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July 25, 2017

Michelle Baker Receives Pioneers of Progress Award

Michelle Baker, USU professor of biology, recognized as 2017 Pioneer of Progress. Credit: Mar Del Photography

Professor of Biology, Michelle Baker, who leads water research efforts in the state as the project director of iUTAH, was recognized for her pioneering efforts in science and technology.


Baker, an associate of the Ecology Center at Utah State University, is one of six Utahns honored “who perpetuate a legacy of industry and integrity.” Candidates are nominated by fellow Utah citizens, and selected by a committee, for their contributions to science and technology, business, education, creative arts, and civic engagement.


Baker says that her “life’s mission is to understand and protect healthy freshwater ecosystems,” and adds that “through collaboration and working as a team that we can make some big progress for water in Utah.”


USTAR Executive Director Ivy Estabrook nominated Baker, and has this to say about her work, “she has been able to pull a team together from multiple institutions. She has trained students… and has done this in a team setting.”


“Part of our mission has been to engage kids from kindergarten all the way up through graduate school,” says Baker. “We’ve had almost 3,000 interactions with the public through outreach events.”


Press: Deseret News | Days of ’47 KUTV | Utah State Today



KUTV video on Michelle Baker’s contribution to water quality in Utah. Video credit: Days of ’47 KUTV


July 24, 2017

USU Professors Advise State Government on Water Policy

Joanna Endter-Wada is one of two professors from USU on the Utah Water Policy task force. Credit Utah State University/Quinney College of Natural Resources

iUTAH researcher, Joanna Endter-Wada, professor of natural resource policy and social science in the Utah State University Quinney College of Natural Resources is one of two professors from Utah State University serving on Utah Water Policy task force. The group of more than 40 people with a wide array of expertise, delivered a strategy for developing Utah water policy to the governor in mid-July.


A media release provided by USU writer Lynnette Harris said, “Utah State University Professors Joanna Endter-Wada and Robert Gillies, who also serves as the state climatologist, were among those tasked with looking at many aspects of water use in Utah and developing strategies to help the state manage the convergence of two important distinctions: being one of the driest states in the nation and also one of the fastest growing. As the report’s executive summary points out, the “…challenge is magnified by climate projections from the state climatologist that show a significant decrease in Utah’s snowpack, which presently provides more annual water storage capacity than all of Utah’s human-made reservoirs combined.”


Press: Utah State Today


April 14, 2017

Broader Impacts Forum Brings Attendees Together From Across the State

iUTAH held its Spring All-Hands Meeting as part of a larger Broader Impacts forum and workshops on March 31 in Salt Lake City UT. The event was hosted in partnership with Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Utah, and included over 100 attendees from 9 institutions across the state involved in conversation to expand broader impacts work in Utah.


The forum began with opening remarks from Cynthia Furse, associate vice president for research at University of Utah, and Michelle Baker, project director at iUTAH. The morning session continued with keynotes and panel discussions. Speaker Susan Renoe, National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) chair, summarized the event by saying that “Broader Impacts is a vital part of the NSF review process, and high-quality broader impacts plans can make the difference between receiving funding or not.” Other keynote speakers, panelists, and workshop facilitators who shared their expertise, include Chinweike Eseonu, Yusuf Jameel, Nalini M. Nadkarni, Michael D. Shapiro, Louisa A. Stark, Cynthia M. Furse, Nancy J. Huntly, Mark W. Brunson, and Andreas Leidolf.


“iUTAH’s educational programming is a model for others to follow,” said Renoe. “I was completely impressed by the depth and breadth of educational programming offered. iUTAH has programs that engage teachers, students, adult learners, public radio, and more.”


When asked about his impressions of the forum, keynote speaker, Chinweike Eseonu, assistant professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University said “the event was a very candid discussion of the personal and institutional challenges researchers face in identifying and communicating how our work potentially or actually benefits folks within and outside our institutions.”


“I was impressed by the depth and range of work through iUTAH and by how centers on campus translate abstract research concepts to tangible and accessible material for school children or non-subject matter expert adults,” said Eseonu. “I left feeling energized and look forward to applying lessons learned in my work.”


The iUTAH community will reconvene on July 13 – 14 in Logan for the iUTAH Summer Symposium, a celebration of five years of research, training, education, and outreach for Utah’s Water Future. For those of you that attended this forum, we ask you to fill out a short, 3-minute survey.



Broader Impacts forum and workshops on March 31 in Salt Lake City UT. Credit: UU Office of Undergraduate Research


February 24, 2016

Paul Brooks Named State EPSCoR Director

University of Utah professor Paul Brooks, of the Geology and Geophysics department, has been named as the new program director of the Utah Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).


Utah is poised to take a leading role in both basic research, to generate new knowledge, and in applied research, putting that knowledge to work addressing critical issues facing the economic development and environmental sustainability of the state in the future,” said Brooks. 


For more on the Brooks appointment, visit "U. Professor Named State EPSCoR Director" published on February 22, 2016, U of U Press Release.


Paul Brooks, State EPSCoR Director leading an iUTAH hydrochemical
sampling event in summer 2015 with students from UU, USU, and BYU.




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