In the News

  • AP News Sunday, May. 22, 2022

    Priceless seeds, sprouts key to US West's post-fire future

    A New Mexico facility where researchers work to restore forests devastated by fires faced an almost cruelly ironic threat: The largest wildfire burning in the U.S. was fast approaching.

    Owen Burney and his team knew they had to save what they could. Atop their list was a priceless bank of millions of ponderosa pine, spruce and other conifer seeds meant to help restore fire-ravaged landscapes across the American West.

    Next were tens of thousands of tree sprouts, many of which were sown to make them more drought tolerant, that were loaded onto trailers and trucked to a greenhouse about 100 miles (161 kilometers) away.

    Larissa Yocom, an assistant professor at Utah State University’s Wildland Resources Department, has plans for thousands of aspen seedlings that were rescued from the center. She and her team have worked in the footprint of a 2020 wildfire in southwest Utah. She’s holding out hope that the large New Mexico fire won’t dash plans for the latest experiment in an older burn scar just north of the fire line.

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, May. 11, 2022

    Noelle Cockett reconfigures leadership roles at USU

    LOGAN – With the pending retirement of Executive Vice President and Provost Frank Galey, Utah State University President Noelle Cockett has turned to her existing executive team to reconfigure roles of executive vice president (EVP) and provost.

    When Dr. Galey retires July 1, Laurens H. (Larry) Smith will become the new provost and Robert W. Wagner takes over as executive vice president.

    Cockett said Wagner will focus on operations while Smith as provost will deal solely with academics. University vice presidents will continue to report to President Cockett with the deans still reporting to the provost.

  • Deseret News Friday, Apr. 22, 2022

    Why a dry Chilean lagoon matters to the future of the Great Salt Lake

    Back in its heyday, the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake boasted multiple resorts offering dining, dancing, concerts, picnic pavilions, a bowling alley. Thousands swarmed these resorts for entertainment and to take advantage of the natural buoyancy of its salt-filled waters.

    There was even a steamboat securely moored to a 400-foot pier offering a restaurant and recreation hall. It was named the General Garfield after U.S President James Garfield, a former Civil War general who cruised around the lake.

  • International Business Times Thursday, Apr. 21, 2022

    Iguanas Getting 'Sugar High' From Tourists Feeding Them

    How does ecotourism affect the animals that the tourists encounter? For Northern Bahamian rock iguanas, their encounters with tourists who are feeding them seem to have led them to have a "sugar high."

    It's not uncommon for people who go on ecotours to feed the animals they encounter. Northern Bahamian rock iguanas, for instance, are quite familiar with humans that give them food such as grapes, noted a news release from The Company of Biologists.

    However, there has been evidence of how this has been impacting animals. In 2018, for instance, researchers found that juvenile green sea turtles in the Canary Islands have actually developed high fat and cholesterol levels from having been fed by tourists, Susannah French of Utah State University, one of the authors of the new study in the Journal of Experimental Biology, noted in the news release.

  • KSL Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

    How long should you dip an Oreo in milk? USU scientists find out

    There's a science behind dipping cookies in milk, and researchers at Utah State University say they've figured it out. They spent two weeks in search of the ideal dipping time.

    Scientists from the university's splash lab study liquids. This time, the liquid was milk, and cookies were involved.

    "We've always had, like, these crazy ideas, I guess you'd say," said Dr. Tadd Truscott. "We were always saying, 'We should be always curious, asking as many questions as we can.'"

    Truscott and some colleagues got the idea while eating cookies and milk.

    "That question kept coming up, like, 'What is the best dunking time?' And everybody kind of argued about it," he explained.

    They tried dipping a variety of cookies — everything from graham crackers to Nutter Butters and, of course, Oreos — several hours a day, for two weeks.

  • KSL Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2022

    How the Great Salt Lake's drying lakebed could contribute to pollution

    LOGAN, Utah — Two Ph.D. students from Utah State University are trying to measure the dust blowing off the Great Salt Lake and learn how it contributes to pollution and air quality along the Wasatch Front.

    "Climate change and unsustainable water use have turned 50% of Great Salt Lake to dust or potential dust," said one of the researchers, Molly Blakowski. "We were motivated to analyze the composition of dust produced from the dry lake bed because as a terminal lake, Great Salt Lake accumulates pollution from across its entire watershed."

    That pollution comes in the form of heavy metals, as well as manmade and organic chemicals that can be toxic as they settle into the dust, and that dust starts blowing around.

    "There's dust like this being generated all over the place and, like dust getting kicked up, is a common thing across the American West," said Jeffrey Perala-Dewey, the other researcher on this case.

    "But what's unique about the Great Salt Lake, and the dust that's being kicked up here is that these sediments have been polluted by urban and industrial and agricultural inputs for a very long time. So that's what makes this dust potentially very concerning."

  • KUTV2 Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2022

    Utah State University hosts Harry Potter Make-A-Wish Reveal

    Make-A-Wish Utah surprised 6-year-old Bridger with the news that his wish to meet his favorite YouTuber will be formally granted during a Harry Potter themed party, thanks to a partnership with Utah State University.

    The event is part of MAWU's fourth annual Drive for Wishes campaign, which is sponsored by Fox Pest Control, Malouf, Little Caesars, and Roolee.

    Bridger traveled on a journey through Diagon Alley and attend a Sorting Hat ceremony where the Request Wizard will read a scroll declaring Bridger's wish will be granted by MAWU.

  • Cache Valley Daily Sunday, Apr. 10, 2022

    Bean and Cardozo named Male and Female Athlete of the Year

    LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s basketball senior Justin Bean and soccer senior Ashley Cardozo were named the Male and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively, at the annual Robins Awards, recognizing the best of Utah State University.
  • Utah Public Radio Friday, Apr. 08, 2022

    Students from across the world celebrate diversity and unity at USU

    These are the voices of diversity at USU as students enjoy an Indian dance performance during the annual International Banquet at the Logan campus.

    This event is the biggest celebration of diversity organized by the International Student Committee (ISC). It is a way for students to get together, meet new people and learn about multiculturalism says Sola, a student advocate for ISC.

    “That event provides an avenue for people to get to learn about other people's cultures," says Sola.

    And as the war continues in Ukraine, Bonny, an international student from Taiwan says this banquet is a perfect way for the Aggie family to show togetherness for their peers in other countries.

  • Utah Public Radio Friday, Apr. 08, 2022

    USU Kicks off Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Start By Believing Day

    “Start by believing day is all about people flooding the internet and flooding campus with support for survivors, so that they know they’re safe and heard and believed," student advocate Mary Jo Duersch said.

    Music boomed where tables covered in ribbons, pins, lanyards, and information pamphlets lined the quad at USU. Students passing through stopped to pick up swag items and signed the pledge to start by believing when someone tells them, they’ve survived sexual assault.

    “Our friend from stats told us to come out here, and they’re giving out free pins so I thought I’d grab one, keep it on my backpack”, said Kenny, a student at USU.

  • Cache Valley Daily Thursday, Apr. 07, 2022

    Research Week highlights why USU is a national leader in research

    LOGAN — Next week is Research Week at Utah State University. It is an opportunity for USU to showcase a series of events scheduled throughout the week that will highlight research, accomplishments of USU students and faculty.

    Also it will give the public a chance to know some of the research that has been done, is being done right now and will be done.

    On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, Daniel Lenhart, program assistant with the Office of Research, was asked how they decide what to spotlight each year.

    “We highlight…what our faculty has written books about this year. And every year we get interesting new topics, so every year our faculty writes books about new things, so we’re able to see brand new topics every single year,”  he explained.

  • Deseret News Wednesday, Apr. 06, 2022

    USU Report Shows Human trafficking isn't just a problem elsewhere

    Despite public perceptions that human trafficking is an “international problem,” it is occurring in urban and rural areas of Utah, according to a new report by the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University.

    Authors of the report uncovered several indications of the prevalence of human trafficking in Utah:

    • In 2020, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 182 contacts and about 64 reported human trafficking cases in Utah. The previous year, 157 victims and 39 traffickers were identified.
    • In 2018, the Utah Attorney General’s Office conducted 49 human trafficking investigations and reportedly prosecuted eight cases and served 44 victims.
    • In February of 2021, six people were arrested for human trafficking and prostitution in massage parlors in Utah County, following an undercover investigation.

    The researchers’ review of federal court cases in 2020 in Utah indicated 98% of victims of sex trafficking were female and 60% of victims of forced labor were male.

  • Cache Valley Daily Friday, Apr. 01, 2022

    New director named for USU Extension Home and Community Department

    Heidi LeBlanc has been named the new director for Utah State University Extension’s Home and Community Department. She replaces Margie Memmott, who recently retired after nearly 40 years of service to USU Extension.

    LeBlanc is an Extension professor and director of both the Create Better Health program and the Hunger Solutions Institute. She has been an integral part of the Farmers Feeding Utah program, developed in 2020, where food was donated to the program and also purchased from Utah farmers whose supply chains and livelihoods were disrupted by the pandemic. It has helped feed over 42,000 families in need with 2 million pounds of food through 29 events across Utah.

    She will continue her work as director of Create Better Health and the Hunger Solutions Institute with additional assistance.

  • ABC4 News Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022

    USU announces Alumni Achievement Award recipients

    LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – Utah State University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is excited to announce Dale Christensen as its senior Alumni Achievement award recipient and Anastassia Alexandrova as its junior Alumni Achievement award recipient.

    “We are excited and proud to recognize these two exceptional Aggies,” Department Head Lance Seefeldt says. “Following a new awards format we initiated in 2020, we name a senior award recipient, recognizing an individual who is completing a long and distinguished career, as well as a junior award recipient, who is an emerging leader in our field, each year.”

    The duo will be formally recognized during the Chemistry and Biochemistry Spring 2022 department seminars. Christensen will be individually honored on April 6, while Alexandrova will have the limelight on April 20.

  • ABC4 News Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022

    Utah State insect library grows to 6 million species

    It started small in the early 1900s, but the Utah State insect library has grown to six million species.

    Utah State University (USU) says that as insect populations start to decline, the collection may help determine how species evolved and if their populations are changing over time.

    “Winding through a labyrinth of hallways in the basement of the Biology and Natural Resources building, the Utah State University Insect Library appears just when one feels entirely lost,” Kristen Munson, Utah State University, states.

  • Moab Sun News Friday, Mar. 25, 2022

    USU Moab's new building to open April 1

    On April 1, Utah State University will hold a ribbon-cutting for its new Moab campus. The event will include a tour, an opportunity to contribute to a USU Moab Community Scholarship fund, and a ceremony to bury a community time capsule.

    “We’re here to serve the community,” said Lianna Etchberger, associate vice president of USU Moab. She said she wanted the new campus to feel less institutional and more friendly, a place where any Moabite could find a new passion in their education. The new campus will allow USU Moab to grow “significantly,” she said.

  • Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2022

    President Cockett highlights USU growth and accomplishments

    During her Monday morning State of the University address, Utah State University President Noelle Cockett praised USU’s perseverance and accomplishments during the COVID pandemic.

    She said in the era of COVID-19 USU has done very well with online education, because the school was prepared for it.

    “We’ve had online for 26 years, and it is high quality,” Pres. Cockett said. “Many institutions went into online education during the COVID pandemic. They had to, as we were told to move to more virtual education opportunities for our students.

    “But USU had the experience to make it outstanding, even during that quick pivot into virtual mode of instruction.”

  • ABC4 News Monday, Mar. 21, 2022

    Utah's hand in the future of electric vehicles

    Imagine charging your car while you drive. That may soon be a reality in the United States and the effort is being spearheaded here in Utah.  

    Dr. Regan Zane posed a question: “Could we actually get to a position where you no longer think about how, where, and when you charge your vehicle?” Your vehicle is just always ready to go?”   

    Dr. Zane is the director of ASPIRE Engineering Research Center at Utah State University. He told ABC4 that the answer to the question he posed may be answered sooner than one may think.  

  • KSL Thursday, Mar. 17, 2022

    USU using St. Patrick's Day to teach about consent

    Utah State University took St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to educate its students on consent and healthy relationships.

    Rather than a traditional St. Paddy's Day shindig with kissing booths adorning "Kiss me, I'm Irish" signs and buttons, there was an on-campus display that had mannequins wearing various types of clothing, sending the message that "My clothes don't mean you'll get lucky."

    The event was put on by the university's Sexual Assault and Anti Violence Information Office, and led by outreach prevention coordinator Felicia Gallegos. Gallegos said that setting up the display on campus on St. Patrick's Day was done with the hope of starting conversations about things that are hard for many college students to talk about.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2022

    Research shows big trees boost water in forests by protecting snowpack

    Big trees play an outsized role in old-growth forests—from offering fire resistance to producing strong genetic offspring, big trees give forests multiple ecological advantages. New research gives managers yet another reason to honor the behemoths—big trees protect melting snowpacks in water-stressed environments. The research from Michaela Teich, Kendall Becker and Jim Lutz from the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University and colleague Mark Raleigh from Oregon State University, details the ecological puzzle for how big trees interact with forest snow. 

    A good supply of water allows trees to endure hot summer temperatures, survive wildfire and fight off attacks from invasions of bark beetles. But during the hot summers in the West, precipitation tends to be scant. A good, thick snowpack is water-in-the-bank as far as forests are concerned; the longer the winter snowpack endures into spring and summer months, the longer water is released into the soil and available to thirsty trees. That melting snow is also part of the runoff that fills the West's reservoirs and benefits communities. The goal of the research was to find ways for managers to help this essential source of water linger for longer into spring and summer months.

  • Science Daily Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2022

    Snowbound: Big trees boost water in forests by protecting snowpack

    Big trees play an outsized role in old-growth forests -- from offering fire resistance to producing strong genetic offspring, big trees give forests multiple ecological advantages. New research gives managers yet another reason to honor the behemoths -- big trees protect melting snowpacks in water-stressed environments. The research from Michaela Teich, Kendall Becker and Jim Lutz from the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University and colleague Mark Raleigh from Oregon State University, details the ecological puzzle for how big trees interact with forest snow.

  • Utah Business Monday, Mar. 14, 2022

    In-road, wireless electric vehicle charging could be a reality soon

    Imagine: It’s the future, and you’re tootling off from Salt Lake City to California to see Mickey and friends. You’ve charged up your electric vehicle at home before heading out. 

    In the olden days, you would have had to stop at a charging station to re-up your battery after about 250 miles. Near Cedar City, you’d tell the kids you’ve got to stop for a while. Then somewhere around Primm, Nevada, you’d have to recharge again.

    But it’s the future, and you don’t have to stop. You can keep driving because your car has a receiving pad on the battery that effectively makes an invisible “handshake” with charging pads under the asphalt and concrete. Once in Anaheim, your car continues to charge as you drive over local roads. You’ll probably want to plug in at the hotel before heading home, but otherwise, your car’s charging needs are all handled while you drive.

  • Cache Valley Daily Monday, Mar. 14, 2022

    Miller family gifts Huntsman School $2.5M for new experiential learning

    LOGAN – Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business has made experiential learning, or learning by doing, its focus for the next decade.

    USU will soon have a home for that burgeoning program with the announcement Monday by the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation of a gift of $2.5 million to support a new building for the program.

    Previously, the Miller Family Foundation gifted the Huntsman School $4 million to support programs aimed at preparing students with the skills and attributes needed in today’s fluid business environment.

  • Field & Stream Thursday, Mar. 10, 2022

    Utah Pelicans Are Helping Anglers Catch More Cutthroat Trout

    It’s an age-old battle: pelican versus trout angler. Those gangly intruders are scooping up all the fish, right? Not so fast, says a team at Utah State University’s Quinney College of Natural Resources researching predator-prey relationships between pelicans and cutthroat trout. Turns out the winged pescatarians might be helping us catch more fish. 


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