In the News

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2024

    USU research shows ice endures at Yellowstone Lake

    LOGAN - Why is the amount of time Yellowstone Lake is covered by ice each winter holding steady while lakes around the world are experiencing shorter periods of ice cover?

    New research from Utah State University’s Quinney College of Natural Resources has found unexpected outcomes in a warming world.

    The Quinney College team, led by Watershed Sciences professor Scott Hotaling, found that even though the region around the lake has seen a warming climate for decades, increased snowfall at the lake has likely served as a buffer against warmer weather.

    At 7,733 feet above sea level, Yellowstone Lake is North America’s largest high-elevation lake and it freezes over completely in late December and usually thaws in late May or early June.

  • Fox 13 News Friday, Apr. 05, 2024

    Native-American Pow Wow returns to Utah State after long break

    LOGAN, Utah — When a Navajo student returned to Utah State University after a break of a few years, he asked about the Pow Wow he attended as child. The student did not like the answer, but that was the beginning, not the end of the tradition.

    Drums, dancing, and vendors. That was Pow Wow.

    "This is a time for us all to just get along, celebrate life and just reminisce on how great life was, could be, and will be," explained Kristofer Pfeiffer, secretary of the Utah State Native-American Student Council.

    However, the celebration stopped in 2018 and hadn't returned.

  • The Herald Journal Thursday, Apr. 04, 2024

    USU Drone Day highlights students flying various drone types on campus

    The Utah State University Aviation Department held its Drone Day event on Wednesday. The event showcased students flying various types and sizes of drones around the quad at USU and through obstacles.

    Drone Day was part of the aviation department’s Aviation Week, which showcases the different areas of the aviation program at USU and highlights the department.

    According to Duke Papworth, a lecturer in the USU Aviation Department, the Drone Day event was to promote both the drone program at USU as well as the DroneWorx Club.

  • ABC News Wednesday, Apr. 03, 2024

    What college students need to know about payment apps

    For college students, sending money to friends has never been easier thanks to peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo, PayPal and Cash App. But that convenience poses risks, including vulnerability to errors, fraud and the tendency to overspend.

    As a result, payment apps can contribute to financial stress at a time when young people are learning how to manage their finances on their own. “Peer-to-peer payment apps are cash on steroids because they’re a straw stuck into your bank account,” says Anne Lester, author of “Your Best Financial Life.”

    Not only does that make spending easier and more “frictionless,” Lester explains, but it also means “if you trust the wrong person, then you’re in big trouble,” because it can be difficult or impossible to get the money back.

  • The New York Times Friday, Mar. 29, 2024

    Heat Waves Are Moving Slower and Staying Longer, Study Finds

    When heat waves swept across large parts of the planet last summer, in many places the oppressive temperatures loitered for days or weeks at a time. As climate change warms the planet, heat waves are increasingly moving sluggishly and lasting longer, according to a study published on Friday.

    Each decade between 1979 and 2020, the rate at which heat waves travel, pushed along by air circulation, slowed by about 5 miles per day, the study found. Heat waves also now last about four days longer on average.

    “This really has strong impacts on public health,” said Wei Zhang, a climate scientist at Utah State University and one of the authors of the study, which appeared in the journal Science Advances.

    The longer heat waves stick around in one place, the longer people are exposed to life-threatening temperatures. As workers slow down during extreme heat, so does economic productivity. Heat waves also dry out soil and vegetation, harming crops and raising the risk of wildfires.

  • Cache Valley Daily Friday, Mar. 22, 2024

    USU thespians to debut play-reading of 'Tiny Beautiful Things' adaptation

    LOGAN – While rehearsals are underway for its mid-April main-stage production of The Tempest by William Shakespeare, the Theatre Arts Program at Utah State University will offer a play-reading of Tiny Beautiful Things for local audiences.

    Adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, that play is based on the 2012 self-help book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.

    The adaptation will be read by USU Theatre Arts students at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 29 and Saturday, Mar. 30 in the intimate Black Box Theatre.

    The book Tiny Beautiful Things was a collection of essays from “Dear Sugar”, which was Strayed’s advice column on The Rumpus, an online literary magazine.

  • ABC4 News Monday, Mar. 18, 2024

    Polluted dust linked to troubling changes in mountain lakes, USU research

    SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Dust isn’t the same as it always was.

    Modern dust contains fertilizers, pesticides and tiny plastics, said Janice Brahney, an associate professor with Utah State University’s Department of Watershed Sciences.

    “What we would have thought of as what’s typically in dust is different now than it was 150 years ago,” she said, explaining that these complex compounds and materials come from agricultural sources, urban areas and industry.

    Brahney leads a team of researchers who’ve recently published a study about how atmospheric dust is affecting mountain headwaters across the world. This research was the product of 15 years of work.
  • Cache Valley Daily Monday, Mar. 18, 2024

    USU VP Jane Irungu strives for a campus where all can thrive

    LOGAN – Dr. Jane Irungu was born and raised in Kenya and became a teacher and principal there, before moving to the U.S. in 1997 for opportunities at the Universities of Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon and, now, Utah State.

    For almost three years she has served as vice president for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at USU.

    After learning of the power of education in her early years she said she made her life mission to advocate for those who need help so that all students can thrive and follow their passions.

  • Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2024

    USU Math team ranks in top 17% of North American math meet

    LOGAN – As the USU men’s championship basketball team prepares for appearances in its conference tournament this week and next week’s national playoffs, another group of Aggies wound up a recent competition in the national top 20.

    A six-person team of Aggie mathematics scholars scored in the top 17 percent of the 471 institutions in the internationally-renowned William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. They completed two demanding three-hour sessions to achieve their ranking.

    USU team members are Carter Green, Hyrum Cooper, Jason Atwood, Bryan Armenta Valdez, Cole Neiderman and Emily Wessman.

    Ngheim Nguyen, the team’s faculty mentor, said the Putnam competition is the preeminent mathematics event for undergraduate college students in the United State and Canada.

  • Cache Valley Daily Monday, Mar. 11, 2024

    USU professor wins national award as he prepares for quakes

    LOGAN – Once a year the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) presents the Prakash Lecturer Award for outstanding research or professional practice contributions in the area of geotechnical engineering or soil dynamics.

    This year’s winner is Utah State University geotechnical engineering professor Brady Cox, a Utah native and USU grad who joined the USU faculty in 2020 after terms at the University of Arkansas and the University of Texas.

    He is one of the experts on seismic hazards who has said for years that there will some day be a major earthquake in Utah. In early-2023 he made a statement that apparently caught the attention of Utah lawmakers.

  • The Herald Journal Saturday, Mar. 09, 2024

    Utah Climate Center scientists study all facets of weather data

    The Utah Climate Center at Utah State University has been providing Utahns and people globally with accurate weather forecasts measuring the state’s precipitation for 134 years.

    Founded in the early 1890s, the Utah Climate Center has been devoted to accurately documenting and sharing climate information for businesses and the public alike. Since inception, it has expanded by adding more stations and hiring more specialists; to provide weather services to growers and researchers worldwide.

    Climate data is grouped into mission specific networks that primarily support Utah agriculture. Stations have research grade sensors that measure solar radiation, wind, relative humidity, air and soil temperature, precipitation and soil moisture.

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Mar. 06, 2024

    24-year veteran named CFO at USU's Space Dynamics Lab

    LOGAN – Jennifer Bettencourt, a 24-year veteran of service at Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory, Tuesday was named SDL’s chief financial officer.

    Bettencourt joined SDL in 2000 as a cost analyst. She becomes the organization’s first female officer and a corporate officer of the SDL Board of Directors.

    She will serve not only as director of SDL’s recently merged Business and Finance Division, but as CFO overseeing all aspects of financial management and strategy.

    The appointments were effective March 1.

  • ABC4 News Wednesday, Mar. 06, 2024

    Utah State Researcher Conducts New Study for Early Dementia Detection

    LOGAN, Utah (Good Things Utah) – Alzheimer’s is the 4th leading cause of death in Utah. Because of this, Utah State University recently became home to a state-funded Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Research Center aimed at increasing research across the state to find ways to better understand Alzheimer’s and dementia, and better understand how to best support people living with these diseases. The ADRC opened in 2022, funded by a bill from the State Legislature.

    Dr. Beth Fauth, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Research Center at Utah State University has partnered with Sydney Schaefer, associate professor in the School of Biological Health Systems at Arizona State University, and Jill Love, a geriatric care manager and co-owner of Neurosessments, to improve early dementia detection with a simple, non-invasive motor test. The test has already been shown to detect neuropathology and neurodegeneration in older adults who exhibit little to no symptoms of dementia.

  • Cache Valley Daily Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

    USU students spending a week helping middle school students unplug

    LOGAN – Last October, a group of five Utah State University Health and Wellness students began work on a program designed to help Mount Logan Middle School (MLMS) students put down their technology and strive to do something else with their time.

    This week MLMS students, with support from Principal Spencer Holmgren, will learn about the “Break the Screen Routine” to help the kids swap out their phones for other activities.

    The program starts Monday and ends Saturday, March 2, on “Global Day of Unplugging.” Saturday will also include an event at USU’s Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art for the community to spend time putting their phones down to tour the museum, and to enjoy free family-centered activities including a scavenger hunt and refreshments.

  • Cache Valley Daily Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024

    USU Extension celebrates new cohort of Latino community health workers

    Utah State University Extension recently hosted the first all-Spanish-speaking community health workers cohort. Twenty Latino students learned public health skills over five months to receive the state certification to become community health workers. As part of the certification, participants received training on “Mejore su salud,” a Create Better Health (CBH) curriculum that has been culturally adapted and taught in Spanish for Latino Extension audiences. Participants also worked on a final project addressing public health issues affecting the Hispanic community or relating to their respective workplaces. A graduation ceremony was held to celebrate the participants and their efforts.

  • The Herald Journal Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

    USU Engineering celebrates Engineers Week with student and community events

    This week is Engineers Week at Utah State University. The week features events for USU students as well as the public to enjoy and learn about the engineering program.

    Maddie Witte, the president of the USU Engineering Student Council, said that Engineers Week is a national event that USU is taking part in.

    “Engineers Week is actually a nationwide thing,” Witte said. “There’s a national Engineers Week, which is also this week, so we match ours up with that, and it’s just a celebration of all of the hard work that the students put into the college and into their studies and everything.”

    Engineers Week starts on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The first big event for the week will be a pinewood derby for USU students at 2:30 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center Ballroom. The pinewood derby race will have two car classes; one for cars that are only powered by gravity and one for cars that use a propellent such as a motor or fan.

  • Salt Lake Tribune Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024

    Higher education makes for happier, healthier Utahns, analysts say

    The benefits of higher education in Utah are “relatively overwhelming,” the president of the state’s flagship university said Wednesday.

    “What I’ve always loved about higher education is it has this remarkable transformational power in individuals,” University of Utah President Taylor Randall said during an event at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

    Randall and presidents of three other public, postsecondary institutions spoke about the value of a degree or certificate for people and the broader community following a quick presentation of the Gardner Institute’s new policy brief.

  • KUTV Friday, Feb. 09, 2024

    Utah State University professor analyzes Taylor Swift 'phenomenon'

    SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Thanks to Taylor Swift, this year’s Super Bowl may draw millions of additional fans who otherwise might not normally tune in.

    Swift has become part of NFL headlines simply because she’s dating Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs.

    That, coupled with Swift’s own remarkable entries into different areas of pop culture, has one Utah State University (USU) professor examining why and how Swift is the most famous person in the world right now.

  • Cache Valley Daily Thursday, Feb. 08, 2024

    USU online Bachelor's programs rank in nation's top 10 percent

    LOGAN – Now in its 29th year offering online education outside the traditional campus setting, USU Online is once again numbered among the leading bachelor’s programs in the country.

    The 2024 rankings, issued this week, were announced by U.S. News & World Report, one of the preeminent college ranking systems.

    In the new numbers from USNWR, USU Online ranks 32nd overall among the leading online bachelor’s programs which puts it in the top 10 percent of American colleges.

  • KSL Wednesday, Feb. 07, 2024

    Dust from Great Salt Lake helps algal blooms thrive, study finds

    LOGAN — A new study is putting a large part of the blame for algal blooms on blowing dust.

    Researchers at Utah State University say it's a growing problem, thanks to ongoing drought and construction.

    "We wanted to know where this material is going and how it might be impacting these remote ecosystems," Janice Brahney, an associate professor of environmental biogeochemistry at Utah State University said.

    She began gathering samples from water systems across the western U.S. in 2017.

  • Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Feb. 06, 2024

    Gail Miller to be Commencement speaker at USU in May

    LOGAN – Larry H. Miller Company owner Gail Miller will serve as Utah State University’s commencement speaker for its 137th ceremony taking place on May 2. She becomes the 10th woman to fill that role.

    She will also receive an honorary doctorate degree as will Darren B. Parry, former chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation and retired U.S. Air Force general Bruce Carlson, now chair of the Space Dynamics Lab Board of Directors.

    With the purchase of a single automobile dealership in Murray, Utah in 1979, Larry and Gail Miller started the Larry H. Miller Company. With headquarters now in Sandy, Utah the company has expanded with a growing portfolio of companies and values-guided investments across the United States with involvement in entertainment, sports, real estate and automotive industries.

  • Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024

    Utah's outdoor agencies unveil inaugural Outdoor Strategic Plan

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State University’s Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation (DOR), and the Utah Outdoor Adventure Commission just released the state’s first Outdoor Recreation Strategic Plan.

    The primary mission of the plan goes beyond just the economic benefits of outdoor recreation, said Jason Curry, director of the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation.

    “It’s about cultivating Utah’s outdoor culture that resonates with every Utahn and visitor, and we are setting a precedent with a commitment to the people and places of Utah,” Curry said. “This strategic plan is our promise for a vibrant, diverse outdoor legacy that will thrive for generations, aligning our community’s well-being and economic vitality with our treasured natural landscapes.”

    The purpose of the plan is to balance economic growth with the preservation of Utah’s natural landscapes and the enhancement of outdoor experiences for both residents and visitors. While it could guide legislative decisions on resource allocation, its primary focus is on strategic development, access, conservation, and collaboration in outdoor recreation, rather than solely on funding.

  • The Herald Journal Monday, Jan. 22, 2024

    USU to be first in the state to offer new cyber security engineering degree

    Utah State University’s College of Engineering will be offering a new bachelor’s degree program next year. The cyber security engineering program will be the first of its kind offered in Utah.

    The new undergraduate program is on track to begin with the fall 2024 semester, and faculty experienced in the field are currently being hired. According to Jake Gunther, the head of the department of electrical and computer engineering, cyber security engineering is a very broad term.

    Gunther said that cyber security engineering helps to ensure that when engineered systems such as computers are made, they are made with security in mind. He said that currently, there are not enough skills related to making systems secure in the workforce.

  • The Guardian Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024

    Carbon released by bottom trawling 'too big to ignore', says study

    Scientists have long known that bottom trawling – the practice of dragging massive nets along the seabed to catch fish – churns up carbon from the sea floor. Now, for the first time, researchers have calculated just how much trawling releases into the atmosphere: 370m tonnes of planet-heating carbon dioxide a year – an amount, they say, that is “too big to ignore”.

    Over the study period, 1996-2020, they estimated the total carbon dioxide released from trawling to the atmosphere to be 8.5 to 9.2bn tonnes. The scientists described trawling as “marine deforestation” that causes “irreparable harm” to the climate, society and wildlife.

    The study – Atmospheric CO2 emissions and ocean acidification from bottom trawling, written by a global team of climate and ocean experts – found that 55-60% of the carbon dioxide in the water released from the seabed by trawlers will make it to the atmosphere within nine years.


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