In the News

  • Cache Valley Daily Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

    USU's online bachelor's programs among nation's best again

    LOGAN – For the ninth straight year Utah State University’s online bachelor’s programs rank among the nation’s best.

    The U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) ranks the Aggies 11th on their 2023 list, an improvement of three spots over last year.

    The new rankings also put Utah State fifth in the nation for its bachelor’s programs for veterans and 10th for its master’s program in educational/instructional media design.

    USU offers 16 online bachelor’s degrees and 17 master’s degrees, as well as three associate degree options.

    This is the 28th year for USU online as it continues to fulfill the school’s land-grant mission by offering education outside of the traditional campus setting.

  • The Herald Journal Monday, Jan. 23, 2023

    Presidential Search Committee announces public meetings

    Utah State University is seeking input from the community regarding the school’s next president.

    On Friday, the university announced dates for six public meetings to be hosted by the USU Presidential Search Committee. The meetings, according to the announcement, will help the committee shape a position announcement — the primary advertisement for the position used in recruiting candidates.

    The 19-member committee includes USU trustees, faculty and staff, community members and the current student body president.

  • KSL Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023

    Utah State University lab develops nanotech fertilizer

    LOGAN — Imagine a fertilizer infused with nanotechnology that could cut greenhouse gas emissions and result in higher efficiency for farmers, who would use up to 75% less of traditional fertilizer.

    It might sound like something out of a science-fiction movie, but that's exactly what researchers at Utah State University have created.

    The research, conducted through the university's Utah Water Research Laboratory, was published in December in the journal Nature Food, according to information from the school. Yiming Su, an assistant professor in USU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, led the study.

  • NBC News Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

    With Great Salt Lake at rock bottom, lawmakers aim for rescue

    For the Great Salt Lake, it might be now or never. 

    Utah lawmakers have mounted emergency rescue plans for the Great Salt Lake, which is on the verge of ecological collapse. Before the legislative session opened on Tuesday, scientists and conservationists issued the most dire warning yet over the lake’s future, saying “the lake as we know it is on track to disappear in five years” if losses continue at their recent pace. 

    The lake is shrinking, but even more urgent is its changing salinity. The lake has grown so salty that creatures at the base of its food web, such as brine flies, which have adapted to survive extreme conditions, are disappearing.

    Still, the recipe is right for a comeback as state lawmakers begin their 45-day legislative session. 

  • ABC4 News Friday, Jan. 20, 2023

    New council at USU works to combat food insecurity in Utah

    LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) — A new council based at the Utah State University aims to combat the ever-growing issue of food insecurity in the state.

    The Utah Food Security Council was created with the passage of Senate Bill 133 sponsored by Sen. Luz Escamilla in the 2022 legislative session. The council will help provide recommendations to lawmakers as they coordinate efforts to relieve food insecurity in Utah.

    Community members are welcome to join the council meetings held on the third Wednesday of each month at Utah State University Davis County Extension Room 133 and 135. There are currently 12 active members in the council — all experts in their own fields. The council plans to add another three members from the Utah Community Health Workers Association, Utah Farm Bureau and Utah Division of Indian Affairs in the future.

    “Food insecurity is one of the most pressing issues facing Utahns, and I am eager for the meaningful policy recommendations and initiatives that will come from the Food Security Council,” Escamilla said. “In the final days of the 2022 legislative session, my bill to codify and establish the council at Utah State University was one of my top priorities.”

  • Phys.org Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023

    Researchers reach milestone in measurement of airborne mercury

    New research from the University of Nevada, Reno, is expected to play an important role in the global battle against airborne mercury pollution, a serious health threat to people and wildlife alike.

    The researchers have verified that new technologies, including some developed at the University, measure airborne mercury pollution far more accurately than the older systems that have been in widespread use for decades. In fact, the researchers found the older technology undermeasures mercury concentrations by as much as 80%.

    The work was led by two researchers in the University's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, Sarrah Dunham-Cheatham and Mae Gustin. Dunham-Cheatham is a research assistant professor and director of the Core Analytical Laboratory, a research facility at the University jointly operated by the College's Experiment Station unit and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Gustin is a professor of environmental geochemistry in the College's Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Science. Both conduct research as part of the College's Experiment Station unit.

    Seth Lyman, a researcher and associate professor at Utah State University who completed his doctoral studies in environmental sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno, is the third author of the research published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment.

  • Salt Lake Tribune Monday, Jan. 09, 2023

    What Utah's recent snowstorms mean for the Colorado River

    The snow keeps falling across Utah, which will likely benefit beleaguered waters like the Great Salt Lake and Lake Powell. But it’s too soon to say how much of a difference it will make.

    Snowpack is well above average in watersheds across the state, according to the latest data from the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Snow Survey. The Southeastern Utah basin is an astounding 190% above normal for this time of year, and other drainages that feed the Colorado River are close behind. All that snow has done little to lift Lake Powell’s elevation to date, which currently sits at about a quarter of its capacity and around 30 feet above the point where it will no longer be able to generate hydropower.

    Still, there are reasons to be optimistic.

  • Deseret News Sunday, Jan. 08, 2023

    USU biochemists' discovery lands them a spot in prestigious academic journal

    Ryan Jackson and Thomson Hallmark just accomplished a feat that every scientist strives for.

    Jackson, a Utah State University assistant professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, and Hallmark, a fellow USU biochemist, on Wednesday became published authors in the prestigious academic journal “Nature,” the world's leading multidisciplinary science journal.

    They joined other collaborators in publishing not one, but two papers in the renowned peer-reviewed journal.

  • CNN Friday, Jan. 06, 2023

    GSL will disappear in 5 years without massive 'emergency rescue,'

    The Great Salt Lake in Utah is facing “unprecedented danger,” experts say, as it has fallen to an alarmingly low level amid a climate change-fueled megadrought that’s tightening its grip in the West.

    Less than two weeks away from Utah’s 2023 legislative session, nearly three dozen scientists and conservationists released a dire report that calls on the state’s lawmakers to take “emergency measures” to save the Great Salt Lake before drains to nil.

    Without a “dramatic increase” in inflow by 2024, experts warn the lake is set to disappear in the next five years.

    “Its disappearance could cause immense damage to Utah’s public health, environment, and economy,” the authors wrote in the report. “The choices we make over the next few months will affect our state and ecosystems throughout the West for decades to come.”

  • ABC4 News Thursday, Jan. 05, 2023

    Cache County shaken by swarm minor earthquakes while entering 2023

    CACHE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — The new year is kicking off with a rumble in Cache County. Since New Year’s Day, more than one dozen earthquakes have hit the area, and one earthquake expert told ABC4 that this is called a “swarm” and is a gentle reminder that Utah has a lot of improvements to make to prepare for the “big one.” 

    According to the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, there have been 71 earthquakes within the Colorado Plateau since December 22, 2022. Of those, 14 occurred in Cache County within a three-day period with the largest occurring on Jan. 3.

  • The Herald Journal Monday, Dec. 26, 2022

    Search committee announced for next USU president

    he Utah Board of Higher Education announced Thursday the search committee that will help decide who the next Utah State University president.

    The 19-member committee will include members of the board of higher education; USU trustees, faculty and staff; and community members and the university’s current student body president, Clara Alder.

    The board’s policy is that the current chair is the only member authorized to speak to the media on matters concerning the board. Through a spokesperson, Chairwoman Lisa Michele Church said she was not available for an interview until next year. Additionally, The Herald Journal emailed Alder, who responded, “I am not making (a) comment on this at this time.”

  • The Herald Journal Monday, Dec. 26, 2022

    USU Digital Folklore Project names Digital Lore of the Year

    Utah State University’s Digital Folklore Project has chosen its Digital Lore of the Year to be hashtag #MahsaAmini, which began a significant grassroots protest of the Iranian government’s treatment of women, according to a statement from the university on Monday.

    Each year, Utah State University’s Digital Folklore Project releases findings regarding the most significant types of digital folklore for that year. This year, #MahsaAmini showed great significance as it emerged in September when Amini died after being accused by Iran’s “morality police” of improperly covering her hair, according to the statement.

    “#MahsaAmini captures everyday people’s grievances against the ruling system and speaks powerfully to the change they want to see,” said Jeannie Thomas, co-director of the project in the statement.

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022

    Utah State students propose, debate a hypothetical new U.S. Constitution

    LOGAN — Students at Utah State University displayed more courage than caution when faced with the hypothetical challenge of drafting a new constitution for the United States of America this past semester.

    The new constitution proposed by USU students enrolled in Constitutional Design (Political Science 4800) and a Senior Research Seminar (Political Science 4990) would have far-reaching impacts, according to Associate Professor Robert Ross and Instructor Steve Sharp.

    Among the revolutionary changes the student proposed codifying were abortion rights; voting procedures; the two party system; environmental rights; congressional and Supreme Court term limits; plus, eliminating the Electoral College and the Senate filibuster.

  • ABC4 News Thursday, Dec. 01, 2022

    USU deep space radio makes history as it reaches moon's orbit

    LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – A deep space radio built by Utah State University‘s Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) is now orbiting the moon as part of a first-of-its-kind program in human history.

    The radio is part of a NASA mission called the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment — or “CAPSTONE.” The USU-designed radio is onboard a class of small satellites called “CubeSat,” the first to orbit the moon in the history of humankind.NASA said CAPSTONE’s mission is to reduce risks for future spacecraft by validating new navigation technologies and gathering new knowledge about its own unique three-body orbit.

    The mission is part of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon, exploring more of the lunar surface than ever before. Humans last walked on the moon in 1972.

    USU’s deep space radio is now operating successfully onboard a NASA CubeSat technology demonstration mission to support Gateway, which is a vital component of Artemis. The Gateway Program is building a small, human-tended space station orbiting the Moon to provide support for Artemis.

  • KSL Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022

    USU professor internationally acclaimed for photo display 'LGBTQ in Utah'

    LOGAN — An Iranian photographer and Utah State University professor is getting some international recognition for a photo display that shows the struggles of being gay in Utah.

    Fazilat Soukhakian said recent events in Colorado Springs and in Iran have added some unexpected meaning to her photo essay. She said none of those things were going on when she started this project five years ago.

    Soukhakian is not queer, which is why she wanted to take her time in trying to understand her subjects. Her work shows the struggles of being queer.

    She said that the symbol of freedom that is the United States may not always paint an accurate picture.

  • ABC4 News Friday, Nov. 18, 2022

    USU students help build NASA satellite for international space mission

    NASA is preparing to launch a joint-mission satellite next week. The United States and Brazil have been working together for the last five years to build a satellite to study space weather that is disrupting radio waves along the equator.

    A group of Utah State University students built a crucial component of the satellite.  

  • Forbes Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022

    Scientists Say Sea-Level Changes Formed Australia's Great Barrier Reef

    Stretching along more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) of Australia's eastern coast is one of the world's most famous natural wonders - the Great Barrier Reef is the single largest structure made by living organisms on the planet.

    Little is known about the formation of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, apart that the growth of the corals making up the reef needed a tectonically stable underground over the past 2.6 million years ago - Australia, being a very old continent located inside its own tectonic plate, providing such a stable environment.

    But new findings by Utah State University geoscientist Tammy Rittenour and an international team of colleagues point to a modern-day concern that could have initiated the iconic landforms' beginnings some 800,000 years ago: sea-level rise.

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Nov. 09, 2022

    USU launches Create Your Aggie Impact Campaign

    LOGAN – After the record-breaking fundraising year of 2021-22, Utah State University announced the launch of the Create Your Aggie Impact Campaign.

    USU Vice President of Advancement Matt White said the campaign reflects USU’s excellence as the state’s land-grant and space-grant institution. It pairs donors’ passions with fundraising goals that promote growth in every area of the university.

    “This campaign is really going to help inspire others to link their passions with priorities that are going on, to find areas that they feel excited about that the university is going in,” White explained. “And really show the impact towards some very specific and over arching areas of how to move the university to support our students, faculty, programs and the great work that we’re doing.”

    He said the idea is to show what philanthropy can do to move the university forward.

  • Cache Valley Daily Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

    USU water researchers launch 1st project in new water institute

    LOGAN – Utah State University water researchers are creating a new hydrologic information system that will generate new insight about the nation’s water resources.

    The idea is to help those who operate water monitoring sites to manage large volumes of data and make that data accessible to others.

    USU associate professor Jeff Horsburgh said one fundamental of this work is that you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

    “And we measure the water environment all the time,” Horsburgh said, “we just don’t share our observations and don’t have good standards for doing that. So what we’re building is a better way to do that.”

  • The Herald Journal Monday, Oct. 24, 2022

    First-year student enrollment at USU at record level

    Last week, Utah State University announced a record-high first-year enrollment for its Logan, Price and Blanding campuses, as well as an overall student body increase of 1.9% over fall 2021.

    The numbers came from the Utah System of Higher Education’s annual report on enrollment at institutions throughout the state, which took a headcount of students during the third week of the current fall semester.

    First-year student enrollment increased by 13.3% at the Logan campus and 14.1% for the university overall. USHE data showed a general increase in such students throughout the state, but USU experienced one of the more significant jumps.

  • Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022

    USU Fall enrollment up 14 percent at residential campuses

    Enrollment among first-year students at the three Utah State University residential campuses In Logan, Price and Blanding is up by more than 14 percent this fall.

    Katie Jo North, USU’s executive director of new student enrollment, isn’t surprised by the numbers.

    “I think we have seen that students want to be back,” North said. “They want a college experience and so it makes a lot of sense that we’ve seen them at our residential campuses that can offer that whole college experience, living on campus and attending events, and they want to be back in person.”

    She said since the start of COVID, the last 12 months was the first time their office has been able to get out and recruit.

    “I think, also, we’ve had some opportunities with some different scholarships to help students that financially haven’t been able to come in the past as well,” she added. “So, I think there’s multiple factors of students wanting that college experience and then finally getting able to do some of that, that they haven’t been able to do the last few years.”

    She said another popular program is the Utah State Promise, a needs-based program with covers the remaining tuition and fees for those students who are eligible for a federal Pell grant.

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Oct. 05, 2022

    USU professors join national carbon storing research

    A five-year, $15 million research project funded by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR)  will look at Carbon Sequestration, the concept of locking carbon into soils.

    Jennifer Reeve and Matt Yost of Utah State University’s Department of Plants, Soils and Climate are among the collaborators on the project, which is bringing together researchers from North and South America.

    Yost explains the challenge.

    “There’s a lot of interest in getting carbon into the soil,” says Yost. “We have a lot of carbon in the atmosphere and it’s causing some issues. There are a lot of efforts nationally and locally to offset some of that carbon in the atmosphere and to store it in places like the soil where it can stay and be stable for a long time.”

  • Phys.org Monday, Sep. 19, 2022

    Understanding the new breach in the world's largest living thing`

    It's ancient, it's massive, and it is faltering. The gargantuan aspen stand dubbed "Pando," located in south-central Utah, is more than 100 acres of quivering, genetically identical plant life, thought to be the largest living organism on earth (based on dry weight mass, 13 million pounds). What looks like a shimmering panorama of individual trees is actually a group of genetically identical stems with an immense shared root system.

    Now, after a lifetime that may have stretched across millennia, the 'trembling giant' is beginning to break up, according to new research.

    Paul Rogers, adjunct professor of ecology in the Quinney College of Natural Resources and director of the Western Aspen Alliance, completed the first comprehensive evaluation of Pando five years ago. It showed that browsing deer (and to a lesser degree cattle) were harming the stand—limiting growth of new aspen suckers and putting an effective expiration date on the colossal plant. As older trees aged-out, new aspen sprouts weren't surviving voracious browsers to replace them. Pando was slowly dying.

  • The Herald Journal Monday, Sep. 05, 2022

    USU ranked 22nd among schools nationally

    Utah State University was listed as the eighth-best public university in the country and 22nd overall in a recent ranking of schools by Washington Monthly.

    The list ranks institutions on the criteria of social mobility, research and promotion of public service. USU scored highly on the first and last categories, ranking 14th for social mobility and 26th for promoting public service.

    Washington Monthly’s methodology calculates social mobility by looking at graduation rates, Pell grants, estimated future incomes, student loan repayment and tuition cost for families with lower incomes. National and community service scores were determined through AmeriCorps and Peace Corps data, military service, community service projects, student voter registration and “percentage of all degrees awarded in health, education and social work.”

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