Ecology Center News
USU Biologist Zach Gompert Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award
It’s a dog-eat-dog world and, in the struggle for existence, organisms interact with each other and their environment in a myriad of ways. Along that journey, they adapt, or perish, as they’re exposed to peril at every turn. “Evolution can appear random,...
Climate History in Tree Rings Builds Understanding of Climate Future
Knowledge of the past is crucial for adaptation in the future, and research from an ecologist at Utah State University may help promote better understanding of winter weather anomalies by investigating evidence of historic climate and weather.
Rachel Hager, Ecology Grad Student and UPR Science Reporter, Reports on More Precise and Accurate Travel Time for Firefighters Crossing Rough Terrain
For wildfire firefighters, knowing exactly how long it takes for them to reach safety is critical, and new research provides more precise information about the time to cross different terrains and different slopes.
Niall Clancy, Ecology Grad Student and UPR Science Reporter, Reports on USU Researchers Using Beavers As Tools In Stream Restoration
Up in the mountains near Preston, Idaho and the Oneida Narrows of the Bear River, Professor Joe Wheaton of Utah State University and his students are working to restore a small stream called Station Creek.
UPR Science Reporter, Ashley Rohde Reports on New Technique To Extract Fuel From Algae
Researchers at the University of Utah recently published a paper describing new technology that will make the development of biofuels from plants more economically feasible.
Charles Hawkins Awarded USU's Most Prestigious Research Accolade
Utah State University’s Office of Research announced Charles “Chuck” Hawkins as the 2019 recipient of the D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award. Hawkins is a professor in the Department of Watershed Sciences in the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Na...
UPR Science Reporter, Rachel Hager, Reports on Massive Fireball And Environmental Clean-Up From Controlled Explosion Of Derailed Railcars
A controlled detonation Sunday night in Juab County lit up the sky with a massive fireball. A Union Pacific freight train went off the tracks near Eureka in western Utah on Saturday derailing several railcars carrying dangerous materials, requiring a coll...
UPR Science Reporter, Rachel Hager, Reports on How Socio-Economic Differences In Extreme Heat Risk Perception May Impact Responses
The warm temperatures of spring are heading our way and the intense heat of the summer is just around the corner. Now, there is new research investigating how we perceive extreme heat and how it can affect us.
Science Utah Podcast Episode 5: Stream Restoration with Beavers
Listen as UPR's Niall Clancy visits a unique stream restoration project in southern Idaho. Features Professor Joe Wheaton from the Utah State University Restoration Consortium.
Yellowstone Elk Don't Budge for Wolves say Scientists
Elk roam the winter range that straddles the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park with little regard for wolves, according to a new study in the Journal of Animal Ecology by Utah State University researchers illustrating how elk can tolerate liv...
USU's Science Unwrapped Explores the Ångström Scale Friday, March 22
Born in Sweden in 1814, Anders Ångström was a physicist, solar astronomer and a pioneer in the field of spectroscopy. He was among the first scientists to identify hydrogen in the Sun’s atmosphere and to examine the spectrum of the Aurora Borealis.
The Early Bird Gets the Protein Despite a Changing Climate
When millions of geese descend from the warm winds carrying them north along the Pacific coast to Alaska, they are arriving a bit earlier every year. Shifts in global climate patterns are changing the way migratory birds move around the globe each spring ...
Science Utah Podcast Episode 4: Dog Poop
UPR's Ashley Rhode explores how dog doo can impact water quality.
UPR Science Reporter, Leslie Forero, Reports on Study That Suggests Microevolution and Macroevolutionary Patterns Seen In Pigeon Lice
Microevolution, or traits varying due to natural selection, is pretty settled in evolutionary science. But macroevolution – the evolution of new species – hasn’t been observed. Doctor Sarah Bush, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Utah, was
Science Utah Podcast Episode 3: The Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in the American West. This week, UPR's Niall Clancy explores the perceptions and realities of the ESA with the help of the University of Utah's Dr. Bob Keiter.
Focusing the Heat: Extreme Weather Risk Perception in the United States
Heat waves are more dangerous than tornadoes, statistically. They kill more people than sharks, and put more human lives at risk than blizzards, floods or lightning storms. But they lack a certain dramatic flair, making it surprisingly difficult for many ...
Extension Specialist Awarded For Research On Behalf Of Small Farmers
While most individuals are unaware of how food gets from farm to table, Dr. Kynda Curtis, a professor and extension specialist in applied economics at Utah State University, is all too familiar with the process. “I’ve specialized over the years in, more
Drought Linked to Declines of Unique Bear Lake Fish
Bear Lake, on the Idaho-Utah border, is sometimes referred to as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” due to its turquoise-blue waters. Locally famous for its Raspberry Festival, boating opportunities, and fishing, Bear Lake is also home to several species of f...
USU AggieAir At Forefront Of Drone Technology
USU AggieAir At Forefront Of DroneDrones may be the future of convenience and delivery, but there are still many challenges when it comes to using them in urban environments. Utah State University’s AggieAir team will be addressing these challenges during...
Science Utah Podcast Episode 2: Fishes of Bear Lake
This episode of Science Utah features stories from UPR's Riana Gayle and Niall Clancy. Tune in to hear about northern Utah's Bear Lake, its fishes, and what's being done to conserve them.
Complex Economic And Socio-Political Challenges Of Wildfires In The Intermountain West
New research suggests that social and economic impacts of wildfire are becoming more complex. Liana Prudencio is a PhD student in Watershed Sciences and the Climate Adaption Science program at Utah State University.
Aiming for Gold: Improving Reproducibility in Hydrology Studies
In six well-regarded hydrology and water resources journals published in 2017, the estimated percentage of studies whose results could be fully reproduced was only between 0.06 and 6.8 percent. This low level of reproducibility is not uncommon in hydrolog...
Burning Fossil Fuels Reduces Diversity In Wet Regions, Study Suggests
Coal is big in Utah. It's our state rock and according to the US Energy Information Administration, it represents one-third of our state's total energy production. But Utah's coal may be having unexpected consequences on the grasslands and wetter places i...
Science Utah: UPR Announces New Podcast
Join UPR for a new podcast - Science Utah! Each episode features stories and commentary by UPR's science reporters on subjects like bees, air quality, or even dog poop.
Science Utah Podcast Episode 1: Bee Ranchers
For Science Utah's inaugural podcast episode, reporters Ashley Rhode and Rachel Hager join producer Niall Clancy for a discussion about Utah's state insect.
USU Launches New Research Series on Land, Water and Air
The second USU Research Landscapes event will be held on June 18, and will feature research about Utah's water usage by Department of Biology Professor Michelle Baker. Courtney Flint, a USU sociology professor, presents on Oct. 1, and will discuss her fin...
Created at USU, 'The Crossroads Project' Unlocks People's Thinking
Scientists get a bad rap for being poor communicators, says Utah State University physics alum and faculty member Rob Davies (Physics, MS’96, PhD ’99). “Some scientists are fabulous communicators,” says Davies, associate professor of professional practic...
Cheetahs around Cheyenne? New Book Reviews the Rewilding Concept in Ecology
A new scientific book, commissioned by the British Ecological Society and published by Cambridge University Press, provides the first comprehensive and rigorous review of the rewilding concept. It was a topic of controversy more than a decade ago when a h...
'Can Microbes Change History?' Asks Science Unwrapped Friday, Jan. 25
Before humans knew they existed, tiny microbes were hard at work in helpful and sometimes not-so-helpful ways. “Microscopic organisms have influenced major historical events,” says Utah State University biologist Bonnie Waring. “They also influence the h...
USU Bee Surveys in Newest National Park Could Aid Studies Elsewhere
Declines in native bee populations are widely reported, but can existing data really analyze these trends? In the Jan. 17, 2019, online edition of PLOS One, Utah State University and USDA researchers report findings about pollinator biodiversity in Califo...
Scott Jones Named Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America
Utah State University soil science Professor Scott Jones was named a fellow of the Soil Science Society of America during the organization’s annual conference in early January. Only a fraction (0.3 percent) of the society’s active and emeritus members may...
Two New Wildflower Species Discovered in Logan Canyon
You would think that scientists would know how many species occur in an area, especially one as well-populated as Cache County. But scientists at Utah State University just discovered two new species of wildflowers that only occur near Logan – and they th...
Animals, the Keepers of Natural Climate Change Solutions?
What does your favorite wild animal, a wildebeest, a wolf, and a sea otter have in common? Among many similarities, these and other wild animals affect the carbon cycle. And in case you need another reason to appreciate wild animals more, scientists sugge...
USU Grad Students Gain Cross-Disciplinary Skills to Tackle Climate Change
How do you tackle a wicked problem like climate change? This hot-button issue involves a complex web of tenacious public opinion, volatile political environments, variable economics, intricate natural systems and time frames much longer than most folk’s a...
Global Research Exchanges Benefit Utah Aspen
A weave of Utah State University international relationships has led to worldwide forest ecology research, the establishment of a consortium, and hopefully a better understanding of one of the world’s oldest and largest single organisms.
A Finger on the Pulse of U.S. State Parks
Roaming with bison in Custer, South Dakota or gawking at drop-dead vistas from Dead Horse Point, Utah … state parks in the United States offer spectacular scenery and seemingly endless acres of recreation opportunities. Although each state park system is ...
Climate Change and Renewable Energy: Where we agree and where we don't
The New York Times published a summary of research by Peter Howe, assistant professor in the Environment and Society Department at Utah State University, and his colleagues in the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, which demonstrates that Ameri...
USU Ecology Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Luncheon Symposium
Utah State University ecologists celebrated past and current achievements during the USU Ecology Center’s 50th Anniversary Luncheon and Symposium held Oct. 24, 2018, in the Huntsman Hall Perry Pavilion on campus. Among the honored guests were past center ...
Modern Wildfire Trends Underestimates Future Risks to Water Security
Dramatic increases in wildfire over the last few decades have garnered considerable media attention. Numerous headlines have claimed that the amount of wildfire in the western U.S. is unprecedented. However, in a recent issue of Earth’s Future, published ...
First comprehensive assessment of Pando reveals critical threats
Utah State University researchers Paul Rogers and Darren McAvoy have conducted the first complete assessment of the Pando aspen clone and the results show continuing deterioration of this 'forest of one tree.' ... Rogers and McAvoy, in a PLOS ONE publicat...
Sustaining Wetlands to Mitigate Disasters and Protect People
Joanna Endter-Wada and Karin Kettenring contributed a guest editorial to the October edition of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment on the value of wetlands to mitigate weather catastrophes. These Utah State University researchers from the S. J. a
Dr. William Pearse among NSF funded new projects to address longstanding, multi-scaled environmental problems
In a press release, dated August 29, 2018, the National Science Foundations (NSF) announced their investment of $9 million in nine new projects to research biosphere processes and their complex interactions with climate, land use and invasive species at r...
The Crossroads Project: Unlocking People’s Thinking
Scientists get a bad rap for being poor communicators, says USU Physics alum and faculty member Rob Davies (Physics, MS’96, PhD ’99). “Some scientists are fabulous communicators,” says Davies, associate professor of professional practice in USU’s Departm...