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Aggie Scientists Present Research on Utah’s Capitol Hill – 2019

Three undergraduate researchers from USU’s College of Science are among about 30 Aggies selected to present research posters to state legislators and visitors to Utah’s Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City on March 5, 2019. The scholars serve as ambassadors for USU, present cutting-edge studies and highlight the importance of undergraduate research experiences for students, local communities and the State of Utah. Learn more about these exemplary scholars:

Molecular Phylogeny of two distinct Type IV CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins

Matt Armburst

Hometown: Carlsbad, California

High School: La Costa Canyon High School (2017)

Major: Biological Engineering


  • USU Dean's Scholarship
  • Undergraduate Research Fellow
  • USU Honors Program

Researcher's Statement: “By analyzing the role of Type IV CRISPR proteins in prokaryotic adaptive immunity, we gain a better understanding of Type IV CRISPR system mechanisms and basic prokaryote biology. I determined phylogenetic relationships for two distinct Type-IV Cas proteins, Cas6 and DinG, to begin to elucidate their function.”

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ryan Jackson,
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Survey of Bird Window Collisions at Utah State University-Brigham City Regional Campus

Spencer Smith in the lab

Spencer Smith

Hometown: Corinne, Utah

High School: Box Elder High School (1999)

Major: Biochemistry


  • USU Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) Grant Recipient

Researcher's Statement: “Our study was undertaken to examine the incidence of bird-window collisions at Utah State University (USU)-Brigham City's Classroom and Student Services (C&SS) Building. Bird-window collisions are a major cause of bird mortality in the U.S.; an estimated 350 million to more than 1 billion birds are killed annually.”

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jessica Habashi,
Department of Biology,
USU Brigham City

Implications of Emerging Technologies for Law Enforcement and its Impact on Public Trust

Tori Bodine

Hometown: Smithfield, Utah

High School: Sky View High School (2012)

Major: Statistics


  • USU Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Team, National Qualifiers
  • Political Science Linguistics and Cultural Scholar to Amman, Jordan
  • USU Society for the Advancement of Ethical Leadership
  • USU Center for Anticipatory Intelligence

Researcher's Statement: “Current technological development is progressing at an exponential rate and is matched only by the growing vulnerabilities and security concerns surrounding this technology and its use. My research focuses on highlighting what some of these emerging technologies are, and what implications they hold for law enforcement and their relationship with the general population.”

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeannie Johnson
Department of Political Science

Read about this research via HJ News