In the News

  • 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.”

  • 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.”

  • Cache Valley Daily Thursday, Sep. 01, 2022

    Cache Valley native Devin Wiser named USU vice president

    LOGAN – Cache Valley native Devin Wiser is Utah State University’s new vice president for government and external relations.

    He will report directly to USU President Noelle E. Cockett and will serve on the school’s executive leadership team.

    According to an announcement Monday he will assume the position on Sept. 21.

    In his role of overseeing all levels of government relationships he will serve as USU’s external liaison by developing and communicating strategies for its campuses, centers and offices throughout the state. That will include development and implementation of federal and state legislative priorities. He will also oversee USU’s Institute of Government and Politics.

    Wiser succeeds Neil Abercrombie, who left USU in January to serve as senior advisor of legislative affairs and policy for Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.

  • CBS News Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

    From pest to protector: How beavers are helping fight climate change

    As nearly 40% of the country is currently in drought, scientists are looking to the largest rodent in North America for help: the beaver. Researchers in California and Utah found that dams made by the animals can help create drought- and fire-resistant landscapes. 

    "Beavers move in here and they slow this water down," California State University professor Emily Fairfax told CBS News national correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti. "It goes into recharging the groundwater and that's what we're pumping for irrigation. That's what we use for our food. That's what we use for our lawns."

    According to Fairfax's research, the dams beavers make out of sticks and mud help to prevent rainwater and snowmelt from draining down rivers and into oceans. Instead, the dams work as a natural fire break and reservoir capable of storing water for years that gets released into land slowly over time to create a more fire- and drought-resistant landscape. 

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

    Utah State University fundraising year nets a record $110 million

    LOGAN – Utah State University finished the fundraising year in record-setting fashion with more than $100 million in new funds, including the largest single gift ever: $41 million from the Bastian family.

    USU’s Vice President for Advancement, Matt White, said there are reasons for this year’s success.

    “We have just an exceptional group of deans, along with our president, that have really articulated the impact of giving, like I have said before,” said White. “We also have just an incredible development team here.

  • Cache Valley Daily Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

    USU Extension is making grass less water-reliant

    LOGAN – Discussions about grass has been in the news this week. It started with an announcement by the Salt Lake Area Water Conservancy District that they were launching a program called Salt Lake City Turf Trade, where they are offering large bags of grass seed at an inexpensive price to replace water-demanding turf with a more drought-proof type of grass, a type of grass that stays green and uses at least 30 percent less water to do so.

    It is hoped that this will expand statewide.  USU Extension has been right in the middle of this.

    On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, one of the key researchers and leaders of this project, Professor Kelly Kopp of USU’s Plant Soils and Climate Extension Department, said this is a game changer.

  • The Herald Journal Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022

    USU student, faculty identify object in centuries-old indigenous pouch

    Anthropologists sometimes work with animal remains in the course of understanding how human societies lived, but they rarely cross paths with veterinarians, who focus on treating living animals. However, when anthropology graduate student Alexandra Wolberg needed to analyze an unusual Indigenous pouch without damaging it, the College of Veterinary Medicine had a unique opportunity to support one of Utah State University’s anthropologists.

    Wolberg began her work with the pouch as part of Assistant Professor Anna Cohen’s archaeometry class, where she was tasked with studying an item from the USU’s Museum of Anthropology’s Keller Collection. The collection includes numerous artifacts from the Ancestral Puebloans, an Indigenous group from whom modern Puebloan tribes are descended.

    The item she selected for analysis was a pouch found in the Cedar Mesa area of San Juan County, Utah, in 1965. Made from leather and decorated with white animal fur, the artifact had a 1-inch cut on its side that revealed a smooth white object inside.

  • Cache Valley Daily Monday, Aug. 22, 2022

    USU physicist says James Webb Telescope sheds light on black holes

    LOGAN – Images emerging this summer from the James Webb Space Telescope are shedding new light on black holes, which are great amounts of matter packed into a very small area.

    Utah State University’s Dr. Maria Rodriguez, a theoretical physicist who is very interested in these images, says there is a super-massive black hole in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.

    We think every galaxy in the universe has this huge monster in the center

    “We think every galaxy in the universe has this huge monster in the center,” says Rodriguez, “and this object in the center sort of balances this movement of the stars and this cosmic dance that we are doing around this super-massive black hole.”

  • Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Aug. 03, 2022

    New irrigation research & tech helps farmers produce food and save water

    Matt Yost is a Utah State University professor in Plants, Soils & Climate and USU Extension specialist. He knows farming first-hand. He grew up on a dairy farm in Burley Idaho.

    “My father still operates the farm, he milks about 200 cows and so I still get to go there with kids and still be involved with some aspects of the farm,” said Matt Yost.

    Yost will be discussing one of the biggest challenges in agriculture – water management – at the USU Research Landscape event Thursday afternoon at the O.C. Tanner headquarters in Salt Lake City.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 03, 2022

    USU partners with Taiwanese program for new summer Chinese immersion

    SALT LAKE CITY — A new exchange has brought Chinese culture and language to the Beehive State.

    Utah State University has partnered with the National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) Language Center in Taiwan to provide Utah kids the opportunity to learn and practice Chinese in an immersive setting.

    The program allows students who have attended the K-12 Chinese immersion program to maintain their language skills during the summer break.

  • Cache Valley Daily Monday, Aug. 01, 2022

    USU Extension hosts "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" workshops

    Utah State University Extension hosts the “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” (BOW) educational skills workshops August 25 – 27 at the Holmstead Ranch Resort in the Central Utah area. Geared to women 18 years old and older, the workshops focus on outdoor activities in an environment conducive to learning, making friends, and having fun.

    During the three-day event, women can select to learn a variety of outdoor skills including: rock climbing, rappelling, firearm safety, rifle shooting, archery, outdoor photography, outdoor cooking, backpacking/hiking, Leave No Trace principles, camping, hunting, fishing, and more.

  • Cache Valley Daily Thursday, Jul. 28, 2022

    The College of Veterinary Medicine is USU's 9th college

    LOGAN – The College of Veterinary Medicine has been officially approved to become Utah State University’s ninth college. Serving as interim dean is Dr. Dirk Vanderwall, who has been affiliated with USU’s School of Veterinary Medicine for several years.

    USU has been part of the Washington-Idaho-Montana-Utah Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine for about 10 years. Current training of USU veterinary students is done in what Dr. Vanderwall calls a “2+2” program.

  • 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.


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