Sticks and Stones in Streams: National Focus on Simple Actions to Promote Self-Sustaining Solutions
Joe Wheaton and a cadre of researchers from Utah State University’s Department of Watershed Sciences is garnering national attention for its efficacy to restore riverscapes to healthier and more resilient states.
Charles (Chuck) Hawkins Receives Award of Excellence from Society for Freshwater Science
Charles (Chuck) Hawkins, has earned the prestigious Award of Excellence from the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) for 2021.
Belmont Examines Climate Denial
Dr. Patrick Belmont presents on climate change denial at TEDxUSU.
QCNR 2021 Awards Recipients
Congratulations to all the recipients of S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources (QCNR) Awards for 2021!
Dr. Trisha Atwood Contributes Assessment featured in a NY Times Article
Dr. Trisha Atwood contributed to the assessment of global carbon emissions from trawling in an article that is featured in the NY Times.
Exhibit at NHMU Offers Hands-On Access to Real Consequences of Watershed Decisions
Sarah Null knows that there’s a lot more in a river than just water. In a new exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah, Null, associate professor in the Department of Watershed Sciences, and her colleagues, use art, interactive exhibits and accessibl...
QCNR 2021 Spring News Roundup
Catch up with what our faculty and staff have been doing at the Quinney College of Natural Resources over the past 6 months.
By Hook And By Creek. Persistence is Key.
With 10 years of monitoring data on the Right Hand Fork indicating that the brown trout in this stream were negatively impacting the entire cutthroat trout population in the Logan River. A USU research team proposed a combined effort to conserve the popul...
Slow Motion Disaster: Receding Glaciers Open Space for Invading Algae
Glaciers in western Canada are headed into a slow-motion disaster—these ice fields are disappearing at a rate that’s nearly twice the global average thanks to climate change, and major ecological disruptions follow in their wake.
Frederic Wagner, September 26, 1926 - February 28, 2021
We are saddened to announce that Fred Wagner, an emeritus faculty member and Associate Dean of the Quinney College of Natural Resources passed away this past Sunday. This announcement is linked to his obituary.
Dr. Patrick Belmont Presenting at USU's TEDx
Dr. Patrick Belmont will be presenting at USU's TEDx event on Friday, March 5th. The presentations will be from 6-8 pm.
Dousing the Flames: USU Investigates how Wildfires Impact Utah's Water Supply Reservoirs
As winter 2021 in Utah continues to provide much-needed late winter snowfall, hydrologists say the state currently sits at 80% of normal snowpack. And researchers at Utah State University are already looking ahead to fire season by investigating how wildf...
'Wildfires In The West' With Paul Rogers And Larissa Yocom On Wednesday's Access Utah
Listen to the UPR interview with Larissa Yocom and Paul Rogers concerning wildfires in the west.
New report confronts tough choices for the future of the Colorado River
The new publication builds upon a 2020 white paper, “Strategies for Managing the Colorado River in an Uncertain Future.” Wheeler et. al ran scenarios for various planning strategies on one of the most managed rivers in the world, the Colorado, to better u...
Arctic Stew: Understanding How High-Latitude Lakes Respond to and Affect Climate Change
New research from Soren Brothers, assistant professor Utah State University Department of Watershed Sciences and Ecology Center, details how lakes in Nunavut could have a big impact on carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and it’s not all bad news—at ...
Mapping Landsat's Long History
Recently, Ellie Leydsman McGinty developed an interactive Google Earth Web Map of the Landsat Program’s long history. NASA had the opportunity to talk with her about this project.
Martyn Mathews Caldwell, 1941 - 2021
We lost a special friend, colleague, and scientific intellect this week. Martyn M. Caldwell passed away from complications of Parkinson's and Lewy Body disease on January 24th.
Celebrating the History of Women in the QCNR
This video, created by undergraduate students in our college, takes a look into the history of women in the Quinney College of Natural Resources.
Climate Change, Criollo and the Colorado Plateau: Is an old Breed the Future for Cattle Ranching?
The Colorado Plateau, located in the western United States, is known for its stunning landscapes and wild-west ambiance. The cowboy lifestyle is still very much a part of the landscape with over 90% of the region being utilized by the cattle industry. Cli...
Biochar: Can it Help Fight Climate Change While Improving Soil Health?
As carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere increase, the battle against climate change worsens. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps and radiates heat. Capturing carbon, or carbon sequestration, is a natural or artificial process that all...
In Memoriam of Nat Frazer 1949-2020
We were all saddened to learn that Nat Frazer, Dean of the Quinney College from 2006 to 2011, passed away from complications of Hodgkins Disease this past Monday.
Fees drive away low-income families from outdoor places like Bridal Veil Falls, researchers say
A developer eyeing Bridal Veil Falls for a new tram and private drug rehab lodge says he wants to make the iconic Utah County site more accessible to the public, with a “reasonable” fee. But those who research outdoor recreation have found any fee, no mat...
Building Bridges: USU Natural Resources Researchers Monitor Wildlife Overpass Usage
In May 2020 Nicki Frey, an Extension associate professor in the S.J & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources, and her undergraduate researcher, Natalie D’Souza, began monitoring wildlife use of a new overpass crossing I-80 in Parley’s Canyon in Su...
USU Doctoral Student Named Dark Sky Defender for Work in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
With a push to conserve natural resources, one that is often overlooked or taken for granted is a resource that can be enjoyed after every sunset. For Utah State University Environment and Society doctoral student Iree Wheeler, it was something she worked...
Fall Semester WILD Alumni and Friends Newsletter 2020
Greetings and welcome to the first WILD Alumni and Friends newsletter! In this first edition, we look at two of our members: Bill Woody and Jennifer Bakken.
And now for something completely different….
Mark Kreider is a MS student in Ecology, advised by Dr. Larissa Yocom. Many of us know Mark for his research on post-fire forest regeneration ecology, including a recent paper on the identification of aspen seedlings in the field. But it turns out that M...
The Utah High School Clean Air Poster Contest
Roslynn Brain and Edwin Stafford involved over 800 youth in a Utah High School Clean Air Poster Contest. PBS featured this project earlier this year. Currently, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts is displaying some of this work on a billboard located along 300 ...
QCNR 2020 Fall News Roundup
Catch up with what our faculty and staff have been doing at the Quinney College of Natural Resources over the past 6 months.
Light pollution alters predator-prey interactions between cougars and mule deer in western US
A new study by authors including WILD faculty David Stoner, Terry Messmer, and UDWR personnel Kent Hersey and Dan Olson provides strong evidence that exposure to light pollution alters predator-prey dynamics between mule deer and cougars across the interm...
USU Research Looking At The Root Of Plant-soil Interactions
To improve restoration and agricultural practices, USU scientists are studying how soil microbes and moisture affect native and nonnative plants.
In ‘Unprecedented Move’ For A Conservative State, Utah Leaders Voice Support For Climate Action
More than 100 state leaders from across the political spectrum gathered virtually Wednesday morning to sign, what they are calling, the first-ever Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact — urging the state to become a national leader on climate action.
'Logan City Lowdown': New podcast gives crash course on what municipal workers do
Often, residents only interact with city employees when something goes wrong. With the help of three interns, however, Logan city has produced a podcast to help people understand what workers are doing the rest of the time.
Octopus’s garden under the blade: Boosting biodiversity increases willingness to pay for offshore wind in the United States
Low carbon energy infrastructure has been controversial for economic, social and environmental reasons: relatively high capital costs compared to fossil fuels; dissatisfaction with who owns the infrastructure; visual impacts; and habitat harm.
QCNR Professor Joseph Wheaton Recognized with 2020 Gordon Warwick Award
The year 2020 has changed how so much of the world is delivered, including the delivery of recognitions and awards. Joseph Wheaton, associate professor from the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources Watershed Sciences Department at Utah St...
How beavers became North America's best firefighter
The rodent creates fireproof refuges for many species, suggesting wildlife managers should protect beaver habitat as the U.S. West burns. (Email Sign-in Required to Read)
Boa Ogoi: Restoring Sacred Land 150 years after the Bear River Massacre
On January 29, 1863 the U.S. Army Cavalry attacked the Northwestern Band of Shoshone, killing over 400 people and instigating the largest mass murder of Native Americans in the history of the United States. Now, over 150 years after the Bear River Massacr...
Ron Goede: April 3, 1934 - August 29, 2020
Emeritus Adjunct Professor, Ron Goede recently passed away. A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, September 27, 2020.
Easy to Love, Hard to Manage
National parks are easy to love, but they are harder to take care of.
WATS Doctoral Student Christy Leonard Receives GSA Research Grant
“Our scholars always do well in this competition and we are so fortunate to have such great graduate students,” says James “Jim” Evans, professor in USU’s Department of Geosciences. “We’re also fortunate to have strong support for our students from profe...
After the Smoke Clears: watersheds recovering from wildfire, with Dr. Patrick Belmont
In this episode of Instead with Dr. Patrick Belmont, you will learn– How streams and fish can benefit from wildfire. How much disturbance is too much. And, what Utah has in common with California wildfires.
Managers Turn to USU Water Experts to Understand Dynamics of a Dwindling Colorado River Supply
Leaders across the west are grappling with how to continue to share a diminishing supply of water from the Colorado River. If trends continue, thirsty cities, towns and farmlands won’t have enough water for their own needs, and won’t leave enough water be...
Remembering Dr. John Neuhold
Dr. John Neuhold was a distinguished professor in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department at Utah State University. We will miss his strong conservation ethic and his great sense of humor.
Cambodia’s biggest lake is running dry, taking forests and fish with it
Drought and dams have pushed Tonle Sap into dangerous decline, threatening its swamp forests and the fish nurseries there that provide most of the nation's protein.
Herbivores, Not Predators, Most At Risk of Extinction
One million years ago, the extinction of large-bodied plant-eaters changed the trajectory of life on Earth. The disappearance of these large herbivores reshaped plant life, altered fire regimes across Earth’s landscapes, and modified biogeochemical cyclin...
Enlisting Private Land Owners in Conservation is Essential to Saving Endangered Species
In 1872 the United States created Yellowstone, the first National Park in the world. Since then many more parks, monuments, preserves, wildernesses and other protected areas have been created in the USA. Protected areas, like Yellowstone, are invaluable, ...
Ben Abbott: Earth Day at 50 has never been so relevant
As an environmental scientist, I am often asked if it’s too late. With so much division and political dysfunction, is there any chance that we can solve the global environmental crises that threaten us and our planet?
In memory of Huey Johnson. Huey was an exceptional alum of the college and a recipient of the distinguished doctorate from USU.
All Summer Long: Heat Waves and COVID-19
Extreme heat is a growing hazard to public health, causing greater mortality than other hazards like floods, tornadoes and hurricanes in the United States. Yet in 2020, the risks of extreme heat may be magnified even more by the impacts of the coronavirus...
More than 1,000 Tons of Plastic Rains into Western U.S. Protected Lands Annually
Utah State University Assistant Professor Janice Brahney and her team used high-resolution atmospheric deposition data and identified samples of microplastics and other particulates collected over 14 months in 11 national parks and wilderness areas. The r...
QCNR Supports an Inclusive and Racially Just Society in Cache Valley and Beyond
The S.J. and Jesse E. Quinney College of Natural Resources Dean’s Office affirms the message by USU President Noelle Cockett and the University’s “commitment to inclusion and respect in our Aggie family and in those communities we reach every day.”
Warming Climate is Changing Where Birds Breed
Spring is in full swing. Trees are leafing out, flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, and birds are singing. But a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that those birds in your backyard may be changing right al...
As Interest in Local Food Grows, Water Pollution Shouldn't
As a result of recent events, including the earthquake and coronavirus pandemic, more Utahns than ever are interested in growing and producing their own food. While this is a great opportunity to become sustainable, it should not happen at the cost of Uta...
Filling the Gap: Study Finds Carbon Emissions Globally Underestimated
Back in 2013 Matthias Koschorreck, a biologist in the Department of Lake Research at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Germany, on a whim decided to take some measurements in the catchment of a small river in Catalonia, Spain that h...
Developing and Implementing a 100% Renewable Electricity Resolution: A Research-Based Framework
While it may seem that the efforts of local governments have only a marginal impact on the global issue of climate change, local action can spread to generate large-scale change. Local action can inspire other communities to adopt policies, creating the p...
In The Mountains And Deserts Of Utah, Columbia Spotted Frogs Are Sentinels Of Climate Change
Finding Columbia spotted frogs in Utah's mountains is not easy. But it's possible, with a guide like Paula Trater. She leads a visitor down a dirt path, then through mucky wetlands filled with cattails and a riot of birdsong.
Eating Like a Bird: NSF Grant Keeps Tabs on Geese Herbivory and Carbon in the Yukon
The Earth’s carbon can be stored in trees and plants, in the ocean, in fossil fuels deep underground, and in the soil directly beneath our feet. It is pulled from these natural stockpiles when plants decay, when humans burn coal for energy, when wildfires...
Blinded by the Light: "Sensory Danger Zones: How Sensory Pollution Impacts Animal Survival"
A new paper including research from a Utah State University scientist provides a framework for understanding how light and noise pollution affects wildlife. The framework is the product of an effort among worldwide experts in ecology and physiology and re...
President Cockett Commits to Reducing USU's Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Utah State University President Noelle Cockett has committed to the implementation of new greenhouse gas reduction recommendations that will lead to greater sustainability, cost savings, and improvements to USU facilities, activities, and culture.
Two College of Natural Resources Professors Recognized by the Society for Range Management
Two longtime members of Utah State University’s Department of Environment and Society were honored recently by the Society for Range Management (SRM) for their career achievements in rangeland science and management.
USU Professor Discusses Threats to the Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake is facing multiple threats that put ecosystems, economies and species at risk, said Wayne Wurtsbaugh, Utah State University professor during a “Canyon Conversations” lecture Saturday morning.
Red-state Utah embraces plan to tackle climate crisis in surprising shift
In a move to protect its ski slopes and growing economy, Utah – one of the reddest states in the nation – has just created a long-term plan to address the climate crisis.
UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY BHA HELPS WITH INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL AND RESEARCH
This past August, the Utah State University Backcountry Hunters and Anglers along with Cache Anglers Trout Unlimited Chapter assisted Clint Brunson of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in electrofishing Temple Fork and Spawn Creek documenting non-na...
Making the Connection: 2020 QCNR Job Fair
Collaboration is a vital part of the success of the students in Utah State University’s S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources. One of the goals of QCNR is to develop collaborative programs that help students gain hands-on professional wo...
Trout eggs placed in classrooms to raise and release into area fisheries
PROVIDENCE – Tyler Coleman, a volunteer for Trout Unlimited, took a paper cup with trout eggs to the Center for Creativity, Innovation & Discovery Tuesday afternoon and put them in a basket in a large aquarium.“I’m a Fisheries student at the Utah State Un...
Get Outside: Plant-Soil Research in Greenhouses Differs Strongly From Field Studies
First-graders know that seedlings need three things to grow – sunlight, water and soil. They are right – plants do need soil – but soils also react to plant growth. As plants develop, they alter the chemistry, bacteria and microscopic flora that make up a...
Robot Invasion: QCNR Helps High School Students Build and Test Submersible Robots
High school teacher Jill Kennedy prefers to go beyond books. She believes in encouraging her students to get their hands on their projects —but not just the typical bridges built with toothpicks. Kennedy, an engineering and computer science teacher at Cle...
Using Science to Persuade Hikers to be Bear-Safe in Yellowstone
Humans are a complex species. Convincing them to do something … like protect themselves from a grizzly attack … might seem like a straightforward task. But it’s not. Human-wildlife conflict is a challenge in many parks and protected areas, and is often th...
Global Climate Strike draws more than 100 to USU Quad
Rallies to open the “Global Climate Strike” took place in 110 towns and cities across Australia. More than one hundred students, faculty and staff held signs and umbrellas at a wet and rainy rally on the Quad at Utah State University.
Against the Current: Trisha Atwood Receives Early-Career Research Fellowship
When pondering factors affecting the changing climate, you usually don’t think about predators like sharks. But sharks and animals lower on the marine food chain can have huge effects on the amount of carbon stored in marine ecosystems. Utah State Univers...
View From Above: Drones Help Monitor Recreation Impacts in National Parks
Back in the day, land managers kept tabs on an area by setting out on foot, traversing networks of trails and observing conditions. If spring flooding washed away a campsite, or if meandering hikers flattened a new trail through a soft meadow, it might be...
Understanding Migration Requires Understanding Changing Land Systems
For tens of millions of people, migration is a tough reality. What causes people to migrate away from their home countries, and what happens when they do? Migrants and their labor are responsible for moving hundreds of billions of dollars around the world...
Researchers Review Environmental Conditions Leading to Harmful Algae Blooms
When there is a combination of population increase, wastewater discharge, agricultural fertilization, and climate change, the cocktail is detrimental to humans and animals. The harmful cocktail produces harmful algal blooms, and many of these are toxic to...
GearUp Goes Wet
Utah State University Professor Nancy Mesner, Water Quality Extension Specialist in the Department of Watershed Sciences, coordinated the aquatic portion of USU’s GearUp program by getting high school teachers and students out on the water. The GearUp act...
What’s killing the world’s most massive living thing? New study of Utah’s Pando aspen grove blames cows, not deer.
Each fall, about a thousand cattle pass through southern Utah’s Pando aspen grove, believed to be the world’s most massive living organism, pausing for a week or two on their way from summer to winter pastures.
National Trash: Reducing Waste Produced in U.S. National Parks
When you think of national parks, you might picture the vast plateaus of the Grand Canyon, the intricate wetlands of the Everglades or the inspiring viewscapes of the Grand Tetons. You probably don’t envision 100 million pounds of mashed water bottles, ba...
How Pesticides Can Actually Increase Mosquito Numbers
Insecticides in at least one area are not only failing to control mosquitoes, new research suggests, they’re actually allowing the bloodsucking pests to thrive—by killing off their predators.
Building a Home for Endangered Razorback Suckers
The Utah Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is partnering with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to protect and recover endangered and imperiled fish species in the Colorado River Basin. Population estimates of...
Can Utah's water supply keep up with its booming population?
It was one of the several questions posed at Utah State University’s Research Landscapes series focused on Utah's waterscapes. The event Tuesday at the O.C. Tanner headquarters in Salt Lake City attracted a mix of state and local government officials, bus...
Adding Fuel to the Fire: Motivations for Biofuel Innovation
Global concern about the availability and cost of petroleum has grown since prices spiked in the 1970s. It’s easy to hope that renewable sources, such as biofuels, will solve the world’s energy problems. But innovation in biofuels involves more than good ...
USU Alumnus Awarded Prestigious Esa E. Lucy Braun Award
Jacqueline J. Peña,a recent Ecology master’s alumnus, from the Department of Wildland Resources in the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources, was awarded the 2018 Ecological Society of America (ESA) E. Lucy Braun award for her poster, “P...
Politics, Power and Rivers - Historic Mining in the Rural West
When one considers the historic harm done by mining operations to rivers in the West, it is tempting to speculate—if people then could only understand what is known about how river systems work … could one have avoided decades of ecological upheaval and d...
Coldwater Fishing in a Warming Climate
Each summer, millions of people in the Intermountain West make a sandwich or two, throw fishing gear in the car and head to nearby rivers and lakes to enjoy time on the water. But for anglers seeking cold-water species like trout, recent climate trends ar...
Gold Standard: Two USU Honors Students are 2019 Goldwater Scholars
Utah State University Honors students and Undergraduate Research Fellows Bryce Frederickson and Ethan Hammer were named 2019 Goldwater Scholars in a prestigious national competition that recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics.
Are Yellowstone Elk Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
Fear of death or injury keeps humans well away from dangerous places or risky situations, so it seems reasonable to assume that wild prey species will do the same when it comes to avoiding their deadly predators.
River symposium: 'Let's figure out how to do a good job'
Imagine the future of the Colorado River and the numerous communities it supports. Can we balance water supply, hydropower demands and environmental health? On Saturday, Oct. 13, experts from across the West gathered in Moab to discuss that question. R
A year after southern Utah’s Brian Head Fire, the aspens are bouncing back in a surprising way that could strengthen the forest
This past summer, a year after 72,000 acres of high-elevation woodlands burned around southwestern Utah’s Markagunt Plateau, residents of the nearby resort town of Brian Head noticed something strange: Tiny white cottony puffs drifted through the air and ...
Blanding Student Awarded Scholarship
Joel Charles, a student at Utah State University Blanding, has been awarded the Berryman Institute scholarship and will participate in the institute’s summer internship program this summer.
USU-Uintah Basin Student Gets Hands-on Experience with USDA Wildlife Service
Morgan Larsen, a Utah State University-Uintah Basin (USU) student, received the Berryman Institute Scholarship that, in addition to the monetary award, provided Larsen the opportunity to spend the summer working for the United States Department of Agricul...
Researchers Study How Wolf Predation Shapes Elk Antler Evolution
What happens when you mix a biologist who studies beetle horns with scientists who spend their time exploring predator-prey dynamics? You get a better understanding of why elk shed their antlers much later than males of any other North American species
Paul Rogers Aspen Study Gets Wide Exposure
Dr. Paul Rogers, faculty member in the Wildland Resources Department and Director of the Western Aspen Alliance, has received much coverage of his research paper on the decline of the aspen clone “Pando” due to grazing effects and climate change.
Bonneville cutthroat flourish in the Right Hand Fork of the Logan River
In 2012 there were no Bonneville cutthroat trout in the Right Hand Fork of the Logan River. A recent survey of the tributary has revealed the native fish is flourishing. - Harold Journal
Flaming Gorge Pipeline Doubtful: Water War Anyway
Opposition is mounting rapidly to a Colorado man’s proposal to pipe Green River water from Utah to the Denver area — and the objections aren’t coming only from the usual suspects.
USU-Uintah Basin Holds First Earth Observation and GIS Event
Utah State University-Uintah Basin hosted an Earth Observation and GIS (geographic information system) day for local high school students.
When Hot Is Too Hot
Visitors to national parks in Utah, as well as many other tourism destinations, make decisions based on weather conditions. But will climate change affect the way tourists experience Utah’s national parks?
The Science Behind the Story
How did the urban forest come into being and succeed? Utah State University researcher Joanna Endter-Wada worked with researchers from the University of Utah with funding from iUTAH to answer this question.
Great Salt Lake: A lake no more?
There are two things the waters of the Great Salt Lake and agricultural lands have in common: they are both in steady, rapid decline.
South Canyon Sage-Grouse on Wild About Utah
South Canyon Sage-Grouse on Wild About Utah
Report: Snowmobilers Decline Despite Rising Utah Population
LOGAN, Utah (AP) — The number of Utah snowmobilers is declining despite an increase in the state's population, a report by Utah State University has found.
Between the lines: Tree rings hold clues about a river's past
LOGAN, UTAH - Hydrologists are looking centuries into the past to better understand an increasingly uncertain water future.
A Close Look at the Big Picture
Utah State University environment and society professor Chris Monz, his former student Ashley D’antonio and Kevin Gutzwiller demonstrate the impacts of recreationists on wildlife populations.
Thad Box Reminisces
Early ’70s were heady times on Utah State University campus
The Life and Death of Pando
Researchers have partially hidden earth's largest life-form behind a small protective fence.
Local Yamaha dealer provides ATVs for USU sage grouse research
A local Yamaha dealer is providing two ATVs to Utah State University researchers to help study the interactions between sage grouse and motorized recreation.
Seeking the Source of the Vanishing Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake in Utah is roughly the same area as 75 Manhattans. It feeds and houses millions of birds of hundreds of species, provides the namesake of Utah’s capital city and some credit it for the state’s trademarked claim to “the greatest snow on...