Report Authors and Contributors

Utah State University faculty are accomplished and influential scholars in their fields of study. They represent a cross section of the university’s campuses, colleges, and centers and create transformational impacts through meaningful research, particularly in the fields of land, water, air, and quality of life. As a research-focused institution, USU faculty engage in fields of study the world can’t live without.

You are invited to contact our experts for help understanding complicated topics or for comments on specific issues. For assistance in contacting a faculty expert for an interview or comment, please contact University Public Relations.

 

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Dr. Lutz is the T.W. Daniel Associate Professor of Forestry at Utah State University. He is also the principal investigator for three large, Smithsonian-affiliated forest dynamics plots in California, Washington, and Utah. Dr. Lutz studies the ecosystems of western North America to contribute to science-based conservation and management of our natural resources in the face of changing climate and demography. His interests include the demography and spatial patterns of primary forests, especially the causes of tree death, and how fire shapes old-growth forest communities.

Jim Lutz

Expertise

forest health, tree mortality, fire ecology, science-based conservation and management

Contributors

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Terry A. Messmer is a Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist in the Department of Wildland Resources. He received BS degrees in Fisheries and Wildlife Management and Biology from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks; and MS degrees in Botany, and Community and Regional Planning, and a PhD in Animal and Range Sciences, from North Dakota State University, Fargo. He is the Director of the Jack H. Berryman Institute (BI) for Wildlife Damage Management, Utah Community-Based Conservation Program (CBCP). He holds the Quinney Professorship of Wildlife Conflict Management in the Quinney College of Natural Resources. As the BI director, he works with stakeholders to resolve human-wildlife conflicts through research, education, outreach, and policy implementation. As the CBCP director, he works with stakeholders to identify implement, and evaluate the effects of management actions on sage-grouse, other sagebrush obligate species, and the conservation of western landscapes. The CBCP was awarded the 2015 Western Extension Directors Association Award of Excellence and The Wildlife Society’s (TWS) 2016 Group Achievement Award. His extension and applied research programs encompass the identification, implementation, and evaluation of conservation strategies, technologies, and partnerships to benefit agriculture, wildlife, and resource stakeholders by reducing human-wildlife conflicts. He is a member of and the scientific advisor to the Utah Governor’s Greater Sage-grouse Conservation Task Force and Strategy Team. In 2016 he received the Caesar Kleberg Award for Excellence in Applied Research from The Wildlife Society, and the Western Regional Excellence in Extension Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. In 2017 he received the Utah Governors Medal for Science and Technology. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Human-Wildlife Interactions, past Editor-in-chief of The Wildlife Society Bulletin, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management and The Wildlife Society Bulletin. He was selected a TWS Fellow in 2006. He recently retired as a Colonel in the US Army Reserve where served as the commander of multiple units during combat deployments. His military awards include the Military Order of Medical Merit and the Bronze Star.

Terry Messmer

Expertise

human-wildlife conflict, sage grouse, western landscapes conservation 

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Eric Thacker grew up in Altamont, Utah. He received his MS (Range science) and Ph.D. (Wildlife science: Sage-grouse habitat management) at Utah State University. After completing graduate school, he moved to Oklahoma where he worked as a rangeland scientist for 2 years for the USDA Southern Plains Range Research Station in Woodward, OK and then 1 ½ years at Oklahoma State University. In 2013 he returned to USU and took a position as the Rangeland Management Extension specialist at Utah State University, his research and extension programs include wild horse and burro management, range restoration, shrub management, grazing management, and range monitoring. He is a member of the Society of Range Management and serves on the Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit Advisory Committee for the Utah Division Of Wildlife Resources and the Utah Grazing Improvement Program Technical Board.

Eric Thacker

Expertise

livestock grazing, wild horses and burros, brush control, vegetation monitoring, rangeland restoration, fire, fuels reduction, fire, fuels reduction, wildlife habitat

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Larissa Yocom is an assistant professor of Fire Ecology in the Department of Wildland Resources and Ecology Center. She is interested in advancing research about the ecological role of fire, how climate, fire and vegetation influence each other over time and space, and how forest management can promote the beneficial aspects of fire and minimize the negative consequences. Her current research projects include assessing fuel treatment effectiveness in meeting management objectives in Utah, evaluating the climatic and environmental factors influencing tree regeneration after wildfire, and investigating to what degree forest species composition affects fire behavior and effects.

Larissa Yocom

Expertise

fire ecology, forest management, fuel treatment effectiveness, tree regeneration, fire behavior and effects

More Land Experts

Karen Beard

Expertise

community/ecosystem ecology, invasion ecology, and conservation

Tal Avgar

Expertise

ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of animal movement behaviour

Patrick Singleton

Expertise

travel behavior analysis, active transportation, walking & bicycling, health & transportation, physical activity, safety & security, transportation planning, travel demand modeling, public transit, autonomous vehicles, transportation & the built environment

Jessica Schad

Expertise

rural communities, natural resource sociology, & survey methodology

Paul C. Rogers

Expertise

human impacts on vegetation, aspen ecosystems, lichen biomonitoring, environmental science

 

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Dr. Endter-Wada is a Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Social Science and Director of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Graduate Certificate Program. Her research focuses on conceptualizing and analyzing linkages between humans and biophysical aspects of ecosystems with emphasis on water, public land, forest resources, fisheries and urban landscapes. She is currently conducting research on urban landscape water use and conservation, human dimensions of drought and climate change, and wetland management. During her professional career, Dr. Endter-Wada has been involved in many interdisciplinary academic programs and research projects and served at state and federal levels in policy-related appointments.

Joanna Endter-Wada

Expertise

human dimensions of ecosystem science and management, human hydrology, climate change adaptions, drought management, water for wetlands, water banking, urban water demand management and conservation, public land and common property resources, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA

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Dr. Kopp is a Professor and Extension Specialist in the Plants, Soils & Climate department at Utah State University (USU), where her research efforts are focused on landscape water conservation, irrigation efficiency and technologies, and the enhancement of urban ecosystem services. She conducts applied research on plant selection, with an emphasis on lower water use grasses, as well as the implementation of water-saving irrigation technologies to complement more basic research efforts developing water balances for ornamental landscapes.

Her past work has emphasized the sustainability of ornamental landscapes, which may require fewer inputs, without compromising landscape functionality or aesthetics. However, beyond the concept of sustainability lies the potential for urban landscapes to be resource-positive contributors to urban and suburban ecosystems. Her current research takes a life-cycle analysis approach to identifying the landscape designs and management practices that will characterize resource-positive landscapes for the state and region.

Dr. Kopp also conducts extensive outreach efforts through her role with USU Cooperative Extension. She is the Director of USU's Center for Water Efficient Landscaping and is board member and past president of the Utah Water Conservation Forum. From 2007-2016, she served on the board of directors of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, an international organization promoting all aspects of water efficiency, and has continued service to the Alliance as chair of the organization’s Water Efficiency Research Committee.

She works directly with many federal, state, and municipal agencies toward achieving water use efficiency in the state of Utah, the Intermountain West, and beyond.

Kelly Kopp

Expertise

landscape irrigation efficiency, turfgrass water and nutrient dynamics, smart irrigation technologies, water efficiency programming

Contributors

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David Rosenberg's work uses systems analysis (optimization and simulation modeling and data management) for water and resources management, infrastructure expansions, demand management, and conservation at scales ranging from individual water users to regional systems. His work integrates engineering, economic, environmental, uncertainty, and when necessary, social and political considerations to plan, design, manage, operate, and re-operate water systems. Applications include optimization for environmental purposes, water conservation, computer support to facilitate conflict resolution, supply / demand modeling, and portfolio management to minimize risk. He has worked in the Middle East, California, Maryland, and Utah.

David Rosenberg

Expertise

water resources systems analysis and integrated river basin/watershed planning and management

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A Peruvian-born faculty, specialized in remote sensing water estimation in agricultural, natural, and urban areas using drones and satellites using physical and data-driven models. Member of the Utah Water Research Laboratory [uwrl.usu.edu] and AggieAir UAV Research Program

Alfonso Torres

Expertise

evapotranspiration and irrigation, palnt water use, influence of weather, water balance components, biotic stressors, irrigation

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Dr. Yost is a native of southern Idaho where he was raised on a dairy farm. After completing his PhD at the University of Minnesota in Applied Plant Sciences, he spent four years doing postdoctoral research in the U.S. Midwest. He is currently an Assistant Professor and Agroclimate Extension specialist in the Plants, Soils, and Climate Department. He conducts and manages long-term water optimization research in Logan, Vernal, and Cedar City, Utah. He also manages an on-farm research program that includes nearly 20-30 research trials in various parts of Utah each year. He is the current director of USU CROPS, which is a team of 25 extension experts conducting dynamic crop production outreach. He has authored numerous journal and extension articles on research dealing with water optimization, nitrogen management, precision agriculture, soil conservation, and bioenergy crops.

Matt Yost

Expertise

water, crop, and soil management practices that promote resiliency to weather variation and changing climate

More Water Experts

Courtney Flint

Expertise

natural resource sociology, community resources & engagement, interdisciplinary ecosystem science, mixed methods

David Tarboton

Expertise

surface water hydrology, water resources, modeling, hydrologic information systems, and snow

Bethany Neilson

Expertise

collection of data sets fundamental to numerical modeling and identification of dominant heat and mass fate and transport mechanisms, quantifying groundwater/surface water interactions and the associated influences on instream water quality and temperature regimes

Christopher Lant

Expertise

ecosystem services, human appropriation of net primary production, virtual water, food-energy water nexus

Patrick Belmont

Expertise

understanding of how landscapes and rivers change over time and the implications for water quantity and quality, flood risk, water resource management, and ecosystem health

Niel Allen

Expertise

irrigation management practices and technologies, opportunities for cooperation that mutually benefit agriculture, domestic, commercial, municipal, industrial, energy, and environmental water users, multiple disciplines that utilize or impact water

 

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At USU, Dr. Martin teaches classes related to air quality and air pollution control. He has led or collaborated on air pollutant research which has included, among other studies, investigations in to the composition, sources, and photochemical formation of PM2.5, wintertime ozone formation in Utah’s oil and gas regions, the atmospheric behavior and sources of gas-phase ammonia, on-road vehicular emissions, air pollutant emissions from agricultural crop and animal production facilities, regional transport of air pollutants over the Colorado Plateau, and biogenic emissions of various hydrocarbons.

Randy Martin

Expertise

air quality and air pollution control

Contributors

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Dr. Robert R. Gillies is the Director of the Utah Climate Center at Utah State University (USU) and State Climatologist for the State of Utah. He is an associate professor in meteorology and geography in the Department of Plants, Soils and Climate at USU. His research focuses on land surface processes and remote sensing integrating the fields to study various aspects of the earth's environments.

Recent research projects have been concerned with impervious surface area analysis in Logan, Utah, the spatial analysis of vector-borne disease outbreaks like West Nile virus, the linked micromaps of chronic wasting disease in mule deer, and plant phenology in the timing of tree budburst within urban environments.

Robert Gillies

Expertise

meteorology, geography, land surface process, impervious surface area, West Nile virus, plant phenology

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Dr. Seth Lyman directs Utah State University’s Bingham Entrepreneurship & Energy Research Center, located in Vernal, and is a Research Associate Professor in USU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He has a doctoral degree in Environmental Science and Health, and his expertise is in atmospheric measurements, instrumentation, and analysis. Research at the Bingham Center focuses on the environmental outcomes of energy production, especially air quality impacts from oil and gas development. Dr. Lyman and his colleagues at the Bingham Center have carried out projects to quantify emissions of organic compounds from various oil and gas sources, understand the conditions that lead to wintertime ozone production in the Rocky Mountain region, and develop computer models of atmospheric emissions and air quality.

Seth Lyman

Expertise

atmospheric measurements, atmospheric instrumentation, atmospheric analysis

More Air Experts

Simon Wang

Expertise

climate data analysis, climate dynamics and prediction, interdisciplinary climate study, weather processes and extremes, air quality and fire meteorology

Edwin Stafford

Expertise

market diffusion of renewable energy, clean technology, and green products; sustainable entrepreneurship; "green marketing" strategy and message framing; sustainable transportation; air pollution outreach and social influence (the Inconvenient Youth effect)

Janice Brahney

Expertise

transport nutrients, freshwater ecosystems, watershed hydrology, water quality

Roslynn McCann

Expertise

application of effective marketing and communication techniques to enact pro-environmental behavior change, permaculture design as a climate change adaptation and mitigation framework, barriers, successes, and opportunities in offering climate change programming within the United States’ Cooperative Extension system

Kimberly Hageman

Expertise

quantification of organic contaminants in environmental matrices (air, water, soil, organisms). Investigation into fate, transport, and impacts of these chemicals using field and lab studies, and chemical fate modelling

OUTDOOR RECREATION

Author Contributors

 

Author

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Jordan W. Smith is the Director of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management with minors in both Geospatial Information Systems and Sociology from NC State. Jordan completed both his master’s and undergraduate degrees from Utah State University. Jordan's work uses social media analytics and geospatial technologies to develop an understanding of how outdoor recreation is changing across the American West. His goal is to provide natural resource professionals, elected officials, private industry, and the general public with a scientifically grounded understanding of how to best manage outdoor recreation. Off-campus, Jordan is an active road cyclist and triathlete.

Jordan Smith

Expertise

changes in outdoor recreation, management of outdoor recreation

Contributors

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Anna's research interests focus on human-environment interactions, within the context of outdoor recreation. She studies human-wildlife interactions, visitor use and impact management, and public participation in scientific research. She has conducted social science and ecological research both in the US and internationally.

Anna B. Miller

Expertise

science-based protected area management, natural resource monitoring, citizen science, spatial analysis

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Chase Lamborn is a Research Associate/Ph.D. Student in the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism. Much of his time is spent developing, coordinating, and reporting the Institute’s research. Chase has worked on a variety of research from monitoring fish habitat in the Columbia River Basin to studying the visitation, attitudes, and management preferences of people who recreate on public lands.

Aside from research, Chase has worked for the USDA Forest Service, spending most of his time on the Moab-Monticello Ranger District of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. He received a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Resource Management from Utah State University, and he later returned to further his education by earning a master’s degree in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management. Outside of the office, Chase spends a great deal of time with his wife, friends, and family traveling throughout the West climbing, fishing, viewing wildlife, and exploring.

Chase Lamborn

Expertise

fish habitat, recreation on public lands

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Christopher Monz is a Professor of Recreation Resources Management in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. Chris joined the USU faculty in 2007, having previously been an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at St. Lawrence University in New York, the Academic Dean of Sterling College in Vermont and the Research Director for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming. He holds a PhD in Natural Resource Management (Colorado State University) an MS in plant ecology (University of Maine) and BA in biology (SUNY New Paltz). He has taught courses in outdoor recreation management, ecological impacts of recreation, nature-based tourism, interpretation and outdoor education.

His research specialty is recreation ecology with current research interests focusing on the integration of biophysical science, soil science, and park planning approaches. He has also worked extensively on recreation disturbance in arctic and alpine ecosystems and on park transportation management issues. Chris has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on over $4.5M funded research from the National Science Foundation, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Paul Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program. He has worked extensively in the US including Alaska and internationally in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Australia as and was a Fullbright Scholar for the 2013-14 academic year in Norway. He is the co-author of the textbook Wildland Recreation: Ecology and Management published in 2015. Chris is an active mountaineer, runner and skier and has worked as an environmental educator, ranger, and climbing instructor.

Chris Monz

Expertise

recreation ecology, integration of biophysical science, soil science, park planning approaches, arctic and alpine ecosystems, park transportation management issues

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Dr. Wayne Freimund is a professor in the Department of Environment ans Society. He is an expert in outdoor recreation, and teaches classes on recreation policy and planning at Utah State University – Moab. During his career, Freimund has conducted research in southern Utah at both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Prior to joining USU, Freimund served at Clemson University as a professor and chair of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Before his time at Clemson, Freimund was a professor for 23 years at the University of Montana. While at Montana, he served as interim dean of the College of Forestry and Conservation for two years and was the director of the UM Wilderness Institute for nine years. Freimund has a bachelor’s in recreation, park and leisure studies from the University of Minnesota. He earned a master’s in wild land management from West Virginia University and a doctorate in forestry and recreation resource management from the University of Minnesota.

Wayne Freimund

Expertise

recreation policy and planning, advanced visitor management, visitor use on public lands