In the News

  • Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Mar. 14, 2023

    Honorary degree recipients named for USU Commencement

    He was an accomplished wide receiver and kick return specialist for Aggie football teams of the 1980s and later, with two degrees from Utah State University, Paul Jones launched a 37-year career in higher education.

    On Thursday, May 4, he will receive an honorary doctorate degree and serve as commencement speaker for the 136th Utah State University graduation ceremony on campus.

    Dr. Paul Anthony Jones is currently serving as the 10th president at Fort Valley State, a fellow land-grant university in Georgia that signed a five-year partnership with USU last year to collaborate on activities of mutual interest.

  • Salt Lake Tribune Tuesday, Mar. 07, 2023

    How USU is using data to improve its policing

    Utah State University’s new “predictive policing” model might at first sound like the plot of “Minority Report.”

    But the school says it’s far less dystopian than the 2002 sci-fi thriller, and much more about predicting needs like which football games might require more officers on patrol or figuring out where students are reporting the highest levels of concerns and why.

    “It’s been phenomenal,” said Blair Barfuss, the recent police chief at USU. “We started having answers that I never anticipated seeing. And it’s all data-driven.”

  • The New York Times Saturday, Mar. 04, 2023

    Are Butterflies Wildlife? Depends Where You Live.

    It’s tough being an insect. They get swatted, stomped and sprayed without a thought. Their mere presence can provoke irrational panic. Even everyday language disparages them: “Stop bugging me,” we say.

    To make matters worse for insects, they have also been sidelined legally in some states, with unintended but serious repercussions. The reason? According to many state statutes, insects are not considered wildlife.

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Mar. 01, 2023

    USU announces 2023 commencement dates

    LOGAN – Utah State University is preparing for the school’s 136th Commencement since its founding in 1888 and beginning April 20 the school will hold seven ceremonies across campuses in the state through the end of the month.

    Commencement on the USU main campus in Logan will be May 4. That will include the awarding of honorary degrees, announcement of university-wide faculty awards, and Commencement speeches.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023

    USU Study: population growth causing wild weather patterns

    LOGAN, Utah — From extreme drought to heavy snow, some researchers at Utah State University are tying to get to the bottom of Utah’s rollercoaster weather patterns.

    A new study shows that it may be all our fault and that it’s not going away anytime soon. The two professors on this study say population growth, and the things we all do are adding to the wild swings in weather. While we should work to fix it, they say we’re also going to need to learn how to live with it.

    Most people don’t have these kind of resources to deal with winter.

  • Forbes Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023

    Research Explains How Our Teenage 'Templates' Of Love Affect Us As Adults

    A new study published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy explains how teenagers can form healthy or unhealthy ‘templates’ of romantic relationships that can perpetuate as they grow up.

    The researchers, led by Kay Bradford and Brian Higginbotham of Utah State University and Jacqueline Miller of the University of New Mexico, believe that relationship education, much like sexual education, may be the key to helping adolescents build healthier current and future romantic relationships.

  • The Mercury News Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023

    What creates a huge earthquake? Scientists investigate phenomenon

    TORONTO — Scientists have made further strides toward identifying the key circumstances for catastrophic earthquakes, according to researchers.

    What separates a region prone to mild earthquakes compared to those that could see earth-shattering quakes in the future could come down to a principle of friction, according to a new study published last week in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

    Friction describes the force of resistance when two materials are sliding against each other. One specific frictional phenomenon that dictates how quickly faults heal after an earthquake may also be key to identifying if they will be at risk of a greater earthquake in the future, according to researchers.

  • KSL Monday, Feb. 20, 2023

    Stadler Rail, USU to begin work on battery-powered passenger trains

    SALT LAKE CITY — Stadler Rail is partnering with Utah State University to engineer battery-powered passenger trains in North America, as a potential zero-emission solution in rail travel.

    The Swiss-based company with a U.S. facility in Salt Lake City announced Wednesday that it will work with USU's Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification Research Center to develop and test a battery version of its FLIRT model passenger trains, which primarily run on diesel.

    "With little to no electrified routes in the North American public rail transit system, a battery train is a great zero-emission alternative to diesel-powered vehicles," said Stadler U.S. CEO Martin Ritter in a statement.

  • KSL Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023

    USU lab studies impact of solar flares on satellites

    LOGAN — Your credit card stops working, then your radio kicks out. What's happening?

    It could be a solar flare causing glitches in a satellite. That's why employees at the Space Dynamics Lab at Utah State University in Logan are investigating. They want to know how the sun messes with satellites and if the Earth's atmosphere plays a part.

    "Solar wind, coronal mass ejections, high energy particles coming from the sun, that is space weather," said Space Dynamics Laboratory Payload Manager Eric Syrstad.

    "And that is what impacts that region of space where we have, you know, really expensive satellites flying around. We rely on those for communication and GPS and that type of thing."

  • KSL Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023

    Utah State University to help develop battery-powered train

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State University and the ASPIRE Engineering Research Center in partnership with Stadler, a Swiss-based brand, will develop and test a battery-powered train. 

    FLIRT (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train) will be the first of its kind in the United States. The FLIRT train was originally developed for the Swiss Federal Railways and was first delivered in 2004.

    A model of the lightweight train is planned at Stadler’s facility in Salt Lake City.

    In a release from those collaborating, goal is to demonstrate the zero-emission train in real life. In the future, FLIRT is planned for routes without end-to-end electrification.

  • KSL Monday, Feb. 13, 2023

    USU instructors use horses to help veterans suffering with PTSD

    LOGAN — Some instructors at Utah State University are helping veterans through tough times with the help of horses.

    There are sometimes events in life that cause people to withdraw. At times it may take a careful touch that humans cannot replicate to rebuild trust.

    Those involved with the program say it's a great way to connect with horses.

  • Salt Lake Tribune Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023

    EV charging at freeway speeds? USU's ASPIRE puts it on the road map

    Don’t want to plug and play? Maybe you can get a load from the road.

    In the movement toward battery-powered vehicles, the limiting factor has been and continues to be keeping the batteries charged.It’s a power-to-weight problem.

    The farther a vehicle has to travel without a charge, the larger and heavier the battery must be. And the heavier the battery, the more power it takes to propel the vehicle and its heavy battery.

    For the trucking industry, it’s also a time-is-money problem. Time spent charging a big electric truck at a charging station is money lost in paying drivers and slower deliveries.

    The solution to both? Charge often and without stopping by embedding the chargers in roads.

    Induction charging, as it is known, is one of the key technologies under development at Utah State University’s Center for Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE). Under a bill the Utah Legislature is considering, ASPIRE would lead the planning for Utah’s charging network for cars, trucks, trains and even electric aircraft.

  • CNN Friday, Feb. 10, 2023

    Scientists fear a Great Toxic Dustbowl could soon emerge from the GSL

    On the shore of Great Salt Lake, Utah (CNN)Like the rest of the West, Utah has a water problem. But megadrought and overconsumption aren't just threats to wildlife, agriculture and industry here. A disappearing Great Salt Lake could poison the lungs of more than 2.5 million people.

    When lake levels hit historic lows in recent months, 800 square miles of lakebed were exposed -- soil that holds centuries of natural and manmade toxins like mercury, arsenic and selenium. As that mud turns to dust and swirls to join some of the worst winter air pollution in the nation, scientists warn that the massive body of water could evaporate into a system of lifeless finger lakes within five years, on its way to becoming the Great Toxic Dustbowl.

  • KSL Friday, Feb. 10, 2023

    USU researchers search for source of Wasatch Front air pollution

    SALT LAKE CITY — Researchers are taking a close look at some major contributors to our air pollution, and how to combat the problem better.

    This comes on the heels of another study that shows how a magnesium plant in Tooele County might be adding to the bad air in a much bigger way than previously thought.

    The Utah Division of Air Quality, along with researchers at Utah State University, is taking readings every week at air monitor stations.

    They're looking at some of the sources of our bad air, in hopes of finding what can be effectively targeted to better clear up the problem in the future.

    We're all painfully aware of the air pollution while it's here, but the elements that make it happen are always around, waiting to be trapped by the next inversion.

  • ABC4 News Monday, Feb. 06, 2023

    USU Space Lab is helping NASA study gravity waves in Earth's atmosphere

    LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – Did you know outer space has “weather?” Not only does it, but Utah State University is helping NASA forecast what that “weather” might be.

    USU’s Space Dynamics Laboratory has announced the successful completion of tests for NASA‘s Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE), a mission that will help scientists understand and, ultimately, forecast the vast space weather system around our planet.

    AWE, planned for launch at the International Space Station, will study gravity waves in Earth’s atmosphere to “gain a deeper knowledge of the connections caused by climate systems throughout our atmosphere and between the atmosphere and space,” a press release states.

  • KSL Sunday, Feb. 05, 2023

    Utah air quality is continuing to get worse, says USU professor

    SALT LAKE CITY — Unhealthy air is still affecting Utah and its residents, and the recent snow storms and other factors are not helping much.

    According to Randy Martin, a Utah State University professor, there are several reasons why the air quality was terrible on Saturday.

    "For the last several years, we've been fortunate that we've had relatively mild winters," Martin explained while checking a reading station in the Salt Lake Valley.

    He said while we all need the snow for the water it brings, its thick layers on the ground add to our air problems.

  • The Herald Journal Thursday, Feb. 02, 2023

    USU announces monthlong events for Black History Month

    Utah State University will be hosting a variety of events this month to educate the community and celebrate the richness of Black history, according to an announcement made by the school on Wednesday.

    Black History Month, which was officially recognized by U.S. President Gerald Ford in 1976, honors the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout U.S. history, the announcement states. Although first recognized in 1976, it was celebrated many decades prior.

    Isaiah Jones, senior director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at USU, said that Black History Month is a reminder that Black American history is also the history of the United States.

  • 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.

  • Science Mag Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

    LiDAR technology could improve safety features in vehicles

    As of 2022, 17 car manufacturers have announced plans to use or are currently using LiDAR sensors across 21 different models. However, there are a few things that need to be solved before this technology can be used widespread.

    LiDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, is the use of light photons to scan and record the distance and placement of objects around the sensor. LiDAR can differentiate between stagnant and moving objects and see in the dark, all in real-time. That means that a vehicle using LiDAR technology can see and keep drivers, occupants and other road users safe.

    Associate Professor Scott Budge and his student Chaz Cornwall argue in their research paper, published in Optical Engineering, that LiDAR improves the response time of commercial vehicles. Cars must be able to stop quickly and adapt to dynamic environments, which is difficult with current technology.

  • 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.”

  • 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.


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