies. The search for Rich Etchberger’s replacement is underway now. Details will be announced as they are finalized to fill Lianna Etchberger’s faculty position in the Uintah Basin. Lianna Etchberger will officially begin her new role on July 1 with plans to relocate to the Moab region in the following months.

Herald Journal Monday, Jun. 19, 2017

USU Digitizes Brigham Young College Image Collection

People can look at photographs, yearbooks, college bulletins and other documents related to the former Brigham Young College in Logan thanks to the work of Utah State University Special Collections and Archives. Darcy Pumphrey, digital library coordinator for the Merrill-Cazier Library, and a team of specialists at USU got together to digitize Special Collections and Archives’ 11,000 images related to BYC — a school founded in August of 1877 that taught high school and college courses before it eventually closed in 1926. ... “It needed to be updated in a way that people could access it,” she said. “There’s still a lot of people who hold that school dear to their heart. (They) know their family went there but maybe they don’t know the campus itself and the story.” With the help of grant money from the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board, Pumphrey and her team were able to digitize the collection of images over a period of two years. ... Todd Welch, associate dean for Special Collections and Archives, praised Pumphrey and her team for their work. The project team included six people; an additional 16 people were responsible for scanning, uploading and adding metadata to the images. Welch talked about the importance of USU Special Collections and Archives having a collection of items from BYC. ... Welch said Pumphrey’s and others’ work to make this digitized collection possible will allow many more people to access the documents and learn about BYC than they otherwise would.

Herald Journal Saturday, Jun. 17, 2017

Logan River Planting Showcases Restoration Process

On one side of the Logan River at Denzil Stewart Nature Park, fast-moving water rushes along a steep bank lined with concrete chunks. On the other side, a team of volunteers on Saturday planted 170 native trees and shrubs in the floodplain. USU Forestry Extension Educator Megan Dettenmaier said the concrete blocks represent the “business as usual” approach to bank stabilization, but the Logan River Task Force wants to show what a natural streambank looks like with multiple layers of riparian habitat. The newly-planted shrubs will stabilize the riverbank, filter pollutants and provide a buffer to protect property. ... Frank Howe, Logan River Task Force chairman, said the task force lowered the bank along Denzil Stewart Nature Park last fall to create a floodplain. Instead of moving faster through a narrow channel and causing more erosion, the lowered floodplain allows the river to dissipate its energy and deposit sediment. ... He said plantings like this will help reduce further sediment from depositing downstream, like at the Logan River Golf Course where a large restoration project will begin in August to reroute a section of the river, creating a wide floodplain and protecting infrastructure.

Herald Journal Friday, Jun. 16, 2017

Freedom Fire to Bring Corporate Party Band Party Crashers

This year’s production of Freedom Fire, Logan’s annual Independence Day celebration, will include fireworks, lasers, a corporate party band and a Utah State University alumnus who was crowned winner of “Aggie Idol.” Party Crashers, who have performed at functions for companies like Microsoft and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, and Cade Mower, who graduated from USU earlier this year, will be among those performing at the event scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, July 3, at Maverik Stadium. “It is a yearlong process to craft a show like Freedom Fire, to find the talent, bring it all together and make it all work,” said Holly Fjeldsted, executive producer of Freedom Fire who has organized the show for several years. “People are going to come inside and have the time of their lives.” ... Freedom Fire will also include remarks from Utah State University Athletic Director John Hartwell and Logan Mayor Craig Petersen. KVNU broadcaster and “Voice of the Aggies” Al Lewis will emcee the show.

Utah Public Radio Friday, Jun. 16, 2017

Greater Sage-Grouse in Utah on Wild About Utah

Utah’s dry, sagebrush covered landscapes are home to one of North American’s largest grouse species, commonly known as the greater sage-grouse. ... The greater sage-grouse are probably best known, by most, for their extravagant courtship rituals. ... Dr. Terry Messmer, Utah State University Extension wildlife specialist and director of the Berryman Institute explains, “Greater sage-grouse do not have a muscular crop and are not able to digest hard seeds like other upland game species such as the ring-necked pheasant… they depend on sagebrush for their survival. In fact, during the winter sage grouse survive by only eating sagebrush. They are the only species that can gain weight during the winter by [consuming] sagebrush. ... In the late 1990’s, in an effort to reverse this trend, Messmer through Utah State University entered into a collaboration with the State of Utah and numerous other stakeholders to develop a community-based conservation plan.  Its purpose was to bring local communities, agencies, and researchers together to determine the best methods to preserve sage-grouse, their sagebrush habitats, and benefit the local community – without having to list it for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. After two decades of hard work, the partners have witnessed a resurgence of the greater sage-grouse as their habitats have been protected, enhanced and expanded.

Utah Public Radio Friday, Jun. 16, 2017

Logan City to Consider Downtown Theater District

Cache Valley theater arts organizers are hoping to create a special theater district in downtown Logan. The district would feature renovated buildings and performance halls dating back to the early 20th Century when four theaters were built on Logan's Main and Center streets.  ... “And you had to have a place for those performers to go, or they route around you,” said Wendi Hassan, director of the Cache Valley Center for the Arts, or CVCA.  “And we are still benefiting from that routing today.” Hassan has been meeting with representatives of theater organizations, including Utah State University, which owns and operates the Lyric Theatre. The non-profit Utah Festival Opera manages the Utah Theater, and the CVCA operates and oversees management of the Ellen Eccles Theater. Each of these historic theaters provides space for cultural and entertainment events. Together, they make up a unique grouping of theater venues that in 2016 entertained more than 11,000 audience members. ... Hassan says Logan Mayor Craig Petersen is working with city officials to review and consider a special theater district. The proposal is scheduled to be discussed during Tuesdays’ Logan City Council meeting.

Utah Public Radio Thursday, Jun. 15, 2017

Jazz, Blues and Rock 'n' Roll with Cory Christiansen on Access Utah

Cory Christiansen is a recording artist, writer, educator and performer. He has played and taught around the globe for the last decade alongside the likes of Dr. Lonnie Smith, Vic Juris, Danny Gottlieb, Jeff Coffin, James Moody, Steve Houghton, Jeremy Allen and other jazz greats. His last recording, "Lone Prairie" received critical acclaim for its blending of jazz, rock, blues and music of the American Frontier.  Christiansen has authored or co-authored over 70 method books and written many an article for major guitar magazines in North America and Downbeat Magazine. He has also developed The Modern Guitar Community, an online guitar-learning site. He currently teaches at Utah State University. 

The Davis Clipper Thursday, Jun. 15, 2017

New Educational Field Classes at USU Extension's Master Naturalist Program

Utah State University Extension’s Utah Master Naturalist Program provides nature lovers an opportunity to attend educational field courses this summer, with classes running through Sept. 29. Focusing on watershed, desert and mountain ecosystems, courses are available across Utah, from Salt Lake City and Park City on the north, to Moab on the south. Participants can discover such places as Antelope Island and Dead Horse Point State Parks or spend a weekend at Great Basin National Park. According to Mark Larese-Casanova, Utah Master Naturalist program director, those attending will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience and knowledge about nature while touring some of the most beautiful places in Utah.  

Area-Info Wednesday, Jun. 14, 2017

New Mexico Counties Participate in USDA Stronger Economies Together Program

New Mexico rural community and county leaders are taking advantage of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Stronger Economies Together program to help them develop and implement an economic development blueprint for their multi-county regions. The SET program is a joint initiative between New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, USDA Rural Development and the Western Regional Rural Development Center at Utah State University. ... After gathering the information, the regions will develop a model for action and accountability, design leadership structure appropriate for regional plan implementation, identify technical assistance needs for success and secure resources needed for success. ... The SET regions have already seen success in their economic development because they are working together to achieve their common goal established in their strategic plans,” said Eric Vigil, New Mexico’s acting state director of USDA Rural Development.

Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2017

Angus Cattle Certification Changes could Benefit Producers

The Agriculture Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture facilitates the marketing of U.S. agricultural products in the domestic and international markets.  The department ensures fair trading practices and promotes a competitive and efficient market place. According to the USDA, changes in the certifications for angus cattle will take effect in July. ... Brett Bowman, a professor of agricultural science at Utah State University, said there is one main chicken breed and just a few swine breeds, but there are many different types of cattle breeds throughout the world.  Any advantage over the competition can make a difference. “We have less consistency in having a pleasurable eating experience, if you will, consistently,” Bowman said. “That’s where I applaud the angus industry because they have started a lot of certification programs to where it helps the consumer buying power as well as the producer in purchasing animals with consistency due to genetics.” ... “I think they’re going to better the industry by having the certifications of whatever they’re selecting for,” Bowman said. “I don’t see it to impede but rather benefit most producers that would use genetics that way.” The entire beef industry needs to work together to improve their products, according to Bowman, not just those involved with angus cattle.

The Nation Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2017

Oldest Living Thing on Earth

Mayflies live a day, humans live a century, if we’re lucky, but what is the oldest living organism on the planet? For scientists, accurately proving the age of any long-lived species is a hard task. Under the boughs of a 300-year-old sweet chestnut tree in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, Tony Kirkham, head of the arboretum, confirms that trees are capable of outliving animals. ... In Fishlake National Park in Utah in the US lives a quaking aspen tree that most people would struggle to see as “a tree”. It’s a clonal tree called “Pando”, from the Latin meaning “I spread”, and for good reason. It is so large that it is easy to mistake for a forest. However, Pando, despite being the size of Vatican City, has all sprung from one seed, and, over the years, has grown a single vast rootstock supporting an estimated 50,000 tree trunks. Accurately estimating how many years is problematic, says population geneticist Prof Karen Mock from Utah State University, who works on the aspen. ... “There have been all kinds of different estimates but the original tree is almost certainly not there,” he told the BBC. ... Tantalisingly, Prof Mock and Tony Kirkham agree that there’s still more to hunt for; the actual oldest living organism on the planet almost certainly has not yet been found.


Herald Journal Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2017

Vivint Smart Home Opens New Building on USU Innovation Campus

Executives from Provo-based company Vivint Smart Home dubbed Tuesday an “orange-ribbon day,” a nod to the company’s color scheme, to celebrate the opening of their new building on Utah State University’s Innovation Campus. ... Vivint’s presence on the USU Innovation Campus — a place where numerous businesses work and advance economic development — will allow the company a long-term spot with other like-minded entities and collaboration with the university community. “Innovation is really part of our DNA,” Vivint President Alex Dunn told employees. “USU, I think, has the same DNA as Vivint — it’s an overachiever; it’s doing amazing things.” ... “He (Vivint President Alex Dunn) refers to this as ‘a campus,’ and I can really feel that — there’s energy, there’s new ideas, there’s research, fitness and healthy living going on here,’” Cockett told employees.

Herald Journal Monday, Jun. 12, 2017

Inovar Breaks Ground on New Facility at USU Innovation Campus

Inovar, the Logan-based electronics manufacturing services firm, is getting a new place to call home. On Monday afternoon, company officials broke ground on a new facility on land belonging to the Utah State University Innovation Campus. It may actually be the perfect place for the company, considering it was started by Utah State University alumnus Blake Kirby, now the company’s CEO and chairman. “What I can’t help but think about, sitting here in a small tent 20 years ago, Inovar started its journey in a converted service station about twice this size,” Kirby said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Launching on a journey, we didn’t really know where it would take us.” ... The new Inovar facility, at 100,000-square-feet, will be able to keep up with the company’s growth of employees and meet the company’s customer demands in military, defense, aerospace and medical — fields Inovar produces circuit boards for. The new facility is expected to be complete in May of 2018. ... In remarks on Monday, USU President Noelle Cockett — who has worked at the university for more than 25 years — recalled how in the early 2000s, then-USU President Kermit Hall secured funding from state lawmakers to move animal facilities in North Logan to make way for the Innovation Campus. ... North Logan Mayor Lloyd Berentzen told The Herald Journal that Inovar coming to the Innovation Campus is significant for his city. “It just continues to complete the quality of what we have in our valley,” he said. “To have a campus like this, it’s one of the most unique kinds of things anywhere in the country, and then to have Inovar come and be a part of it, it fits right in. It’s a great thing.”

Utah Public Radio Monday, Jun. 12, 2017

Significant Finds from Fremont People to Become Permanent Collection

Recently a prehistoric museum in Price received a significant permanent collection of archeological artifacts.The collection is made up of various everyday items the Fremont people used. The collection first started in the 1920's with the Ephraim T. and Dorothy Pectol family. Since then, the collection resided in Capitol Reef National Park, Brigham Young University and Temple Square until becoming a permanent collection at Utah State University Eastern’s Prehistoric Museum. ...  Tim Riley, curator of archeology for the museum, said the collection is important because it helps archeologists study more about the Fremont Indians and how their culture differed from the Puebloan, Shoshone and Ute ancestors. “It’s tied into archeology and how we understand the past," Riley said. ... In its nearly century-long transition from the original private collector, the collection has expanded to include more items that are on display now at the museum.

Cody Enterprise Monday, Jun. 12, 2017

Utah State Professor Discusses Bison in Yellowstone

Dr. Ken Cannon has been trying to get 10,000-year-old bison to speak up. In the name of science, Cannon would like to know what they were doing, what their eating habits were and how far they roamed. He’s been working on translations for some time now, but they are not talkative guys, more in the habit of leaving clues. ... ... Cannon, a research professor at Utah State University, spoke at the Draper Natural History Museum’s Lunchtime Expedition program in the Coe Auditorium in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. ...   The concurrent issue is how many bison can be supported by Yellowstone’s habitat. When food sources become scarce, they wander beyond the Park’s boundaries and become fair game, literally. “Managers are increasingly being challenged,” Cannon said. “I think there’s always going to be an issue.”

Herald Journal Saturday, Jun. 10, 2017

Bear River Celebration and Free Fishing Day is a Consistent Hit with Locals

At 10 a.m. Saturday, Cache Valley families began gathering at Skylar’s Pond in Willow Park for the 16th annual Bear River Celebration and Free Fishing Day. The event allowed families to fish for the day without a license and learn about Bear River watershed, wildlife and conservation. According to Eli Robinson, the program coordinator for the Utah State University Water Quality Extension, between 400 and 500 people were expected to visit the pond and explore the 16 educational booths from local organizations. Free water bottles were given to kids who completed activities at each booth. ... Sarahann Delaney said she brought her child to the event to get more fishing experience under the supervision of experts. She said community events like these help show parents and children what the community has to offer. “I think they are a great way for kids to experience things they wouldn’t experience,” Delaney said.

Cache Valley Daily Saturday, Jun. 10, 2017

Rogers Wants to Promote Social Equity within Logan City

Utah State University research scientist Paul Rogers has thrown his hat in the political ring. He is one of 10 candidates running for the two open seats on the Logan Municipal Council. Rogers has worked with both USU and community organizations having served several years on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, one of those years as its chairman. ... "Another one is promoting social equity within the city," Rogers explains. "What I mean by that is having protections for renters, promoting respect across traditions of religion, religious beliefs and other kinds of beliefs, and particular a welcoming environment for new citizens and for disenfranchised youth." He says he would like to make young people feel good about being participants in government.

Utah Public Radio Thursday, Jun. 08, 2017

'Voices From Drug Court:' How a Hidden Community is Telling its Stories

Michelle Reyes used drugs on and off for 19 years. For the last six years, she had been in and out of jail on various charges, some of which weren’t drug-related. ... On Easter of 2016, Reyes’s use kept her from being with her children. She decided then to get clean. Two months later, she was charged with distribution. When she appeared in court, she was pregnant with her seventh child. She was offered the option to delay jail for eight months, to give her time with her baby, or to accept drug court instead. Judge Thomas Willmore, the judge on Reyes’s case, helped to bring drug court to Cache Valley in July of 2000. Willmore said that when drug courts were first created in the eighties, the idea of a court that was focused on rehabilitation instead of punishment was controversial. “Just think about that for a minute: a court that’s there to solve problems,” Willmore said. “Most the time, since the development of the criminal justice system, it’s always been there to punish bad behavior, to punish the breaking of the laws.” ... “I have so much respect and love, because drug court has saved my life. For me to say I have a house key again — my husband didn’t trust me with a house key for years,” she said. “I have a house key. My husband has bought me a car. I have a job. I have a lot of responsibility. My kids know that if I say ‘I’m gonna pick you up from school,’ that I’m there. And I’m there early.” Andrew Dupree, a graduate of drug court, brought the idea of documenting stories like these to Randy Williams, folklore archive curator at USU. Over the last year, Williams and Dupree worked with Jennifer Duncan of Special Collections, and Brock Alder of Bear River Mental Health to gather dozens of interviews like this one.

Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Jun. 07, 2017

Group Therapy Helps College Students Develop Skills to Regulate Emotions

On the top floor of the student center at Utah State University, two doctoral students are spending the summer interning. This gives them an opportunity to work at CAPS, the schools counseling and psychological service center. "The skills training group is one of the many groups that we offer at CAPS," said LuAnn Helms, a psychologist and the center's assistant director. "It incorporates several different modules, so several different groups or clusters of skills." ... This type of group therapy is being done nationally and seems to be one way for counseling centers to help students who are already undergoing personal therapy but could also benefit from sharing experiences and learning from their peers. “There’s a lot of research showing that it does help," Helms said. "I think it can be beneficial with a lot of different things though like, even, how do you set boundaries with your roommate. You don’t have to be real severe in what’s going on to benefit from the skills.”

Herald Journal Wednesday, Jun. 07, 2017

USU Hosts Engineering State for Incoming High School Seniors

High School students put their engineering smarts to the test at Utah State University on Wednesday by using K’NEX to build bridges and load-testing them see which design could withstand the most pressure. ... “I feel like my group really came together,” said Cacia Hunt, 17, a Sky View High School student who was a member of the winning team. “It really opened me up. I don’t know everything and everybody knows different things. So, putting that all together, it really made my group the best.” ... Kevin Hendrickson, a USU student who was an E-State facilitator for the bridge load-testing workshop on Wednesday, said he remembers what it was like to attend E-State as a high school student in Brigham City. ... Hendrickson said he was happy to be on hand to help high school students load-test their bridge designs because “we’re helping the future engineers of America.”

UB Media Tuesday, Jun. 06, 2017

Incredible Super Veggie Posters get a Professional Makeover

When it comes to eating healthy, sometimes a child’s peers can get through to them when adults can’t. That was the thinking behind the Incredible Super Veggie poster contest that was held in April for fifth grade students in Duchesne County School District. This program was sponsored by the Utah State Extension Family and Consumer Science department. “A recent study has pointed out the importance of vegetable marketing to children. I think we all know that children (especially children in elementary school) are keen on television, and the junk food industry has discovered how to market to this age group via advertising,” USU Extension FCS Assistant Maryanne Clayburn said. “To combat this unhealthy food marketing, we came up with the Incredible Super Veggie poster contest.” ... “The goal is to use these posters to provide vegetable promotion, and in turn encourage them to eat more vegetables based on that more positive view of vegetables themselves,” Clayburn said. Although the poster contest was a lot of fun, Clayburn said this was the trial run for the program and more research will be done to determine if the contest will be repeated during the next school year. If it is determined the posters have an impact on the amount of vegetables a student eats, then there is a good chance the program will continue, Clayburn said.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Jun. 06, 2017

USU Eastern Students Conclude Native American Mentorship Program

Machelle Etsitty, a senior studying social work at Utah State University Eastern in Blanding, was surprised when she first set foot on the Logan campus for a four-week program for Native American students. “I thought the school was going to have limitations with majors like Blanding, but I was wrong,” Etsitty wrote on a poster she displayed on Tuesday reflecting on her time at USU’s main campus. “I couldn’t believe the scale of the campus in Logan. I wandered around campus during my free time and found myself only looking at a quarter of what was there.” ... The poster presentation in the Anderson Engineering Building on Tuesday marked the end of Etsitty’s and several other USU students’ participation in the Native American Mentorship Program, or NAMP. NAMP includes students from USU Eastern’s Blanding campus — an institution where the student population is 60 to 70 percent Native American, most of them Navajo, likely owing to the fact that the campus is near the border of the Navajo Nation. The NAMP’s goal is to get more Native American students to graduate with a four-year degree. ... Etsitty said in an interview she believes it’s important for USU to have a mentorship program for Native Americans like her.

Herald Journal Monday, Jun. 05, 2017

USU Students, Faculty, Community Participate in Bird-Window Collision Study

Most mornings up on campus, Utah State University student Danielle Johnson can be found going behind trees and bushes and inspecting windows on buildings to look for signs of bird-window collisions. ... “I get to walk around and look at pretty things outside and look for birds. It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt,” Johnson said with a laugh. “Usually (signs of collision are) not too graphic, so that’s nice.” ... Bird-window collisions have been a problem on the Logan campus for several years, and now USU researchers are working on a new study to solve the problem. They’re tracking signs of bird collisions at “hot spots” on campus so USU Facilities can know why the collisions happened as well as where and how to reduce the number of them. ... “We can’t just go to them and say, ‘There’s been some collisions here, and we really want you to change this,’” said Kim Sullivan, USU associate professor of biology. “We need to say, ‘Over the course of 12 months, 700 birds have been killed at this building site.’” ... Sullivan hopes members of the community turn out to help with the study over the summer. “If they contribute to our understanding … they could really help save a lot of birds as we go forward,” she said. “They’ll also get ideas on what to do about their own house windows if they’re seeing bird collisions.

Utah Public Radio Friday, Jun. 02, 2017

Great Salt Lake Becomes 'Wings And Water' Classroom

The Wings and Water program is wrapping up for the year at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve with 4th graders from Kaysville Elementary. ... The Nature Conservancy and the Utah State University Botanical Center have hosted 14,000 students over a decade. It’s filled with hands-on lessons about the extraordinary web of life in Nature’s classroom at the edge of the Great Salt Lake. “Everybody come gather round,” says Jackson, sounding like a pro even though it's her first time leading a class. She’s giving lessons today on everything from why some migrating birds have long beaks to what makes phragmites grass invasive.

Cache Valley Daily Friday, Jun. 02, 2017

USU's Huntsman Scholars Program Getting a 'Total Redesign'

Utah State University’s Huntsman Scholars Program is about to undergo some big changes. Thanks to last month’s announcement of the $50 million gift to the Jon. M Huntsman School of Business from the Huntsman Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation, the business school’s premier undergraduate business program will quadruple in size and go through a change in curriculum. Half of the gift will go directly to the program, which means it will receive $2.5 million every year for the next decade. ... “Because of the huge success of the current program, (Huntsman) wanted to greatly expand that,” said Dave Patel, the program’s executive director. ... Huntsman Scholar students will be required to take the same classes every business major takes, but they will be in their own scholar sections of the courses. They will also take additional courses each year centered on the four pillars of the Huntsman School. “It is really sort of a classroom plus an outside-the-classroom experience that really exposes students to those topics in a very experiential way,” Patel said.

Utah Public Radio Thursday, Jun. 01, 2017

New Deal Allows U.S. To Export Beef To China

The U.S. has opened a new trade deal with China which will give producers access to 1.4 billion new consumers. Dillon Feuz, a professor of applied economics at Utah State University, said this trade deal is a big step for U.S. producers with the direction China is going. “As their economy is growing, their population is getting more of a disposable income,” Feuz said. “Then people like to upgrade their diets and beef is usually one of those things that follow. It has the potential to come back and add several dollars at the farm ranch level.” ... Feuz said in order to take advantage of the new trade deal, farmers and ranchers don’t really have to change what they are doing. They can continue to sell their commodities as they have done in the past, and the meat packing plants will do most of the negotiating.  Some beef producers, however, are in the niche markets and will have to cater to those specific demands in the Chinese market. ... Feuz said it will probably be at least a year or two before we actually see any impact from this trade deal.

Oroville MR News Thursday, Jun. 01, 2017

Oroville Dam Spillway Model may Provide Answers

Over 700 miles away from the Oroville Dam spillway sits its sort of little sister — a tennis-court sized replica at Utah State University, which is being tested by engineers. The 15 member group has conducted over 50 tests so far and is now in the process of building a model of the repairs planned by the state Department of Water Resources, which commissioned the project at the university. That should be ready in a few weeks for further testing, said Michael Johnson, a research professor with the Utah Water Resource Laboratory. ... The university has a history with DWR, as Johnson’s lab worked out an engineering solution for river valves in low-level water reservoir conditions, aiding during the drought years of 2014-2016. “We just want to make sure any concerns are identified or validated, just to make sure there aren’t any surprises,” Johnson said. “People can do (their) best at estimating. A model helps to validate. Physical models still considered state of the art; gold standard.” ... “I think people can be very confident (that) whatever goes in is going to be as good as humanly possible to produce,” Johnson said. “They are very serious about making sure this is as put together as possible.”

Utah Public Radio Tuesday, May. 30, 2017

Agricultural Budget Cuts Could Change Safety Nets for Farmers

Last week Donald Trump released his proposed budget plan for 2018. According to the budget, the U.S Department of Agriculture would take one of the biggest cuts with a decrease of $4.7 billion in funding. The proposed budget for 2018 would make some major cuts to USDA programs. DeeVon Bailey, a professor of applied economics at Utah State University, said in those cuts the safety net programs for farmers could see the most change. “Limiting crop insurance eligibility and minimizing the harvest price option for crop insurance,” Bailey said. “That could have some impact on the safety net that is available to farmers.” ... There is good news for professors and college students, especially at Utah State University which is the state’s agricultural college, according to Bailey. The funding for research programs have not been reduced in the president’s proposed budget. Bailey said this is just a proposal and has not taken effect yet. This is just the start of the conversation about what details of the budget might or might not pass. Although he says Utahns can count on pressure to eliminate funding for the safety net programs for farmers.

Herald Journal Tuesday, May. 30, 2017

Juniper Systems Founder, Board Chairman Talks Company Evolution

When it comes to the creation of his company, Juniper Systems, Ron Campbell credits several people, including a Utah State University professor he learned from as a student. Sterling Taylor, USU professor of plant, soils and climate, “seeded that passion” Campbell developed for agricultural research, the industry in which he first introduced a portable field computer — the kind of product Juniper Systems is now known for. “It’s all because of Sterling Taylor,” Campbell said in an interview at Juniper Systems’ office, 1132 W. 1700 North, Logan, late last week. “That really is the power of a mentor.”

The Richfield Reaper Tuesday, May. 30, 2017

Learning About the Circle of Life

Fourth grade students from throughout the area converged on the Sevier County Fairgrounds in Richfield May 18 to learn about life on the farm. “Most youth, even in rural Utah, are removed at least one generation from the farm,” said Kim Chapman, Utah State University Cooperative Extension director in Sevier County. The USU extension teamed up with some 30 members of the Future Farmers of America, as well as volunteers from the Utah Farm Bureau and local agriculture professionals to host the event. “The program is designed to teach fourth graders about various agricultural topics, but especially where their food comes from,” Chapman said. “Things that used to be learned through experience on the farm and became almost second nature are now being lost to modern consumerism.” ... Subjects covered included beef, swine, sheep, dairy, corn and sod production. Presentations were also given concerning healthy diets, food processing, soil conservation, salt mining and ATV and farm safety.

Utah Public Radio Tuesday, May. 30, 2017

Logan River Restoration Continues with Increased Public Input

The Logan River Task Force, a group of concerned citizens, hydrologist, and recreation specialists have formulated a plan to improve environmental and social ecosystem services along the Logan River. Last week there was a public meeting at the Logan River Golf Course to learn about a follow -up restoration of the Logan River at Rendezvous Park.  Sean Keenan, environmental analyst at BIO-WEST Consulting spoke about the motivations for the new project. ... The city of Logan recognized the concerns of citizens and spearheaded the creation of a long-term restoration management plan with over 20 collaborators. The group was led by the city of Logan, hydrologists at Allred Restoration, and scientists and extension staff from Utah State University. ... “We are going to monitor the restorations before and after and try and see what improvements were made," Keenan said. "Then we will look back to the conservation action plan and we’ll say how many improvements have been made and what we should we do next. So it helps you organize your efforts over time and it’s something you can hand down to future people which they can improve.” Tuesday, May. 30, 2017

Lyric Repertory Company Celebrates 50th Anniversary Season

“The Lyric Repertory Company has been an integral part of the community for more than 50 years,” Dennis Hassan, co-artistic director of the Lyric Rep, said. “We have a cast of amazing actors from all over the country who bring their incredible talents to Cache Valley.” ... The theater company brings in members of Actors’ Equity Association and other professional actors and guest artists to work side by side with advanced theater students from USU’s Caine College of the Arts. The Lyric Rep 50th Anniversary Celebration and season opening in June represents the kick-off for Utah State University’s 2017-18 Year of the Arts which will be a year-long celebration of events and promotions spotlighting the unique power of the arts to illuminate, transform and inspire the human spirit. University and community partners, including the Lyric Rep, will work together to present a schedule of events focused on the broad spectrum of artistic disciplines offered at Utah State. The Year of the Arts will showcase the breadth, depth, power and purpose of artistic exploration and expression at USU across colleges, departments and regional campuses.

Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, May. 30, 2017

Old Main Towers Temporarily Removed

 Utah State University’s iconic building is missing a few pieces. If you have been around campus during the last week or so you may have noticed that a few towers are missing from Old Main. Two spires on the building's south wing have been temporarily removed as part of a reroofing process. USU’s director of planning design and construction Ben Berrett said the roof's old wood shingles are being replaced by new composite shingles. Once that is done, he said, the towers will be put back in their spots. “Those two little towers are deteriorating,” Berrett said. “So they’ll take them off and send them down to a shop to have them refurbished.” ... The north wing and center section of Old Main have already been completed. The south wing is expected to be finished in time for fall semester.

KSL Tuesday, May. 30, 2017

USU Plays Key Role in Successful Launch of Satellite from Space Station

When a small defense satellite was launched from the International Space Station recently, a team from Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory gathered to watch the deployment. The launch was the culmination of some two years of work for the small team that collaborated with the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop the Satellite for High Accuracy Radar Calibration, or SHARC for short. The USU-based lab developed the satellite's flight software, radio interface circuit board, and provided fabrication and assembly expertise for its main subsystems. ... The Logan-based laboratory developed the SHARC flight software that monitors and controls all aspects of the satellite. The software provides the command and data handling functionality to operate key subsystems such as communications, guidance and navigation, state-of-health monitoring, the electronic power system and telemetry, among others. The Space Dynamics Laboratory also developed the ground system software used to communicate with the satellite. ... According to USU officials, the Satellite for High Accuracy Radar Calibration was developed to demonstrate the capability of actively obtaining data from a small satellite platform to generate more precise positions of satellites at given times. The Space Dynamics Laboratory is a nonprofit unit of the USU Research Foundation. It has been solving technical challenges faced by the military, science community and industry since 1959.

Terra Daily Sunday, May. 28, 2017

Sequestering Blue Carbon Through Better Management of Coastal Ecosystems

Focusing on the management of carbon stores within vegetated coastal habitats provides an opportunity to mitigate some aspects of global warming. Trisha Atwood from Utah State University's Watershed Sciences Department of the Quinney College of Natural Resources and the Ecology Center has collaborated with several co-authors from Australia, including lead author Peter Macreadie from Deakin University, in an article published in the May 2017 issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. "If we are going to fight off climate change not only do we need to cut CO2 emissions," Atwood states. "But we also need to protect and restore natural carbon sinks like coastal wetlands." ... Researchers are learning how to increase the sequestration of the blue carbon. Historically, resource managers have relied on best-management practices to protect and restore vegetated coastal habitats. ... "Wetlands have a tremendous capacity for storing carbon long-term," Atwood said. "This research highlights three ways in which we can protect and improve this capacity." She and her co-authors demonstrate that these actions have the potential to profoundly alter rates of carbon accumulation and retention in vegetated coastal habitats around the globe

Herald Journal Friday, May. 26, 2017

'Be Those Scholars': USU Vice President has Message for 2017 Class

As far as Mark McLellan is concerned, just because students leave Utah State University once they graduate doesn’t mean school leaves them. That message was the heart of a speech the USU vice president for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies gave at graduate student commencement ceremonies earlier this month. McLellan, who has been at USU since 2011, gives a speech during commencement every year with a different theme inspired by his personal experiences. ... McLellan sat down with The Herald Journal to talk about his recent graduation speech, his thoughts on the class of 2017 and what it was like when he was their age.

Cache Valley Daily Friday, May. 26, 2017

USU Battery Research Could Have Big Implications

The majority of today’s gadgets are powered by lithium-ion batteries. They are found in laptops, digital cameras and cell phones, and have been for almost three decades, but researchers are looking for a replacement. ... USU researcher Tianbiao Liu is now leading a group of Utah State University researchers hoping to develop lithium-ion’s replacement, but the USU team isn’t the only one. The team is one of many across the globe racing to develop a magnesium-based battery – something Liu believes would be safer, cheaper and provide more energy. “If this technology gets into the market it’s going to be really transformative and groundbreaking,” Liu said. ... Liu predicted that a magnesium-based battery will be on the market within the next five to 10 years. His group, funded in part by a USTAR grant, recently published two papers describing recent breakthroughs on the subject. “Worldwide and nationwide, we are leading the field,” he said. “Even though USU may not be as big as Harvard or MIT, we can compete with very good schools.” Liu believes the thing that sets his group apart from the rest is that it isn’t a traditional battery research group. Like the USU group, most will use materials scientists, but USU has also integrated chemists into its team. “We combined them together,” he said. “That is why we can have some unique ideas and some groundbreaking and transformative research down here.”

Deseret News Thursday, May. 25, 2017

USU Faculty Member Named to Utah Air Quality Board

Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed Randy Martin, a Utah State University research associate professor, to a four-year term on the Utah Air Quality Board. He was officially sworn into the role on May 24. Board members are chosen for their knowledge of air pollution matters and represent specific interests, professions and industries. Martin was selected to fill the role as engineer/scientist and to provide expert opinion about air quality rules and policies. Since joining USU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2000, Martin has completed dozens of studies and analysis of atmospheric trace species, most notably reactive hydrocarbons and related oxidation products. In recent years, Martin has become well-known for his expertise of the characterization and behavior of ambient fine particulate matter, known as PM 2.5 or PM 10.

Herald Journal Thursday, May. 25, 2017

USU Unveils 'Voices from Drug Court' Oral History Project

Andrew Dupree, a former participant in Utah 1st District Court’s Drug Court program, remembers listening to a presentation from USU Special Collections and Archives about an oral history project featuring local refugees. “As I sat through that presentation, I saw many parallels between the refugee community and the community I had been a part of — and still am a part of — which is the drug court community,” Dupree told attendees of an event at the Logan Library on Wednesday night. ... “Voices from Drug Court,” Dupree’s brainchild, is a project spearheaded by USU Special Collections and Archives. The project features interviews with a range of people associated with Drug Court — from the presiding judge to drug offenders and their families. ... Dupree, who conducted many of the interviews for “Voices from Drug Court” with USU staff, said he wants people who hear or read interviews to be able to humanize Drug Court participants. “Let’s not just think of it as an abstract news story, ‘Someone got arrested for drugs, and their kids got taken from the home,’” he said. “Those are real people.” Randy Williams, the Fife Folklore Archives curator for USU Special Collections and Archives, also conducted many of the interviews for “Voices from Drug Court.” ... Willmore said he appreciates USU “giving a voice to this community” through the project. “It’s so important,” Willmore said. “It’s people with a disease trying to cope and solve problems.”

Space Daily Wednesday, May. 24, 2017

SDL-Supported Small Sat Launched from International Space Station

The Air Force Research Laboratory successfully deployed its Satellite for High Accuracy Radar Calibration, also known as SHARC, into a low-Earth orbit from the International Space Station. Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory developed the SHARC flight software, radio interface circuit board, and provided fabrication and assembly expertise for the satellite's main subsystems. "Following SHARC's successful launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket and delivery to the International Space Station as part of the Orbital ATK -7 mission, the spacecraft was deployed from the ISS. Initial data indicates that SHARC is performing as designed," said Lance Fife, SDL's director for strategic and military space. "SDL is honored to be a part of the AFRL Small Satellite Portfolio team. The success of this mission is a testament to AFRL's exemplary leadership and highlights the expertise and professionalism of the dedicated employees at SDL."

KUTV Wednesday, May. 24, 2017

Volunteers Give Disabled Boy Gift of Freedom with Specially Designed Bike

A little boy has a new set of wheels. For the first time in his life, 8-year-old Parker Layton will enjoy the summer breeze on his face on a bike ride with his family. ... Christopher Layton looked online for a solution to his son’s mobility problems. The cheapest product he found was $5,000, so he reached out on Facebook to find out if any other families with disabled kids had a solution. He found Mike Stokes and Todd McGreggor, volunteers at Utah State University’s Assistive Technologies Lab. The men spent weeks researching and designing prototypes before coming up with a model for a front-facing, three-wheel bike. ... “We just want families to know there's answers. There’s still amazing people in the world who just want to help,” Christopher Layton said. Stokes said he hopes to help more families overcome mobility issues. Tuesday, May. 23, 2017

Bio Synthetic Secrets: How Fungi Make Bio Active Compounds

Biological engineers at Utah State University have successfully decoded and reprogrammed the biosynthetic machinery that produces a variety of natural compounds found in fungi. ... Dr. Jixun Zhan, a professor of biological engineering at USU, studies the catalytic synthesis of natural products in bacteria and fungi. He and his team have reproduced many bio-active compounds in engineered microbes. Most recently, the team biosynthesized beauvericin and bassianolide—natural compounds originally produced by the fungus Beauveria bassiana that are known to have multiple beneficial effects. ... The team's findings, published May 23 in Nature Communications, are the first to describe the difference between bacterial and fungal iterative NRPS mechanisms. Zhan says a clearer understanding of NPRS processes could lead to advances in synthesizing existing and new compounds for drug discovery.


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