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Key Media Mentions for January 2014

Monday, Feb. 03, 2014

A few recent Media Highlights (January 2014):

Utah Musician, Professor Featured on Grammy Nominated Tracks – Utah Public Radio, January 16

This year’s Grammys are on the 26th and featured on a recording nominated for “Best Instrumental Arrangement” and “Best Instrumental Composition” is a professor from Utah State University.

Guitar studies Director Core Christiansen plays on famous jazz musician Chuck Owen’s latest album, River Runs.

New Spider Species Discovered by USU Students – KSL, January 20 

Stephanie Cobbold and Lori Spears knew they had found something rare.

A spider they had collected while earning Ph.D.’s in ecology at Utah State University wasn't fitting any description in their species identification keys. But they knew the odds of discovering a new species in Utah were slim at best, and the two researchers weren't about to get their hopes up.

Cobbold and Spears made the discovery while studying spider communities at USU. Spears continues to work at the university as the coordinator of the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey and Cobbold just finished working as a biologist for Idaho Fish and Game.

Utah Gov Names New Education Adviser – The Salt Lake Tribune, January 21

The head of the state school board will give up her seat to become Gov. Gary Herbert’s new education adviser. Herbert named Tami Pyfer, of Logan, as his new adviser on Tuesday.

Pyfer, who has served on the board since 2010, has worked in the college of Education at Utah State University as a research coordinator in the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education Department. And she is an adjunct faculty member in the school’s Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation.

Pyfer is a graduate of USU and has a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in early childhood special education. She also served on the Logan City Council for eight years and on the Logan Schools Foundation Board of Directors for seven years. She spent seven years as the Foundation’s executive director before becoming a foundation board member.

‘The Best Decision’ – The Herald Journal, January 25

When a fellow lawmaker suggested that he would make a great fit to replace outgoing Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, State Rep. Spencer Cox reportedly laughed it off.

The 38-year-old lawmaker, who was only elected to the Legislature in 2012, is currently gearing up for his first General Session – which begins Monday – touting new education material for school children and pledging support for higher education and the economy in Cache Valley.

Cox visited Logan on Thursday to present a lecture on social media and politics to Utah State University, students, as well as to provide the keynote address at the Cache Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

The trip brought Cox back to his alma mater. A native of Fairview with agricultural roots, Cox graduated from USU with a political science degree in 1998, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He went on to law school at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, then returned to Utah, serving as a law clerk, telecommunications executive and mayor of his home town.

Through it all, Cox has kept a special place in his heart for USU – the father of four says he is hoping his kids also become Aggies.

USU Geologist in middle of debate over age of Grand Canyon – Standard Examiner, January 26

When we last checked in on the Old Canyon vs. Young Canyon debate, in late 2012, the Old Canyoneers had just put forth a new paper in the journal Science declaring the Grand Canyon to be roughly 70 million years old, having been excised by rivers other than the one that's currently at the bottom, the Colorado.

But now comes another rebuttal, published Sunday online in the journal Nature Geoscience, stating that the canyon as we see it today is 5 million to 6 million years old, with some older stretches in a couple of spots, including one patch that reaches almost back to the dinosaur era.

Joel Pederson, a geologist at Utah State University, said of the new paper, "It certainly doesn't end the debate." He added, "If you want to call something 'Grand Canyon,' and you want to do it correctly, 'Grand Canyon' is less than 6 million years old and that's all there is to it."

Aggies in the Super Bowl – ABC 4 Utah, January 29

Bobby Wagner and Robert Turbin were two of the most important players to ever play football at Utah State.

They were a huge part in turning the Aggie program around. And now they are teammates again with the Seattle Seahawks and are about to play on the biggest stage in the world at Super Bowl XLVIII.

They helped Utah State from a laughing stock to perennial bowl team, and now Bobby Wagner and Robert Turbin have helped take the Seattle Seahawks all the way to the Super Bowl. 

Orbital Farming: Space Station Greenhouse Bears Fruit – Discovery News, January 31

A new crop grows for the experimental greenhouse on board the International Space Station.

Well, vegetables to be precise. So says a researcher with Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems, which is partnered with Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory in an experimental greenhouse named Lada aboard the International Space Station.

So far, station crews have harvested peas, leafy greens and a variety of dwarf wheat, all of which have now been certified as safe to eat, according to Russian researcher Margarita Levinskikh, who spoke this week at a conference in Moscow, the Russian news service RIA Novosti reports.

(Utah Public Radio, 01/16/2014)
(KSL, 01/20/2014)
(The Salt Lake Tribune, 01/21/2014)
(The Herald Journal , 01/25/2014)
(Standard Examiner , 01/26/2014)
(Discovery News , 01/31/2014)

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