Deseret News Thursday, Jul. 26, 2018
To facilitate a growing horse herd — and student body — Utah State University needed a new barn on its 26-acre South Farm. The Utah State Board of Regents recently authorized construction of the $1.8 million barn, which USU officials say is needed to serve its School of Veterinary Medicine and growing undergraduate equine programs. ... "Students in USU's School of Veterinary Medicine work with faculty who specialize in equine medicine, and they gain important experience with horses," said Ken White, dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. ... The 20,000-square-foot metal barn will be designed, built, operated and maintained using institutional funds from the veterinary school. No state funds will be spent on the facility or its maintenance, according to Board of Regents documents. ... USU officials hope to break ground on the new barn this fall and complete construction by March. ... Equine Education Center manager D.J. Anderson said the new barn will have 51 stalls, three tack rooms and two wash bays. ... Anderson said interest in USU's Equine Science and Management program has grown since the start of USU's School of Veterinary Science in 2012, in a regional partnership with Washington State University. ... "Our extension equine programs for 4-H youth are growing, as well as the Extension Ride Utah program that helps military veterans and their families to share a trail ride and counseling to help with some difficult adjustments and emotional challenges," said White, who is also vice president of USU Extension.
Nature Communications Monday, Jul. 23, 2018
Conservation biologists recognize a sobering reality. "We're losing species left, right and center," says Utah State University scientist Will Pearse. 'We call it the 'Noah's Ark Problem,' and we have to pick species to save. We can't save them all." ... Pearse, with colleagues Florent Mazel, Arne Mooers and Caroline Tucker of Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, Marc Cadotte of the University of Toronto, Sandra Diaz of Argentina's National University of Cordoba, Giulio Valentino Dalla Riva of the University of British Columbia, Richard Grenyer of the University of Oxford, Fabien Leprieur of the University of Montpellier and David Mouillot of James Cook University, explore phylogenetic diversity as a metric of conservation prioritization in the July 23, 2018, issue of Nature Communications. "Our paper tests a fundamental component of conservation biology we refer to as the 'phylogenetic gambit,'" says Pearse, assistant professor in USU's Department of Biology and the USU Ecology Center. " ... In global datasets of mammals, birds and tropical fishes, the team demonstrates that, for the most part, the phylogenetic gambit holds. ... "Worryingly, though, we found in some parts of the world, and in some groups of species, preserving phylogenetic diversity did worse or just the same as random chance," Pearse says. "Luckily, we identified the areas and reasons this was happening, which still makes this selection technique valid and valuable for conservation biologists. "The team's efforts, organized through an international working group initiated by Tucker and Mooers, were funded by sDIV, the Synthesis Center for Biodiversity Sciences based in Leipzig, Germany.
The Herald Journal Saturday, Jul. 21, 2018
Utah State University will have to cut back on expenses to host state lawmakers at certain school events, including sports. Not only that, but the university will be required to keep track of lawmakers’ attendance to some events or meetings and report it annually to Utah’s higher education governing board. Those are only a few of the provisions that stem from a new policy approved by the Board of Regents during a meeting on Friday at Southern Utah University. “This is something I feel is a very workable solution to a problem (that’s) come up,” Higher Education Commissioner Dave Buhler told members of the board during the meeting. ... Neil Abercrombie, USU vice president of government relations, expressed the same concerns over the governor’s executive order and applauded the commissioner for working out another solution. “That would have limited our ability to engage with lawmakers — especially a school like Utah State,” he said. “The Regents’ policy set the right direction and addressed a few of those things.” According to the new policy, Utah’s public colleges and universities may continue to host legislators at institution-sponsored events and pay for their food and beverages in certain cases, including when it’s a function where all lawmakers are invited. Schools including USU “may pay travel and registration costs” for lawmakers attending meetings that address “specific policies and issues impacting public higher education,” according to the policy. Those meetings and expenses must be reported by institutions to the board annually.
United Nations Association of the U.S. Thursday, Jul. 19, 2018
The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, is pleased to announce the selection of Michael Scott Peters of Utah as the 2018-2019 U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations. Mr. Peters was chosen from a competitive pool of young Americans between the ages of 18-25 from across the country. Mr. Peters graduated Summa Cum Laude from Utah State University, where he earned a double major in International Business and Marketing while serving as Student Body President. ... Mr. Peters is a committed advocate for human rights, and is particularly passionate about raising global awareness on human trafficking through his work as a volunteer for Operation Underground Railroad. The U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations program was launched in 2012 to increase youth engagement in global affairs. As the Youth Observer, Mr. Peters will represent American youth at the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York and other UN events throughout the coming year, traveling within the United States and overseas to share his impressions and experiences and learn from those of others.
Utah Public Radio Thursday, Jul. 19, 2018
During the past 18 months of Donald Trump’s presidency, there have been national conversations about whether or not he should be impeached. There are organized efforts to move the idea forward, including the group Need to Impeach, which recently visited Utah. Utah State University associate professor of politics, Michael Lyons said the United States’ Constitution contains almost no information about what actions qualify a government official for impeachment. ... In the whole of the constitution, there is one sentence about impeachment qualifications. It reads, “The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” “When you throw high crimes together with misdemeanors it becomes really confusing,” Lyons said. ... A United States president has never been successfully removed from office through impeachment. Out of the 44 men to hold presidential office, only eight have ever faced impeachment. ... Lyons said it is important that the concept of impeachment isn’t trivialized. ... “It demeans the Constitution, it devalues the Constitution, to regard things in the Constitution lightly, and to make the constitution a weapon in partisan politics. That’s not what the framers had in mind when they designed the constitution-- they wanted it to be the supreme law of the land. They wanted it to define what United State Government is,” Lyons said. For those who do want to remove the president from office, Lyons says the best solution is to vote accordingly.
The Herald Journal Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2018
Only a few months after it implemented a pilot bikesharing program in Logan and at Utah State University, the California-based company Spin has decided to discontinue bikes and focus on scooters.Meanwhile, local officials are reacting with both disappointment and confusion over the decision. ... It all started Monday, when Spin informed USU, Logan and Joy Ride Bicycles of its decision ... Spin introduced the bikes to USU and Logan this spring as part of a yearlong pilot bikesharing program in the area. At the pilot program’s peak, there were over 300 Spin bikes in Cache Valley, according to Jeff Bruce, owner of Joy Ride Bicycles, the local company Spin contracted with to maintain the bikes. ... But Bruce did not care for how Spin handled the decision to discontinue bikesharing. ... Spin indicated in that follow-up conversation it was still considering continuing bikesharing in Cache Valley “because of the way we ran their operation and the way things went,” according to Bruce. ... In an interview Tuesday, Logan Mayor Holly Daines couldn’t say for sure Spin was getting rid of its bikes in her city or USU. ... Spin, for its part, did provide a statement to The Herald Journal on its intended switch from bikes to scooters. ... "Spin is committed to making sure this transition is as smooth as possible and we look forward to possibly returning to Logan in the future with electric scooters.” ... Bruce said he would support scooters in Cache Valley if Spin offered them. “We hope based on (our) business relationship with SPIN, we hope that there will be an opportunity to continue with further bike- or scooter-share programs in the valley,” he wrote.
Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2018
Longtime patrons of Utah State University’s food service operations in the Taggart Student Center on campus may not recognize the Hub when a major facelift is finished at the end of the summer.Alan Andersen, director of USU Dining Services, said in the Hub’s new configuration, there will be five different options for dining, instead of seven: ... One of the major changes you’ll see is where it used to be a centralized cashiering, each operation will have their own cash register now. ... “That makes it much more like a traditional foodcourt that you see in a mall or anyplace else. So much different; it also opens up the space a lot better.” ... He said already in place is a food truck, outside near the fountains, to help provide other food options while construction continues inside.
Utah Public Radio Monday, Jul. 16, 2018
A Latino youth leadership boot camp is taking place for the first time at Utah State University. The university is joining Latinos-in-Action, a national organization working to encourage Latino youth to consider pursuing higher education. Celina Wille works with USU’s youth extension programs to connect the Cache Valley community with resources like Latinos in Action to increase the number of Latino college graduates in Utah. ... Wille was on a video call with USU President Noelle Cockett when she shared the idea about working with the university to hold the boot camp.“We didn’t know how it would look like or who would do what, but President Cockett said, ‘I am all for it. You all plan the nuts and bolts,'" Wille said. ... Latinos in Action is a nonprofit organization set up to prepare Latino students to attend college, develop leadership skills, and increase their rate of literacy. ... The upcoming boot camp offers participants to mentor with Latino USU alumni to help forge a clearer pathway to college. ... The group of 120 students will gather in Logan Tuesday.
Cache Valley Daily Saturday, Jul. 14, 2018
When former Logan resident Kip Thorne speaks in Logan on Thursday, July 19th his topic will be “My Journey Through Space and Time: The Big Bang, Black Holes and Gravitational Waves.” Dr. Thorne will be coming just a few months after being awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. ... Retired Utah State University Professor Bryce Bishop, a friend of Thorne’s since childhood, says the public will find the lecture interesting, informative and entertaining. ... “He’s got a real gift putting things on a level so whoever he is talking to can know what he’s talking about.”Bishop says Thorne claims that for him and his family, “a 70-year quest to explore the universe has deep roots in this community.” ... Thorne will speak at 4 p.m. on July 19th in the Logan High School Auditorium. He is coming to Logan to attend the 60 year reunion of the Logan High School Class of 1958 on July 20th. On that day, the City of Logan will be naming a street in his honor at 1 p.m. with Mayor Holly Daines officiating.
The Herald Journal Saturday, Jul. 14, 2018
Utah State University has appointed the state’s commissioner of technical education to a new position that will help provide oversight to the university’s regional campus system. On Aug. 1, Dave Woolstenhulme will become vice president of regional campuses, focusing on the non-academic aspects of the system, including enrollment, budgeting, buildings, according to a news release put out by the university. ... USU’s regional campus system consists of 33 campuses and centers throughout the state and offer a wide variety of programs as part of the school’s land-grant mission. ... USU did not provide information in its news release about why the vice president of regional campuses position was created. But Woolstenhulme said in an interview it was the result of restructuring by the school. “As many years as I’ve worked at USU, they felt like my skills would be what they were looking for in this position,” he said. ... “Dave’s extensive experience with USU’s regional campuses and state-wide technical education makes him a perfect choice to lead new efforts in regional campus function and growth,” Cockett said. ... Woolstenhulme said USU’s regional campuses are in “great shape,” but there’s always room for improvement.
Utah Public Radio Thursday, Jul. 12, 2018
Experimenting with new crop varieties adds to the many risks farmers already face, according to experts at Utah State University. USU research farms throughout the state are working with farmers to eliminate risks by creating a more efficient food system. Researchers at USU Extension invite farmers, businesses, government agencies and bankers to Blue Creek Farm for field days. ... “My specialty is safflower,” said Mike Pace, an extension professor in Box Elder County. ... Pace said his research along with others are important to local farmers because they develop crops resistant to pests, weather and disease. ... The research is so important to local farmers, a group of them near Blue Creek donated money in 1966 to buy 40 acres of land for the original research farm. Since then 50 acres have been added. ... “About the time I started working here, they got what they call smut in the wheat,” said Ray Cartee, a USU researcher, who started managing the farm in 1972. “It’s a disease that replaces the kernels in the head with black kernels. ... Cartee said farmers face new challenges every year, but working together farmers and researchers can stay one step ahead in a fast-paced and ever-changing agriculture system.
KSL Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2018
When the KSL Investigators learned much of the nutritional testing that’s been done on dog food has been done by the food makers themselves, they decided to independently test dog food bought at the supermarket to find out if buying the cheapest dog food will cheat a dog out of nutrition. ... Regardless of their choice, Americans are expected to spend nearly $30 billion on pet food this year, according to the American Pet Products Association. ... While the FDA does require dog food to include safe ingredients, the agency doesn’t regulate its nutrition. There are voluntary guidelines from an industry group called the Association of American Feed Control Officials made of up officials from local, state and federal agencies. If a bag of dog food carries an AAFCO statement, the manufacturer guarantees it meets the group’s minimum requirements for protein, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. ... We asked Dr. Kara Thornton-Kurth, a dog lover and a researcher at Utah State University’s Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences department to review the results. ... “I was actually pleasantly surprised at how close those values were to what was on the bag, because we know cooking is going to change the nutrient content.” ... She says nothing in the results would stop her from buying any of the five foods we had tested. “It really depends on what the owner feels comfortable feeding their dogs and how their dog is going to respond to that food,” Thornton-Kurth said. ... Whether your dog is a Riley or a Vinnie or a Fido, our test results suggest the perfect pick for your pooch’s palate doesn’t have to be the priciest.
Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2018
The Reading Corral program at North Logan Library is a literacy project aimed to help young children improve reading skills while learning about horses. During each session, two miniature horses come to the library and the children are able to interact with them. ... Sherie Petty is with Utah State University’s equine assisted education program that is working with the library's Reading Corral and says the program is more than just a petting zoo. “The cool thing animal-assisted intervention is that animals can help the person engage on a whole different level,” Petty said. ... The children also learn life skills, according to Petty. She said they make friends, take turns and learn how to respect other people and the animals they work around.
Deseret News Monday, Jul. 09, 2018
Former Utah State distance runner Dillon Maggard has signed a professional running contract with Brooks and will compete for the Brooks Beasts Track Club. “I had a few options to choose from, which was good, and I narrowed them down,” Maggard said. ... Maggard signed a 3 1/2 year deal with Brooks. ... Maggard concluded his stellar Aggie career as a nine-time All-American. He matched the school record previously set by James Parker, ... “It’s a great step forward for our program,” said USU head cross-country coach Artie Gulden, referring to Maggard signing a professional running contract. “Dillon has been wonderful in showing the way, improving and becoming an All-American, but now also is showing that making a living as a runner is a possibility. ... Maggard earned five first-team All-American honors alone during his senior season with Utah State — two each during the indoor and outdoor seasons and one during cross-country. ... “It’s very tough leaving some of the relationships that I have here, especially coach Gulden, but I know we will still have a very good relationship,” Maggard said. ... “Ever since I came to Utah, one of my biggest goals was trying to run professionally,” Maggard said. “The past four years of sacrifices, miles, hard work and training every day is definitely rewarding.”
The League of American Bicyclists Friday, Jul. 06, 2018
Cute puppies. Alleycats. Campouts. You have arrived at Utah State University at the base of the Bear River Mountains. It’s home to Aggie Blue Bikes, the campus bike shop where the only goal is to get more people on more bikes, more often. ... Over 350 three-month check-outs and 1,200 toolboard uses per year help accomplish the mission. ... The versatility of bicycles has provided an impetus for local groups to promote bicycles as for fun, health, and transportation. They play an important role in the university’s goal of contributing to a high quality of life for present and future Aggies. ... Bikes aren’t just in the mountains. They are the focus of community events including, Little Red Riding Hood, one of the largest all-women’s bike rides; the start-line of Lotoja, the longest one-day USAC-sanctioned bicycle race; and several other fun and competitive rides. ... In addition to Aggie Blue Bikes services, USU also offers a smattering of amenities for cyclists including bike loans for an entire year, hot showers, lockers, and emergency rides home as part of the Commuter Club program that will continue to grow in members. ... Both Utah State University and the City of Logan received Bike Friendly Silver status in 2017. ... We are lucky our Valley has so many advocates committed to a healthier community. Working together, we are facilitating an even better quality of life for our community, which will require healthy people, efficient buildings, renewable energy, and importantly, some seriously fun, clean transportation.
NBC News Thursday, Jul. 05, 2018
White Magic was the prized bull of the Steve and Cyndi Gilbert and huge star on the rodeo circuit. When he died, they had him cloned six times, an easy enough procedure done at the Utah State University genetics lab. This is the ballad of White Magic and his clones.
The Salt Lake Tribune Thursday, Jul. 05, 2018
A crisis provides a chance to reevaluate the status quo and make powerful changes that affect the future, signaling that even during times of challenge there is opportunity. Today, we — a rape survivor and former student, along with a university president — come together out of a resolve to transform crisis into an opportunity to positively change the Utah State University campus community. ... USU is working hard to revise policies, change processes, and train staff so students are better protected and understand their rights, and employees are better prepared to deal with issues of sexual violence. ... Today, with the support of Victoria and our Greek community’s leadership, USU is unveiling a series of substantial changes to the organization of the Greek system at USU. ... Victoria will be working with the university on its efforts to improve its prevention of and response to sexual misconduct. ... Nothing can wipe away the pain and trauma that survivors of sexual violence endure and live with every day. But working through that trauma together can lead to reforms that prevent such painful history from repeating itself over and over again. That’s what we hope our partnership, and the changes we’re announcing today, will do.
The Herald Journal Thursday, Jul. 05, 2018
Arizona residents Howard and Sharon Poch love Utah State University's Summer Citizens— a program that kind of helped them fall in love. ... Still, Howard and Sharon managed to find time for Summer Citizens, a 40-plus-year-old program that allows seniors to learn new things and experience the sights of Utah. He had been signed up since 2000; she since 2004. The couple still remember meeting by chance during Sharon’s first time with Summer Citizens. She came up to Cache Valley with her husband, and when they arrived at Old Farm Apartments, Sharon happened to ask Howard to help her unpack the car. ... In 2014, years after Sharon’s husband passed away and Howard divorced, the two married. Since then, they have traveled every summer from their Sun City West home to Cache Valley to participate in Summer Citizens. This summer, Howard, 79, and Sharon, 76, are enrolled in three classes taught by USU professors.
Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Jul. 04, 2018
It’s now been 32 years for Al Burns at Fireworks West overseeing the Logan fireworks show at Utah State University. Burns, who is vice-president of the company, was on KVNU’s For the People program which broadcast live from the stadium before Freedom Fire 2018 began Tuesday evening. ... He said technology has changed the show inside the stadium with use of computers that better assist syncing the show to the music. ... “We have five different firing stations for different sizes of shells and each one has their own cage. We have a team of people in each cage, one person to watch what’s going on and another guy to fire the stuff. The people that work hard to set it up, they like to be down there.”
The Herald Journal Wednesday, Jul. 04, 2018
Some members of the Utah State University campus community are saying good riddance to a controversial "hotness" scale on the website Rate My Professors that ostensibly let users rate professors' physical appearance. USU Professors Jared Colton, assistant professor of English, and Debra Jenson, a faculty member in the journalism and communication department, believe ratemyprofessors.com is better off without giving students the opportunity to click on a chili pepper. ... Rate My Professors removed the chili icon from the site last week after a Vanderbilt University professor made it known on Twitter she was not OK with having students evaluate her on physical appearance. ... Rate My Professors responded, saying her point was well-taken, but did not scrub the icon without defending the its implementation in the first place. ... Jenson and Colton both mentioned student evaluations of their classes at the end of each semester as the best barometer of their abilities and constructive criticism. ... USU Provost Larry Smith told The Herald Journal the school uses a system called IDEA, run out of Kansas State University, for all students' professor evaluations. "We are careful to adhere to policy driven process and procedures and avoid seemingly arbitrary information such as these popular public sites with little control for objectivity and professionalism," Smith wrote in an email.
Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Jul. 03, 2018
Utah State University researchers are studying and testing varieties of grass for beauty and efficiency. ... “We do three things: teaching, research and extension,” said Larry Rupp, an extension specialist in landscape horticulture at Utah State University. ... According to Kelly Kopp, an extension water conservation and turf grass specialist, Kentucky bluegrass is the most popular grass used on landscapes in Utah. ... Because it’s used so extensively we do quite a bit of research here looking at varieties of Kentucky blue grass that use even less water. ... Kopp said some Kentucky bluegrass varieties currently being tested can withstand months without irrigation. ... We try to emphasize those sorts of things but with people so concerned about water we recognize that. We try to work with and develop these grasses that do use less water, particularly in the west.
KUTV Tuesday, Jul. 03, 2018
Ruth Jones, a Utah State University student, has been chosen to participate in an exclusive summit in Washington D.C., which will focus on fighting extreme poverty and disease, according to a news release. Jones will meet with Sen. Lee and Sen. Hatch to discuss how the United States can continue to make great strides in the fight against extreme global poverty. "I'm incredibly grateful to be chosen to attend this year’s ONE Campus Leadership Summit,” Ruth Jones said in a news release. “Service is a core value here at Utah State, and my experience inside and outside of the classroom has challenged me to think critically about what I can do to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. ... At this three day, invite-only ONE Campus Leadership Summit, students, like Jones, will gather together to learn about The ONE Campaign and hear from subject matter experts. ... Invitations to this exclusive summit are awarded to a group of ONE student leaders from about 20 campuses across the country. ... The take-away from this Summit, in addition to friendships and restored enthusiasm, will be a lasting passion for activism," Jen Fraser, Director of College Organizing at ONE, said in a news release.
Utah Public Radio Monday, Jul. 02, 2018
According to the new research from Utah State University, how a plant disperses its seeds is related to other life history strategies. Seed dispersal is the movement or transportation of seeds away from the parent plant. "Seed dispersal is the only stage in a plant’s life history where the plant can move and it determines where a plant will be for the rest of its life," said Noelle Beckman, an assistant professor in biology at Utah State University. Beckman and her collaborators recently published new research incorporating how plants disperse their seeds with plant life history strategies that describe their growth and reproduction. "What we found is that plants that tend to disperse their seeds further are related to these fast life history strategies and that this tends to be across different plant species and not related to how they are taxonomically related," Beckman said. Using a publically available plant database, Beckman and her collaborators compared seed dispersal techniques and life history traits of over 700 plant species. ... Despite its importance, seed dispersal is an understudied area of ecology.
Herald Journal Friday, Jun. 29, 2018
Utah State University has found a director for a center it intends to start up again that will train public school teachers. Parker Fawson, the dean of the School of Education at Utah Valley University, will lead USU’s Center for the School of the Future, according to a news release from the Orem school. His first day on the job is Aug. 1. ... “This is a great opportunity,” Fawson said. “I’m just very exited about the opportunity, professionally, to engage in things that I think are important and I’m also very passionate about.” ... The center’s aim, according to its website, has been to “support innovation and creative approaches to K-12 teaching and learning … through outreach and research.” But that was only for several years until the center ceased operations. ... More recently, talks have begun over reviving the center’s operations. ... “The focus (of the center) is going to be continuing that work that we started here. But then, given the mission of USU as a land-grant, really taking this as a statewide initiative.” To start up the center again, USU officials have been meeting people from school districts to “determine their professional development needs,” according to Foley. ... “The focus (of the center) is going to be continuing that work that we started here. But then, given the mission of USU as a land-grant, really taking this as a statewide initiative.” To start up the center again, USU officials have been meeting people from school districts to “determine their professional development needs,” according to Foley.
Deseret News Thursday, Jun. 28, 2018
Utah State University has named Alexa Sand associate vice president for research and associate dean of graduate studies. Sand will transition from her faculty position into her new role July 1, and will remain a professor in the art and design department in the Caine College of the Arts. ... In her new position, Sand will report directly to Mark McLellan, vice president for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies. She will be responsible for helping execute the vice president and dean’s vision to grow and develop USU’s student research portfolio. Sand was preceded in this position by Scott Bates, who recently was appointed interim head of the psychology department.
Utah Public Radio Thursday, Jun. 28, 2018
Deep in the mountains of Tuscany, Italy exists a small town, dedicated to one thing: marble. In Carrara, marble is everywhere. Bright white marble floors, blocks of marble lining the river, and many, many marble sculptures.Utah State University sculpting professor Ryoichi Suzuki was able to spend his sabbatical time in this area working with some of the finest marble on the planet.
Geological Society of America Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2018
Back in 1905, the Colorado River, swollen with heavy rainfall and snowmelt, surged into a dry lake bed along California's San Andreas Fault and formed the Salton Sea. ... Utah State University geologist Susanne Jänecke began hypothesizing the location and geometry of the sediment-obscured fault zone more than a decade ago. After securing funding from the Southern California Earthquake Center in 2011, she, along with USU graduate student Dan Markowski and colleagues, embarked on the painstaking task of documenting the uplifted, highly folded and faulted area with geologic mapping and analysis. The geologists' persistence revealed a nearly 15.5-mile-long, sheared zone with two, nearly parallel master faults and hundreds of smaller, rung-like cross faults. ... Jänecke, Markowski, USU colleague Jim Evans, Patricia Persaud of Louisiana State University and Miles Kenney of California's Kenney GeoScience, reported findings in the June 19, 2018, online issue of Lithosphere, a publication of the Geological Society of America. ... "We now have critical evidence about the possible nucleation site of the next major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault," says Jänecke, professor in USU's Department of Geology. ... Among the tools Jänecke and her team used to identify the fault were high resolution aerial photography and false color imaging. ... "We need further study of the Durmid Ladder, the East Shoreline Fault and other fault zones of this area to identify the potential for surface-faulting hazards, ground sharing and cascading ruptures, to determine how to mitigate the risk posed by these important structures."
The Salt Lake Tribune Monday, Jun. 25, 2018
Exciting things are happening in Utah in terms of gender and top leadership in higher education. Four of the eight public colleges and universities in Utah are now headed by women (once the new president of Utah Valley University arrives in September). ... In 2014, when we published our first educational leadership report, one in eight presidents were female (12.5 percent, Salt Lake Community College). When we released our 2017 report, Utah had two female presidents (25 percent, Utah State University and SLCC) and neither Utah private university (Brigham Young University or Westminster College) in our analysis had a female president. Today, 50 percent of the public colleges and universities are led by female presidents. ... I find it interesting that women presidents are leading the four largest public institutions in the state. Their leadership will be reaching the largest numbers of students in Utah. ... A 2017 national study released by the American Council on Education reported that women now comprise approximately 30 percent of college and university presidents across the United States (slightly higher for public compared to private institutions). ... Studies continue to show that when strong, ethical men and women work together to lead in all settings (e.g., education, politics, government, nonprofit, business), everyone benefits.
Utah Public Radio Monday, Jun. 25, 2018
Last week, Utah State University received a million-dollar grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to create the new Mentoring and Encouraging Student Academic Success program to better support Native American students transferring to USU Logan from the USU Blanding campus. "The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Inclusive Excellence Program is intended to reduce the barriers to inclusion by students who might otherwise have challenges integrating into 4-year programs in STEM areas," said Al Savitzky, professor and department head in the department of biology at Utah State University and one of the leaders of this new program. Savitzky says Native Americans are underrepresented in STEM and higher education nationwide. ... The goal of this inclusivity program is to create a supportive and encouraging environment for Native American transfer students. ... The program has additional support to promote academic success for these Native American students. ... Savitzky echoes USU’s delight at this excellent opportunity to promote Native American representation in higher education.
Missoulian Sunday, Jun. 24, 2018
Yellowstone National Park’s elk may not fear wolves as much as some scientists once contended. The idea that elk are so fearful that they run at the first sight of a wolf is based on the notion that the elk have no real defense, said Dan MacNulty, a Utah State Universityecologist. ... “Elk are very capable of defending themselves against wolves, even if they do encounter them,” MacNulty said. ... MacNulty and fellow USU ecologist Michel Kohl will have their research published in the journal “Ecological Monographs.” ... The researchers were trying to determine if the elk avoided areas out of fear of interacting with wolves. ... Instead, what MacNulty and Kohl found was that the cow elk would avoid certain areas in the mornings and evenings — the times of day when wolves were the most active, according to GPS-collared monitoring. ... “An elk's perception of a place as dangerous or safe, its landscape of fear, was highly dynamic with 'peaks' and 'valleys' that alternated across the 24-hour cycle in response to the ups and downs of wolf activity." ... MacNulty admitted the study he co-authored is small, based on only 27 collared elk, even though earlier studies had made assumptions based on even smaller numbers. He considers the research to be the first step in what could be more analysis along the same lines, such as: Are older elk more fearful? How about cow elk with calves? ... "Although our study is the first to show how a prey animal uses predator downtime to flatten its landscape of fear, I suspect other examples will emerge as more researchers examine the intersection between prey habitat use and predator activity rhythms," Kohl said in the press release.
Herald Journal Friday, Jun. 22, 2018
Students in Cache Valley are learning how to code one app at a time, thanks to App Camp at Utah State University. The weeklong program, which concluded on Friday, invites middle school students to learn how to write up to 11 apps using a program called App Inventor. Vicki Allan, computer science professor at Utah State University, said one of the camp’s missions is to figure out how to get young students, and girls in particular, interested in a career in computer science. ... “The way we do it, we need three times as many girls as boys,” Allan said. “The boys’ slots fill up immediately, and the girls’ slots — we still have lots of openings. We could have still had another 40 kids, probably, between the four camps.” ... The camp has four separate groups, some co-ed and some with girls only. Another aspect of the camp was introducing students to female mentors. ... Several high school students had the chance to learn app-writing skills then pass them on to the younger students. ... “We’re hoping that if we get them interested in middle school, then when they get to high school and they’re taking math and they’re taking other programming classes, then they’ll get involved,” Allan said.
Herald Journal Friday, Jun. 22, 2018
As far as Tumblr employee Amanda Brennan is concerned, memes can be folklore. ... Memes — often humorous images and text that spread on the internet — have become something of a phenomenon and could be shared generations from now. “Folk culture online has really blown up as something that everyone can experience,” Brennan said. ... Brennan’s comments came during a question-and-answer Friday, the final day of the weeklong Fife Folklore Workshop at Utah State University. ... The workshop is named after the late Austin and Alta Fife, who spent their lives researching folklore and eventually gave their collection of fieldwork to USU, forming the Fife Folklore Archives. ... In 1977, USU formed the workshop named after the couple as a way for folklore students to build their skills and hear from renowned folklorists. The event has since grown to include scholars from all over the country. During the workshop, USU students examined materials from the Fife Folklore Archives, heard from speakers and conducted field research.
Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2018
Utah State University biochemist Dr. Lance Seefeldt says that life-giving nitrogen holds the key to sustaining life beyond nonrenewable fossil fuel energy. He and 16 other experts in nitrogen research gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss the current field of nitrogen activation chemistry. ... Scientists a hundred years ago pioneered a process to break nitrogen’s ultra-strong bonds to enable production of fertilizer which radically grew the global food supply. But that process consumes about two percent of the world’s fossil fuel supply. Dr. Seefeldt and his team have already pioneered efforts toward a clean and renewable light-driven process for converting nitrogen to ammonia, which is a primary component of fertilizer. ... Dr. Seefeldt says demonstrating how sunlight or artificial light can power nitrogen fixation is a potential game-changer.
Northern Arizona University News Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2018
The National Science Foundation awarded Northern Arizona University and Utah State University a three-year, $700,000 collaborative grant to improve the usability and accessibility of Symbiota, an online platform that allows natural history collections to share data, including images, for millions of biological specimens. ... The project, which is led by NAU’s Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, will fundamentally restructure Symbiota, resulting in a new version of the software, Symbiota2. ... Symbiota2 seeks to increase the platform’s digital specimen records, expand its use by researchers, improve sustainability and enrich education and outreach activities. ... In total, the National Science Foundation has provided more than $6.8 million to support 10 related projects. Symbiota2 is funded through the National Science Foundation’s Advances in Biological Informatics, Division of Biological Infrastructure.
UB Media Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2018
Research conducted by Utah State University’s (USU) Bingham Research Center led to a marginal, rather than moderate, ozone nonattainment designation for the Uintah Basin by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA). ... “Were it not for the work done by our research team, the Uintah Basin would be under a moderate non-attainment designation today,” said Seth Lyman, director of USU Bingham Energy Research Center. “This will allow industry and regulators time and flexibility to develop cost-effective solutions to the Uinta Basin’s ozone problems.” ... Huy Tran, a senior research scientist at USU’s Bingham Research Center, focuses on developing better computer simulations. While working on summertime ozone models, Tran noticed from the model output that two summer ozone exceedance days were caused by an intrusion of ozone-rich air from the stratosphere. ... In three years, the EPA will review whether or not the Uintah Basin will achieve attainment of EPA’s standards or bump up to moderate non-attainment. ... Since 2010, the USU Bingham Research Center has performed air quality research in the Uintah Basin. One of the center’s main goals is to provide the local oil and gas industry and government with detailed information on their impacts on air quality, and give cost-effective recommendations to help meet federal regulations. ... The research provides a wealth of information to help local industries navigate this complex issue efficiently and effectively.
The Utah Statesman Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2018
On Thursday, the Utah Headliners chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced its 2018 Utah Honors recipients for media organizations across the state of Utah. The SPJ awards has two divisions among newspapers within Utah, with The Utah Statesman competing in the B division against newspapers such as Utah Policy and the Daily Utah Chronicle. The Utah Statesman won 12 awards out of 78 possible, four of them being first place. Utah State Journalism and Communications’ professor Matthew LaPlante, along with his co-writer Carolina Peña, also received the Quintus C. Wilson Ethics Award. Their reporting focused on a dangerous crisis in El Salvador, sharing the stories of families who send their children on a journey to the United States to seek refuge from the violence that currently plagues the country in Central America. Physically being in El Salvador and reporting stories on families that are potentially in danger raised ethical questions concerning the use of aliases, photographs, and taking the steps necessary to protect both themselves, and their sources from harm.
Journal of Ecology Sunday, Jun. 17, 2018
Though mostly rooted in the ground, plants have a number of innovative ways to disperse their seeds and get on with the business of propagation. ... "Seed dispersal is an essential, yet overlooked process of plant demography," says Utah State University ecologist Noelle Beckman. "But it's difficult to empirically observe, measure and assess its full influence." To that end, Beckman, with colleagues James Bullock of the United Kingdom's Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Rob Salguero-Gómez of the University of Oxford, used the massive COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database, an online repository containing demographic information about thousands of plant species throughout the world, to analyze hundreds of disparate datasets of plant life-history strategies. The team reports their findings in the June 18, 2018, issue of the Journal of Ecology. Their paper is part of a special British Ecological Society cross-journal feature that provides an overview of forces and mechanisms producing worldwide plant and animal diversity. Their research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the Australian Research Council and the U.K.'s Natural Environment Research Council. "Our analyses revealed plant life-history strategies are largely explained by growth, survival and reproduction, and by how far plants disperse their seeds," says Beckman, assistant professor in USU's Department of Biology and the USU Ecology Center." The scientists found dispersal ability is related to fast life histories with maximum dispersal distances positively related to high reproductive rates, a long window of reproduction and a low likelihood of escaping senescence or growing old. ... Dispersal, she says, is a central process in ecology and evolution.
Deseret News Sunday, Jun. 17, 2018
Researchers at Utah State University in Logan received a grant of $420,000 from the U.S. Navy Division of Unconventional Warfare aimed at designing and developing synthetic spider silk material that could be used to fight enemy targets during military combat. ... Funded through the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative, the USU Synthetic Spider Silk Lab will also apply silk manufacturing technology to enable the commercial-scale production of other biomaterials, explained Randy Lewis, professor of biology and lab director. ... "Part of the project is to develop a material that will replace Kevlar for being able to enwrap the propeller," he said. ... The project has three major aims that will benefit the U.S. Navy and advance the lab's research, he said. ... "This is a great opportunity for USU because this project will allow us to continue to develop our knowledge of synthetic silk production and applications," he said. ... The grant is for one year, with opportunities for follow-up funding, he noted.
Deseret News Saturday, Jun. 16, 2018
A Utah State University professor is hoping to save a massive walnut tree in Ogden threatened by potential development. The Standard-Examiner reports the English walnut tree is 85 feet tall with a massive canopy spread of 100 feet. Its trunk is 18 feet and 7 inches in circumference. Utah State University Professor Mike Kuhns says its size surpasses the biggest English walnut tree in the state currently on record. ... The tree sits on a lot owned by the Ogden City Redevelopment Agency. Kuhns fears future development in the area may kill the tree. The city says it's aware of how rare the tree is, but can't make any promises about its future.
Herald Journal Saturday, Jun. 16, 2018
A new chocolate factory is coming. Utah State University announced this week it will open such a facility, the first of its kind for any university in the Western United States. “I don’t see it so much as putting our university ahead of others, as much as we can be a resource for those within the chocolate community, within an academic setting,” Steve Shelton, manager of the USU Chocolate Factory. ... A soft opening for the factory, housed inside the student residence hall Blue Square, is expected in the middle of next month, and a grand opening is scheduled for the coming fall semester. ... The USU Chocolate Factory will be used for teaching, research and outreach. ... USU is also thinking about offering courses to members of the community to teach them about chocolate and the factory could be integral in that, according to Silvana Martini, associate professor in the department of nutrition, dietetics and food sciences. ... In addition, USU hopes to open a “Chocolate Cafe” that will make a variety of products, including drinks, bars and pastries — all from the chocolate made from the factory.
Herald Journal Thursday, Jun. 14, 2018
Last fall, Utah State University student Matthew Havertz was studying hard and feeling the stress. But he got a chance to relieve that stress in a special way: with some bragging rights.Havertz went down to Kayesville and watched the premiere of a movie he helped produce, called “Before Your Time” — which is set to make its Cache Valley debut on Friday. ... “Before Your Time” was filmed entirely in Davis County, owing to the fact that the film’s director, Lucas McGraw, lives there. He made the film under the company Community Film Project with the intent to make movies within his community. McGraw said the initiative could eventually expand to other counties in Utah, including Cache and Rich. For Havertz, being involved with the making of the movie dovetails with his work as a graduate student, studying instructional technology and learning sciences. “My thesis is on whether inserting stories into instructional videos produces a more effective rate of learning … or helps people retain information better than if you didn’t have stories,” he said. Havertz has produced videos for Bridgerland Technical College and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and hopes to be a full-time video producer one day.
Herald Journal Wednesday, Jun. 13, 2018
A Utah State University professor and his students used drones and a virtual reality program to develop a new resort concept for Powder Mountain, a popular skiing destination that straddles Cache and Weber counties. Over the last year, Benjamin George, assistant professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning, plus three graduate students used products from Intel and Puget Systems to create the conceptual resort in a way many design firms might not risk. ... George said Powder Mountain approached USU last year with the idea to design a new resort after it was purchased by Summit Mountain Holding Group. ... Sam Arthur, director of design for Powder Mountain, said the goal is to “create a forward-thinking alpine town that helps people to be able to recreate more than just in the winter.” ... “Virtual reality gives you this sense of being somewhere; it immerses you, and you have this really good spacial awareness of everything,” George said. ... According to LAEP student Drew Hill, the high-resolution 3D terrain from the drone was then put into a virtual reality program for site analysis and concept design so the LAEP students could design right on top of the model in 3D. Several high-powered computers from Puget Systems also helped. ... Now that the Powder Mountain project is behind them, George and his LAEP students are turning their attention to other projects, like a charter school in Providence, using the same methods as before.
Deseret News Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2018
Shireen Keyl, assistant professor at Utah State University's campus in Ephraim, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to teach and perform research for one year at the University of Jordan in Amman. ... A major focus of her research will be to examine the educational experiences of students who take English as a foreign language classes in higher education. ... At USU, Keyl teaches undergraduate and graduate level education courses, training current and future teachers, especially those within Utah. ... Upon her return in June 2019, she will continue as a faculty member of USU’s School of Teacher and Education Leadership, where she is on track for tenure.
KSL Sunday, Jun. 10, 2018
Students at Utah State University may have averted a tragedy. When things weren’t adding up with a classmate, they did the right thing. It’s a case where students did everything right. Even though their classmate became angry, they still reported his suspicious behavior to police. ... "He wanted them to buy gun parts, and he was willing to pay for them so that he could go undetected, which is very disconcerting as a restricted person himself," said USU Campus Police Chief Mike Keuhn. ... Campus police did some digging and found O’Connor was out on bail for vandalism and weapon charges in California. ... Because the USU students spoke up, Thursday a California judge revoked his bail. O’Connor is now back behind bars in San Jose. ... that’s what preventing violence is all about, is making sure we stand up when we see something we’re not comfortable with," said Amanda DeRito, with Utah State University. Police say what the students did was exemplary. ... USU has a campus-wide program beginning with incoming freshman where they teach students that if you see something, say something. In this case, they believe it may have saved lives.
Herald Journal Saturday, Jun. 09, 2018
George Wanlass’s family tree is an impressive one, connecting him to some historical Cache Valley figures and arts benefactors whose names can be seen on the buildings of today’s Utah State University campus. Wanless is the great-grandson of John T. Caine II, one of the “founding fathers” of Utah State University. He’s also the son of Kathryn Caine Wanlass, the late boundless arts donor, and the nephew of Nora Eccles Harrison. Speaking of Harrison, Wanlass has been the chief collector of artwork for the USU museum named after his aunt Nora, or “Aunt Nonie,” as he liked to call her. Museum professional Bolton Colburn said Wanlass’s approach to collecting comes with an understanding that “the significance of work is not tied to its monetary value.” ... The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art opened in 1982 and has come to house works of all kinds from artists throughout the American West. ... Wanlass answered questions from The Herald Journal via email about his life and the USU museum.
Deseret News Friday, Jun. 08, 2018
Zack Jensen is an eighth-generation farmer and rancher who is learning how to grow optimism this year because the drought has left him with little other choice. ... Jensen says irrigation company records show it hasn't been this dry in Sanpete County in 41 years. ... Multiple counties across the state made an emergency disaster declaration because of the low water year and dry conditions. ... "The future is very dismal," said Norman Johnson, from the San Juan County Water Conservancy District. ... Across these most severely affected counties in Utah, the $332 million hay and alfalfa industry is taking a hit. "Alfalfa is the No. 1 crop of Utah," said Earl Creech, an agronomist with Utah State University's Extension Service. ... The drought has farmers making tough choices. ... Pastures are drying up as well. ... It's a different story for other parts of the state. Most northern Utah reservoirs are close to full. ... Creech said funding from the Utah Legislature is kick-starting new research from USU looking at alternative crops and ways to get water to crops more efficiently. "It's heartbreaking. There is really nothing you can do about it. It's the weather," he said. "You just sit there and watch your crops burn up."
Herald Journal Thursday, Jun. 07, 2018
During a sunny day with temperatures well into the 80s, people of all ages descended on the Logan Library plaza Thursday afternoon to watch the unveiling of a new environmental observatory. ... The instrument, developed by Utah State University, Apogee Instruments and Campbell Scientific, provides continuous real-time weather data for downtown Logan. USU Professor Bruce Bugbee, who is also a founder of Apogee, said the environmental observatory joins a network of others like it all over Cache Valley. ... A plaque explaining the components of the environmental observatory, how it is used and a brief history of weather measurement is included. ... Paul Campbell, former president of Campbell Scientific, said he hopes the environmental observatory is inspiring to library patrons and becomes a symbol for the importance of science, technology, engineering and math in the community. ... Logan Library Director Karen Clark praised USU and the companies involved for making the environmental observatory. ... In an interview, Bugbee said the idea for the environmental observatory came about a year and a half ago, during discussions with then-Logan Mayor Craig Petersen.
Herald Journal Thursday, Jun. 07, 2018
Students might not care for getting up early, but when you’re a university president, it comes with the territory.That was certainly true on Thursday for University of Utah President Ruth Watkins, who visited Utah State University as part of her “Ruth 66 University for Utah Tour.” Watkins, along with a group of UofU officials, met with USU President Noelle Cockett and officials from her school to share ideas. ... “Certainly Utah State, as our research university partner, is a very valued colleague in the effort to raise higher education in the state and also to generate and disseminate knowledge,” Watkins said. She believes the partnership between the two schools is good for the state and “raises us all.” ... Another way the UofU and USU can work together is securing funding, Watkins said. ... Neil Abercrombie, vice president of government relations at USU, attended the meeting with Watkins on Thursday and was impressed. ... “I think over the next few years we will … collaborate in areas that will improve student wellness, enhance critical research, and lead economic development opportunities for the state of Utah.” ... The purpose of Watkin’s trip was twofold, she said. One was for UofU officials to talk to higher education colleagues so they can find “what we can do together.” Another goal of the trip was to visit some of the major employers of the region who have hired UofU graduates and get some feedback from them.
Utah Public Radio Thursday, Jun. 07, 2018
Logan City officials are weighing project risks as they decide whether or not to continue participating in a plan to build a small modular nuclear reactor in Idaho, just North of Idaho Falls. ... The project is being coordinated by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems. Logan City is the largest municipality participating in this project and will have to decide by March whether to drop out or continue with the project. ... Tonya Triplett is a principal lecturer of physics at Utah State University. Before coming to USU, she taught at the United States Navy’s nuclear power school. ... When it comes to nuclear power, Triplett said people often focus on the risk of a nuclear disaster, rather than the logistics of processing the waste. ... “The real risk from this nuclear power plant is not that it might one day blow up,” Triplett said. “What is real is that we have a refusal to deal with the waste. ... “We know that failing to reprocess results in large amounts of material that need long term care, instead of small amounts of material,” Triplett said. “We can talk about the consequence of any of our other forms of energy and ask ourselves if we are willing to bear that consequence into the future.”
Herald Journal Wednesday, Jun. 06, 2018
In 2011, Mark McLellan was a stranger to Utah when he was hired on as Utah State University’s vice president for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies, ... At the time, USU had restructured to house its research and graduate student efforts under one roof, and McLellan, hailing from big-name schools like University of Florida, remembers then-President Stan Albrecht telling him he wanted to “try to make some magic happen here” with that new integrated approach. ... Those were reflective words from the outgoing USU administrator, who was announced Tuesday as Portland State University’s next vice president of research. ... All in all, PSU seemed attractive to McLellan. ... PSU President Rahmat Shoueshi told colleagues in a letter that he looked forward to having McLellan as part of the university’s team and that the USU administrator would “enable us to actualize our vision for PSU becoming a global urban research university.” As for USU, McLellan likes to think he took the university from being a “well-kept secret” into something more. “Since then, we have really tried to push awareness of our programs,” he said. ... On the research front, McLellan said not only has the university seen record back-to-back years of funding, but it has bolstered its apparatus to help make research possible. “We’ve had a spectacular run with research; it’s been great fun,” McLellan said.