In the News

  • KSL Monday, Jul. 25, 2022

    USU's Space Dynamics Lab supplies pivotal parts to Webb Telescope

    LOGAN — Standing within the confines of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Glen Hansen noticed a poster on the wall that intrigued him.

    The poster said, "Looking beyond the dark ages."

    "It's just great to see that the telescope is actually doing that. It's looked well beyond where we've been able to see before, not only in space but in time, as we look back at the early beginnings of the universe," said Hansen, chief engineer with Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory.

    Hansen wasn't just there as a spectator that day, either. He and his team at the lab we're actively involved in creating technology for the now famed James Webb Space Telescope.

  • The Herald Journal Friday, Jul. 22, 2022

    USU College of Veterinary Medicine approved

    The new Utah State University College of Veterinary Medicine is officially USU’s ninth college after receiving required approvals from university and state higher education governing groups. Leading the new college as interim dean is Dirk Vanderwall, who has served as head of USU’s Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences and associate dean for the School of Veterinary Medicine since USU became part of the Washington-Idaho-Montana-Utah (WIMU) Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine 10 years ago.

  • The Herald Journal Thursday, Jul. 14, 2022

    USU prof studying plastic movement in Bear River system

    In a study published in 2020, Janice Brahney, Utah State University associate professor in the Department of Watershed Sciences, made a startling discovery: microplastic particles are widespread in the Earth’s atmosphere. These tiny particles of plastic, ranging between 1 micrometer and 2.5 millimeters, are being deposited by the wind into even the most remote places in the Western United States. Brahney’s curiosity led her to wonder about USU’s own backyard, the Cache Valley mountains and the Logan and Bear rivers. Taking an atmospheric deposition sampling unit out into the mountains, Brahney discovered that there were indeed plastic particles in the Logan atmosphere, and these were being deposited into these mountain ecosystems. Brahney and a team of other researchers are looking to answer several resulting questions: How much plastic is out there; How much is moving through freshwater ecosystems; How does the quantity and polymer type differ between different types of land groups (remote, recreational, agricultural, urban), and ultimately, how does this affect the ecosystem?
  • KSL Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

    How a USU website can help you fight inflation

    LOGAN, Utah — With nearly everything in our lives costing more money lately, some financial experts at Utah State University have made all of their resources easier to find.

    They created a website dedicated to fighting inflation.

    The website is new and creators have already seen some common concerns and mistakes.

    Gas prices have received a lot of attention but inflation is everywhere and it has impacted people like Margaret Hammond.

  • Agri Marketing Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2022

    USU Students Capture 1st In National Dairy Council Product Competition

    ROSEMONT, Ill. - A team of Utah State University students majoring in food science answered the challenge of developing a dairy-based product for "gamers" during National Dairy Council's New Product Competition.

    Students Nathan Pougher, Melissa Marsh, Chandler Stafford and Mackenzie Taylor defeated teams from Iowa State University and California State Polytechnic University-Pomona with its Moba Boba energy drink, which is 92-percent dairy.

    The students earned the first-place prize of $8,000 and were recognized at this week's Institute of Food Technologists' FIRST (Food Improved by Research, Science and Technology) conference in Chicago.

    The farmer-funded National Dairy Council has hosted this event since 2012 to inspire the next generation of food scientists and innovators. It gives college students an opportunity to experience a real-life scenario of working for a food company and helps secure the next generation of dairy industry innovators.
  • Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Jun. 14, 2022

    Brian Steed leaving Utah's DNR to return to USU

    Utah State University graduate Brian Steed, who has been leading Utah’s Department of Natural Resources, is leaving DNR to become the first Executive Director of Utah State University’s Janet Quinney Lawson Institute for Land, Water and Air.

    He reports July 1 to take over at the Institute, which is a new creation.

    “We’re really grateful for the Janet Quinney Lawson family for their willingness to help stand it up,” Steed says. “But there is a real need.

    Utah State has been at the forefront of doing a ton of great research

    “Utah State has been at the forefront of doing a ton of great research and what this institute hopes to do is connect that great research with the policy makers and deciders at the state level and at the local level and even at the national level to make sure we get the best policy possible.”

  • The Herald Journal Friday, Jun. 10, 2022

    USU study finds higher rhythmic skill translates to better conversations

    Sometimes we walk away from conversations feeling rejuvenated and connected, but other times we come away feeling drained, disconnected, and perhaps even misunderstood. In both cases it can be a mystery as to why the conversation was successful, or … not so much.

    Researchers at Utah State University in the Department of Communicative Disorders are studying an aspect of communication called entrainment. Entrainment offers one explanation for why some conversations are full of connection and why others fall short. USU Associate Professor Stephanie Borrie, who directs the Human Interactions lab, defined conversational entrainment.

  • KSL Wednesday, Jun. 08, 2022

    USU research reveals what school bullying means, how to address it

    When Diana Meter was 13 years old, she experienced her first heartbreak and subsequently she began to notice her childhood friends begin to shift away.

    Now an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Utah State University, Meter's experience feels much different after years have passed. Yet as a child, the distance and the rumors spread about her felt devastating.

  • KSL Sunday, Jun. 05, 2022

    Satellite built by USU undergraduates completes space mission

    Ben Willard and Carter Page are undergraduate students at Utah State University and they've already sent a satellite into space.

    "This is an accomplishment that most people go their entire careers without even coming close to," said Willard.

    Willard and Page are both members of a group of undergraduate students at USU called the Get Away Special team. In December, their team launched the Get Away Special Passive Attitude Control Satellite, or GASPACS, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The CubeSat's destination was the International Space Station.

    The initial launch was successful and the team announced Tuesday that after spending 117 days in space, GASPACS concluded its mission, deorbiting and burning up in the atmosphere last week.

  • Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, May. 24, 2022

    USU schedules Juneteenth celebration for June 17-19

    For the second year a Juneteenth celebration is scheduled for the Utah State University campus, June 17-19.

    Cree Taylor, Juneteenth planning committee chair, says the day commemorates the 13th amendment which abolished slavery, Jan. 1, 1865.

    “What had happened, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas didn’t get the news that they had been emancipated, that they were freed,” Taylor explains. “So, about a year after the emancipation proclamation was signed, these enslaved folks were informed that, ‘Hey, you’re free. You don’t need to keep working the fields anymore. You can go off and try and live your best life.’

    “And that happened to be in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1866.”

    Since USU’s first observance last June, Juneteenth has become a national holiday.

    “And what was really cool, is that our committee members last year were able to interview Miss Opal Lee who is known as the ‘Mother of Juneteenth’ and she had been fighting for decades to get Juneteenth made a national holiday,” says Taylor. “And not long after we recorded an interview with her, which can be found on our Juneteenth website, she was at the White House with President Biden when he signed it into law, Juneteenth as a national celebratory holiday.”

    During this year’s Utah legislative session, Gov. Spencer Cox made it a Utah holiday.

  • AP News Sunday, May. 22, 2022

    Priceless seeds, sprouts key to US West's post-fire future

    A New Mexico facility where researchers work to restore forests devastated by fires faced an almost cruelly ironic threat: The largest wildfire burning in the U.S. was fast approaching.

    Owen Burney and his team knew they had to save what they could. Atop their list was a priceless bank of millions of ponderosa pine, spruce and other conifer seeds meant to help restore fire-ravaged landscapes across the American West.

    Next were tens of thousands of tree sprouts, many of which were sown to make them more drought tolerant, that were loaded onto trailers and trucked to a greenhouse about 100 miles (161 kilometers) away.

    Larissa Yocom, an assistant professor at Utah State University’s Wildland Resources Department, has plans for thousands of aspen seedlings that were rescued from the center. She and her team have worked in the footprint of a 2020 wildfire in southwest Utah. She’s holding out hope that the large New Mexico fire won’t dash plans for the latest experiment in an older burn scar just north of the fire line.

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, May. 11, 2022

    Noelle Cockett reconfigures leadership roles at USU

    LOGAN – With the pending retirement of Executive Vice President and Provost Frank Galey, Utah State University President Noelle Cockett has turned to her existing executive team to reconfigure roles of executive vice president (EVP) and provost.

    When Dr. Galey retires July 1, Laurens H. (Larry) Smith will become the new provost and Robert W. Wagner takes over as executive vice president.

    Cockett said Wagner will focus on operations while Smith as provost will deal solely with academics. University vice presidents will continue to report to President Cockett with the deans still reporting to the provost.

  • Deseret News Friday, Apr. 22, 2022

    Why a dry Chilean lagoon matters to the future of the Great Salt Lake

    Back in its heyday, the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake boasted multiple resorts offering dining, dancing, concerts, picnic pavilions, a bowling alley. Thousands swarmed these resorts for entertainment and to take advantage of the natural buoyancy of its salt-filled waters.

    There was even a steamboat securely moored to a 400-foot pier offering a restaurant and recreation hall. It was named the General Garfield after U.S President James Garfield, a former Civil War general who cruised around the lake.

  • International Business Times Thursday, Apr. 21, 2022

    Iguanas Getting 'Sugar High' From Tourists Feeding Them

    How does ecotourism affect the animals that the tourists encounter? For Northern Bahamian rock iguanas, their encounters with tourists who are feeding them seem to have led them to have a "sugar high."

    It's not uncommon for people who go on ecotours to feed the animals they encounter. Northern Bahamian rock iguanas, for instance, are quite familiar with humans that give them food such as grapes, noted a news release from The Company of Biologists.

    However, there has been evidence of how this has been impacting animals. In 2018, for instance, researchers found that juvenile green sea turtles in the Canary Islands have actually developed high fat and cholesterol levels from having been fed by tourists, Susannah French of Utah State University, one of the authors of the new study in the Journal of Experimental Biology, noted in the news release.

  • KSL Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

    How long should you dip an Oreo in milk? USU scientists find out

    There's a science behind dipping cookies in milk, and researchers at Utah State University say they've figured it out. They spent two weeks in search of the ideal dipping time.

    Scientists from the university's splash lab study liquids. This time, the liquid was milk, and cookies were involved.

    "We've always had, like, these crazy ideas, I guess you'd say," said Dr. Tadd Truscott. "We were always saying, 'We should be always curious, asking as many questions as we can.'"

    Truscott and some colleagues got the idea while eating cookies and milk.

    "That question kept coming up, like, 'What is the best dunking time?' And everybody kind of argued about it," he explained.

    They tried dipping a variety of cookies — everything from graham crackers to Nutter Butters and, of course, Oreos — several hours a day, for two weeks.

  • KSL Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2022

    How the Great Salt Lake's drying lakebed could contribute to pollution

    LOGAN, Utah — Two Ph.D. students from Utah State University are trying to measure the dust blowing off the Great Salt Lake and learn how it contributes to pollution and air quality along the Wasatch Front.

    "Climate change and unsustainable water use have turned 50% of Great Salt Lake to dust or potential dust," said one of the researchers, Molly Blakowski. "We were motivated to analyze the composition of dust produced from the dry lake bed because as a terminal lake, Great Salt Lake accumulates pollution from across its entire watershed."

    That pollution comes in the form of heavy metals, as well as manmade and organic chemicals that can be toxic as they settle into the dust, and that dust starts blowing around.

    "There's dust like this being generated all over the place and, like dust getting kicked up, is a common thing across the American West," said Jeffrey Perala-Dewey, the other researcher on this case.

    "But what's unique about the Great Salt Lake, and the dust that's being kicked up here is that these sediments have been polluted by urban and industrial and agricultural inputs for a very long time. So that's what makes this dust potentially very concerning."

  • KUTV2 Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2022

    Utah State University hosts Harry Potter Make-A-Wish Reveal

    Make-A-Wish Utah surprised 6-year-old Bridger with the news that his wish to meet his favorite YouTuber will be formally granted during a Harry Potter themed party, thanks to a partnership with Utah State University.

    The event is part of MAWU's fourth annual Drive for Wishes campaign, which is sponsored by Fox Pest Control, Malouf, Little Caesars, and Roolee.

    Bridger traveled on a journey through Diagon Alley and attend a Sorting Hat ceremony where the Request Wizard will read a scroll declaring Bridger's wish will be granted by MAWU.

  • Cache Valley Daily Sunday, Apr. 10, 2022

    Bean and Cardozo named Male and Female Athlete of the Year

    LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s basketball senior Justin Bean and soccer senior Ashley Cardozo were named the Male and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively, at the annual Robins Awards, recognizing the best of Utah State University.
  • Utah Public Radio Friday, Apr. 08, 2022

    Students from across the world celebrate diversity and unity at USU

    These are the voices of diversity at USU as students enjoy an Indian dance performance during the annual International Banquet at the Logan campus.

    This event is the biggest celebration of diversity organized by the International Student Committee (ISC). It is a way for students to get together, meet new people and learn about multiculturalism says Sola, a student advocate for ISC.

    “That event provides an avenue for people to get to learn about other people's cultures," says Sola.

    And as the war continues in Ukraine, Bonny, an international student from Taiwan says this banquet is a perfect way for the Aggie family to show togetherness for their peers in other countries.

  • Utah Public Radio Friday, Apr. 08, 2022

    USU Kicks off Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Start By Believing Day

    “Start by believing day is all about people flooding the internet and flooding campus with support for survivors, so that they know they’re safe and heard and believed," student advocate Mary Jo Duersch said.

    Music boomed where tables covered in ribbons, pins, lanyards, and information pamphlets lined the quad at USU. Students passing through stopped to pick up swag items and signed the pledge to start by believing when someone tells them, they’ve survived sexual assault.

    “Our friend from stats told us to come out here, and they’re giving out free pins so I thought I’d grab one, keep it on my backpack”, said Kenny, a student at USU.

  • Cache Valley Daily Thursday, Apr. 07, 2022

    Research Week highlights why USU is a national leader in research

    LOGAN — Next week is Research Week at Utah State University. It is an opportunity for USU to showcase a series of events scheduled throughout the week that will highlight research, accomplishments of USU students and faculty.

    Also it will give the public a chance to know some of the research that has been done, is being done right now and will be done.

    On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, Daniel Lenhart, program assistant with the Office of Research, was asked how they decide what to spotlight each year.

    “We highlight…what our faculty has written books about this year. And every year we get interesting new topics, so every year our faculty writes books about new things, so we’re able to see brand new topics every single year,”  he explained.

  • Deseret News Wednesday, Apr. 06, 2022

    USU Report Shows Human trafficking isn't just a problem elsewhere

    Despite public perceptions that human trafficking is an “international problem,” it is occurring in urban and rural areas of Utah, according to a new report by the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University.

    Authors of the report uncovered several indications of the prevalence of human trafficking in Utah:

    • In 2020, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 182 contacts and about 64 reported human trafficking cases in Utah. The previous year, 157 victims and 39 traffickers were identified.
    • In 2018, the Utah Attorney General’s Office conducted 49 human trafficking investigations and reportedly prosecuted eight cases and served 44 victims.
    • In February of 2021, six people were arrested for human trafficking and prostitution in massage parlors in Utah County, following an undercover investigation.

    The researchers’ review of federal court cases in 2020 in Utah indicated 98% of victims of sex trafficking were female and 60% of victims of forced labor were male.

  • Cache Valley Daily Friday, Apr. 01, 2022

    New director named for USU Extension Home and Community Department

    Heidi LeBlanc has been named the new director for Utah State University Extension’s Home and Community Department. She replaces Margie Memmott, who recently retired after nearly 40 years of service to USU Extension.

    LeBlanc is an Extension professor and director of both the Create Better Health program and the Hunger Solutions Institute. She has been an integral part of the Farmers Feeding Utah program, developed in 2020, where food was donated to the program and also purchased from Utah farmers whose supply chains and livelihoods were disrupted by the pandemic. It has helped feed over 42,000 families in need with 2 million pounds of food through 29 events across Utah.

    She will continue her work as director of Create Better Health and the Hunger Solutions Institute with additional assistance.

  • ABC4 News Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022

    USU announces Alumni Achievement Award recipients

    LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – Utah State University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is excited to announce Dale Christensen as its senior Alumni Achievement award recipient and Anastassia Alexandrova as its junior Alumni Achievement award recipient.

    “We are excited and proud to recognize these two exceptional Aggies,” Department Head Lance Seefeldt says. “Following a new awards format we initiated in 2020, we name a senior award recipient, recognizing an individual who is completing a long and distinguished career, as well as a junior award recipient, who is an emerging leader in our field, each year.”

    The duo will be formally recognized during the Chemistry and Biochemistry Spring 2022 department seminars. Christensen will be individually honored on April 6, while Alexandrova will have the limelight on April 20.

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