In the News

  • The Herald Journal Tuesday, Nov. 07, 2023

    USU Pilot Program Helping Kindergarteners Reading in Logan

    Administration and leadership from the Logan City School District and Utah State University met to discuss the success of a pilot partnership program between LCSD and USU’s Center for the School of the Future on Tuesday.

    The partnership has multiple sections, including the Teacher Academy program which allows USU student teachers to work in elementary schools in the district and a reading proficiency program.

    Since the start of the reading proficiency program, LCSD has reported a 96 percent reading proficiency in their kindergarten classes. Jed Grunig, director of elementary schools for LCSD, said while the kindergarten levels were the most dramatic, all grade levels have increased their reading proficiency rates.

  • KSLtv.com Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023

    Utah State University sees a slight increase in its enrollment numbers

    LOGAN — In a report released this week by the Utah System of Higher Education, Utah State University saw a slight increase in student enrollment from a year ago.

    According to the report, the total number of students at USU, including concurrent enrollment, grew by .4% from 2022. For the 2023 fall semester, USU has a little more than 28,000 students, which is the highest number of enrolled students at USU since 2016.

    USU also saw a 10% increase in the number of high school students taking part in concurrent enrollment, that number rose to 400.

    “This increase demonstrates our commitment to access to higher education,” said USU Executive Vice President Robert Wagner in a news release. “Especially in the more rural areas of the state where opportunities for higher education are critical.”

  • Fox 13 News Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023

    USU professor discusses devastating civilian casualties in both Israel, Gaza

    SALT LAKE CITY — It's been a week since the Hamas attacks on Israel.

    "The events last Saturday have killed 1,300+ Israeli civilians. In response, 2,000 Palestinians have been killed. That number dwarfs any of the previous military encounters between Israel and Hamas," said Utah State University Assistant Political Science Professor Austin Knuppe.

    In the past few days, Israel has ordered the evacuation of over a million in Gaza — home to over two million people — as the Israeli military prepares for a possible ground operation. Gaza is also facing a humanitarian crisis.

  • USA Today Tuesday, Oct. 03, 2023

    New wasp species discovered by Amazon rainforest scientists

    Scientists have discovered a new wasp species in the Amazon rain forests of Peru.

    According to a newly published study in ZooKeys Journal, the discovery was made at the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve by scientists from the University of Turku in Finland who have researched biodiversity in the area for over 20 years. 

    The new wasp genus called amazonica Capitojoppa is one of several species unknown to science which were discovered in what is often described as the most biodiverse rainforest on Earth, said Brandon Claridge from Utah State University in a news release. Claridge also adds that more newly discovered species will be described in future studies. He also states that wasps belonging to the subfamily Ichneumoninae are usually large and colorful, “especially in the tropics,” and each genus’ name often describes the species’ characteristics or range.

  • Deseret News Thursday, Sep. 28, 2023

    What has Utah's new Alzheimer's research center learned about the disease?

    Alzheimer’s disease is Utah’s No. 4 killer and the numbers just keep growing — from 34,000 adults 65 or older who had the disease in 2020 to 42,000 in 2025, a nearly 23.5% increase.

    The issue is of prime concern because debilitating neurocognitive decline impacts individuals, families, communities, the economy, the health care system and nearly all aspects of life for those touched in some way. That’s why the Utah Legislature approved $850,000 in continuing funds to establish an Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Research Center at Utah State University in 2022.

    The center’s focus is to accelerate studies on preventing, managing and treating Alzheimer’s and other dementias and to bolster the training needed to prepare students to be researchers, health care providers and dementia-competent workers. And while it doesn’t provide direct services to those with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones, the center’s proving to be good at connecting people to experts who can help them.

  • Salt Lake Tribune Sunday, Sep. 24, 2023

    OSIRIS-REx: Bennu asteroid sample lands in Utah

    A NASA capsule returning more than 200 million miles from the surface of asteroid Bennu, which scientists hope contains clues to the origins of our universe, landed among the sand and scrub of Utah’s West Desert on Sunday morning.

    Seven years after the NASA spacecraft OSIRIS-REx first launched from American soil in 2016, the Sample Return Capsule — or SRC — made a relatively gentle landing inside the Utah Test and Training Range, under the canopy of an orange and white parachute.

    The capsule, roughly the size of a large truck tire, entered Earth’s atmosphere at about 8:40 a.m., traveling faster than 27,000 miles per hour, NASA officials said. Its main parachute, the second of two used to slow the capsule’s approach, deployed about seven minutes later at around 20,000 feet above the UTTR — much higher than the 5,000 feet NASA officials expected.

  • The Herald Journal Saturday, Sep. 23, 2023

    Conserving native pollinators: USU named a Bee Campus USA

    The hard work of Utah State University’s Facilities Department in conserving native pollinators through collaboration has officially been recognized. On Sept. 11, USU’s Logan campus was officially certified as a “Bee Campus USA” affiliate.

    Bee Campus USA is an organization that provides college and university communities with the framework to work together to conserve native pollinators by increasing the abundance of native plants, nesting sites and reducing the use of pesticides.

    “The facilities department are really superstars,” said Caitlin McLennan, Utah State’s sustainability program manager. “We really applaud our landscape, operations and maintenance team for making campus a beautiful place.”

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2023

    SDL's Atmospheric Waves Experiment ready for launch to ISS

    News this week from Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Lab is that NASA’s Atmospheric Waves Experiment, or AWE,  earned its flight safety certificate, which clears the way for its planned Nov. 1 launch to the International Space Station (ISS).

    The flight safety certificate is important because it verifies that the AWE payload complies with strict safety standards.

    AWE’s goal is to determine how small-scale atmospheric gravity waves (AGWs) from the earth’s weather affect the edge of space.

  • ABC4 News Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2023

    USU center offers hope for those suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia

    Alzheimer’s is the fourth 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 the diseases and better support people living with these diseases. Funds currently coming into the center are distributed out to fund multiple research studies. The benefit of a research center like this here in our state is that it will promote new ideas, move studies forward more quickly, and support caregivers with the latest new information.

  • Salt Lake Tribune Thursday, Sep. 07, 2023

    Next 'daring scientific discoveries' in space might come thanks to USU

    Jed J. Hancock was never supposed to be an electrical engineer — or so he was told.

    After returning from a mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Venezuela, Hancock attended Utah State University to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer. But a university adviser didn’t think it was in the stars — warning him, he said, that electrical engineers are born, not made, and the young man from northern Utah probably wouldn’t make it.

    “That was all I needed to ignite a fire in me to be the hardest worker that I could be at this,” Hancock said, years later, of his undergraduate studies.

  • The Los Angeles Times Tuesday, Sep. 05, 2023

    As Colorado River shrinks, California farmers urge 'one-dam solution'

    For years, environmentalists have argued that the Colorado River should be allowed to flow freely across the Utah-Arizona border, saying that letting water pass around Glen Canyon Dam – and draining the giant Lake Powell reservoir – would improve the shrinking river’s health.

    Now, as climate change increases the strains on the river, this controversial proposal is receiving support from some surprising new allies: influential farmers in California’s Imperial Valley.

  • ABC4 News Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023

    USU organizes Overdose Awareness Day event

    Utah State University organized a light to remember event to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day.

  • The Herald Journal Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023

    USU President Cantwell: Listening to the community in a fast-changing world

    Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell has officially embarked on her position as Utah State University’s 17th president. She is new to USU after most recently working at the University of Arizona as the senior vice president of research and innovation.

    Monday was the first day of classes of the fall semester at USU.

    President Cantwell has four degrees — attending university in Chicago, New York, California and Pennsylvania — and years of experience in leadership and administration at the land-grant university, University of Arizona.

  • ABC4 News Monday, Aug. 28, 2023

    Insights from a study done about LGBTQ+ Latter-day Saints

    LOGAN, UTAH (GOOD THINGS UTAH) — Dr. Tyler Lefevor, associate professor in psychology at Utah State University, joined us on the show to share the findings of a decade-long study on LGBTQ+ Latter-day Saints.

    The research reveals that LGBTQ+ individuals face up to four times higher risks of mental health conditions compared to cisgender, heterosexual counterparts. The study delves into the impact of faith on mental health, evolving religiosity, and LGBTQ+ engagement within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • The Atlantic Monday, Aug. 21, 2023

    The Longest Relationships of our Lives

    Growing up as one of six siblings—the third oldest, and the second of three girls—Carlita Gay loved the distinction of a big family and that everyone was exposed to so many personalities. Though she saw her family less after moving away from her hometown, going to therapy as an adult helped Gay, now 33 and an executive assistant in New York, understand “how much of a refuge my siblings can still be” because of their deep context and shared history. In particular, they were some of the few people who could understand her experience of growing up biracial in a “mainly white” part of Minnesota. “I had a perspective of ‘Maybe I’m alone’” in trying to make sense of how her racial identity developed, Gay told me, but over time she realized that her siblings could relate to both that general experience and how it played out within their family. “If anyone could understand my experience the most,” she said, “it might be them.”

  • KSL Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023

    USU researchers create jet fuel from juniper trees

    LOGAN — Researchers at Utah State University believe they've come up with a clean-burning jet fuel made from juniper trees.

    They are now trying to get the biofuel into the marketplace. While it's designed as jet fuel, researchers say it can be fractioned out to work in boats and even cars.

    And, it was created at Utah State University's Innovation Campus.

    USU biological engineering professor Foster Agblevor started working on this idea 10 years ago, knowing that Utah has the invasive juniper tree.

  • The Herald Journal Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023

    USU interim dean Named 2023 Veterinarian of the Year

    The Interim Dean of Utah State University’s brand-new College of Veterinary Medicine, Dirk Vanderwall, has been named the Utah Veterinary Medical Association’s 2023 Veterinarian of the Year.

    Vanderwall, who received the award in June at a ceremony part of the Mountainlands Utah Veterinary Summit, said he was surprised by the award. When his name was announced, Vanderwall said he was “taken aback.”

    “I love being a veterinarian and I love the veterinary profession,” Vanderwall said. “To be recognized by my peers with this award was just very, very rewarding. And very gratifying.”

  • ESPN Monday, Aug. 07, 2023

    Utah State hires ex-Big Ten deputy commissioner Diana Sabau as AD

    Utah State has hired former Big Ten deputy commissioner Diana Sabau as the school's next athletic director, the school announced on Monday night.

    Sabau oversees all 28 sports for the Big Ten and was the former senior deputy to athletic director Gene Smith at Ohio State, where her duties included being the sport administrator for the football program from 2017 through March of 2021.

    Sabau succeeds interim athletic director Jerry Bovee, who took over in November after John Hartwell resigned.

  • KSL Saturday, Aug. 05, 2023

    Peak river flow & drone, brings unique chance for study of Logan floodplain

    LOGAN — Cities typically use satellite imagery to study a floodplain, but those areas are often blocked by trees and vegetation. A drone from Utah State University is cutting through all of that.

    As the Logan River moves to more average flows, from peak flows seen during May, researcher Ian Gowing said those major events brought a rare opportunity.

    "We saw that the Logan River had reached 1,750 cubic feet per second," Gowing said — it's highest flow. The drone could launch as the river flow peaked. Two Utah cities, Logan and Nibley, were eager to have detailed high-resolution images of the floodplain.

  • The Washington Post Thursday, Aug. 03, 2023

    How to water your garden wisely in the summer heat

    You’ve probably heard the expression, “Work smarter, not harder.” The same idea can apply to watering your garden in the dead of summer — when standing in the blazing heat, hose in hand, or swatting away mosquitoes while positioning your sprinkler are about the last things you want to do.

    Though watering obviously becomes more critical as temperatures rise, deploying the right tools and strategies can make your routine easier and less frequent. In fact, you may already be watering too often. “Intuitively, people think, ‘Oh, it’s hot so I’ll water every day,’” says Cory Tanner, director of the horticulture program team at Clemson University. But just watering a little every day — rather than giving your garden a thorough, but less frequent soak — “actually encourages shallow rooting.”

    Herewith, advice from gardening experts to help you water more efficiently in the heat.

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Aug. 02, 2023

    Elizabeth Cantwell sworn in as 17th USU President

    LOGAN — Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell was formally sworn in as president of Utah State University Tuesday afternoon.

    Cantwell wrote in a statement that she was beyond excited to start her tenure as USU’s 17th president. She said she was honored to work with so many talented individuals.

    Cantwell was sworn into office in a private ceremony in the president’s office in Old Main. She was selected as USU president by a 19-member search committee following a nationwide search. Before joining USU, she was most recently senior vice president for research and innovation at the University of Arizona.

    Cantwell is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School (MBA, 2003); the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, 1992); and the University of Chicago (BA, Human Behavior 1976).

  • NBC News Wednesday, Aug. 02, 2023

    Toxic bacteria detected in several of Zion National Park's waterways

    Toxic bacteria have been detected in several bodies of water in Utah’s Zion National Park, the National Park Service announced this week.

    Three bodies of water in the park have cyanotoxins in them, according to the Park Service: the North Fork of the Virgin River, North Creek and La Verkin Creek. These toxins are produced by a type of bacteria called cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. 

    The algae is common in ponds and lakes and not always dangerous, but it can grow into large blooms that produce cyanotoxins. In people, symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include irritation in the eyes, ears, nose, throat or skin, as well as headache, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea. In animals and pets, symptoms include drooling, low energy, lack of appetite, paralysis and vomiting.

  • Deseret News Saturday, Jul. 22, 2023

    NASA dropping 'time capsule' from beginning of solar system into Utah desert

    The most dangerous asteroid in the solar system is coming to Earth this fall — a piece of it, at least — as part of NASA's first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid will make its landing in the Utah desert.

    OSIRIS-REx will land Sept. 24 at the Utah Test and Training Range in Dugway.

    Analyzing the sample from the asteroid Bennu, estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old, will help scientists understand the origin of life in the universe.

  • The New York Times Friday, Jul. 21, 2023

    From an Ancient Soil Sample, Clues to an Ice Sheet's Future

    In 1966, scientists at Camp Century, a now abandoned U.S. military base in the Arctic, drilled deep into the Greenland ice sheet, extracting a cylinder of ice nearly a mile long along with 12 feet of the frozen sediment that sat beneath it.

    “That was a pretty miraculous engineering feat that has been really hard to repeat,” said Andrew Christ, a geoscientist who recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Vermont.

    The sample was the first deep ice core that scientists had ever collected, and over the decades that followed, the ice became the subject of intense scientific study, providing critical clues about the planet’s climate history. The same could not be said for the sediment, which was largely overlooked before vanishing completely.

    In 2017, the sediment was rediscovered in a freezer in Denmark. Now, a study of the frozen samples is shedding new light on Greenland’s past and, perhaps, providing an ominous warning for the future. The findings, which were published in Science on Thursday, suggest that roughly 400,000 years ago the Camp Century site in northwestern Greenland was temporarily ice-free. They add to accumulating evidence that Greenland’s ice sheet has not been stable for the last 2.5 million years, as scientists once assumed.

    “The big take-home message from this is Greenland is vulnerable,” said Paul Bierman, a geoscientist at the University of Vermont and an author of the new study. “The ice sheet has melted in the past, and therefore it can melt again.”

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