Sheri Quinn

Program Producer, Science Questions

Sheri Quinn has been doing science radio for the past twelve years. She started the very first science radio program in Utah in 1999, and since has produced multiple national and international broadcasts, including producing an audio series on the Aché in Paraguay and efforts to save the last remnants of the Atlantic Rain Forest.  She is a veteran reporter who has interviewed numerous world-leading scholars, corresponding for Voice of America and NPR.

Today on the program, Science Questions presents this special on the work of scientist Wolf Reik. He is Professor of Epigenetics at the University of Cambridge and currently studies how additional information can be added to the genome through processes called epigenetics. He made key discoveries that are important for mammalian development, physiology, genome reprogramming, and human diseases. Today producer's Sheri Quinn and Suzi Montgomery explore his work and its significance to the expanding field of epigenetics. 

Today on the program, we talk to former oil industry geologist Marc Deshowitch about the geology of Utah's national parks and the ancient history of oil.  Deshowitch, who is based in St. George, now gives guided tours of Utah's parks and presentations on light pollution and the benefits of preserving our night skies.

Today on the program we explore the connection between fire, prehistory, and biodiversity with researchers in Nevada who reviewed anecdotal and anthropological data on the historical uses of fire in the Great Basin. Their literature review revealed how lessons learned from the uses of fire hundreds and thousands of years ago can improve modern land management practices.

NASA and a team of four aerospace companies are ready for two missions that will propel humans into outer space. The space shuttle launch and Orion rocket are ready for launch towards deep space starting in early fall this year. 

Today on the program author Teresa Small from the Shoshone-Bannock tribe in Southeastern Idaho joins us to talk about her book "How To Love An Addict."  It is a detailed personal account of her experience coping with a meth addicted son.  Rather than write another  tragic story, she says she chose to instead write her story as a "how to manual" for anyone wanting to change the situation they are in with an addict.


One of the most talked about species in Utah these days is the Greater Sage Grouse. This native, chicken-like bird, is at the forefront of controversy due to its unique mating ritual and its dwindling numbers in the west. As a result of its disappearance, the federal government is considering listing it is an endangered species, the state of Utah would like to avoid this and protect the bird on its own terms. Today on the program Sheri Quinn talks to USU Sage Grouse expert Dr. Terry Mesmer about the plight of this controversial bird.

Then Science Questions explores the internationally recognized public toilet system in India. It’s simplicity will amaze you.

On today's Encore presentation of Access Utah, Sheri Quinn meets with Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, a group of over 300 medical doctors, last year declared an air-pollution public health emergency on Capitol Hill. The problem has been so bad that it drew a crowd of about 5,000 citizens to the State Capitol in late January, now regarded as the largest air-pollution-specific protest in U.S. history.  Today, Dr. Roger Coulombe, professor of Toxicology at Utah State University, talks to Sheri Quinn about the side effects of bad in Cache Valley.

World renowned researcher of African lion biology, Craig Packer, presented a seminar at Utah State University January 22nd to the Department of Wild land Resources.  Dr. Packer's work is revealing the impacts of top predators on ecosystems and his work may also explain why humans are afraid of the dark.

Welcome to Access Utah.  The Utah State University Science Unwrapped series this winter and spring focuses on "SuperPower Scientists."  Today on the program, Sheri Quinn talks to tonight's featured speaker astro-physicist Lucianne Walkowicz about NASA's Kepler Mission and the search for planets. 

We're taking the science out of SQ Radio program today, and featuring art. Cinematic art to be exact. The Utah Sundance Film Festival begins Jan. 16, and we present filmmaker Sterlin Harjo from Holdenville, Okla.

In 2006, Harjo was the youngest and first Native American to receive the United States Artist Fellowship.

Harjo joins SQ Radio to discuss his documentary film premiering at the Sundance Film Festival titled, "This May Be The Last Time."

Dan McGlinn, AU, Sheri Quinn

Utah State University ecologist Daniel McGlinn was  part of a research team that created the largest evolutionary "time-tree" of plants.  This tree is helping scientists understand how plants evolved to tolerate frigid winter temperatures. Today on the program Sheri Quinn talks to McGlinn about the project and his field of study macro-ecology.

Eli Lucero/Herald Journal

Two Cache Valley women are giving Utah prisoners a new chance behind the bars using dried plants. Today on the program, producers Sheri Quinn and Elaine Taylor explore the "plants in jail" program started by Sara Lamb and Mary Barkworth, where inmates prepare plant material for the Utah State University herbarium.

The Dutch company Mars One Foundation announced this week they have received more than 20,000 applications from aspiring astronauts who are willing to travel to mars on a one-way ticket.  Friday on Access Utah, Sheri Quinn talks to aerospace engineer Walter Holemans, who joins her from Washington DC to talk about why he thinks they should stay on earth.  Mr. Holemans also sums up the major accomplishments of the aerospace industry in 2013.  

USU graduate student Andrew Durso thinks snakes get a bad wrap and is working hard to change their bad reputation with his online blog titled “Life is short but snakes are long.” He has garnered an online following including editors of the magazine “Scientific American.” This Monday, Dec. 9, he is co-hosting a Blog Carnival in recognition of the year of the snake. Sheri Quinn talks to Durso about his reptile research and online success.



After, Science Questions presents an encore presentation featuring the group of journalist for PBS Newshour's series "Coping with Climate Change-Arctic Thaw."

The World Health Organization estimates 2.9 billion people are infected with parasitic nematodes, or roundworms. They also effect insects and plants, and have a significant financial impact on agriculture world wide, worsening the global food shortage. Today on the program, reporters Sheri Quinn and Suzy   Montgomery present new research conducted by University of Utah scientist Aude Peden. She offers hope for new drugs to combat the infestation of parasitic nematodes. After, two Utah cheesemongers from Whole Foods in Salt Lake City discuss the best cheeses for your holiday dinner table.

The Food Safety Modernization Act is the first major update of federal food safety laws since 1938. FSMA gives the FDA new abilities to prevent food safety problems, detect and respond to food safety issues, and improve the safety of imported foods. The act is geared to help prevent the outbreaks of food-borne illnesses that are on the rise-- though seldom traced back to small local producers.

Science Questions explores the phenomena of fire. Sheri Quinn covers two different stories about fire, from two very different people: A scientists and a writer. Tune into to hear how fire changes science, ecosystems and human energy. 


The Food and Drug Administration is accepting public comments for the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act, through November 15, 2013. In its current form the rule, if passed, could cost farmers thousands of dollars every week or month. Farmers will have to comply with new regulations such as mandatory weekly water testing and treatment, wildlife monitoring and rigorous manure and composting standards. It threatens the subsistence of small, local farms with small profits, at a time when they are on the rise across the U.S.

Today on Access Utah, Jack Schmidt, professor in Utah State University’s Department of Watershed Sciences and head of the U.S. Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, has long studied the Colorado River. He's among the team of scientists that designed a series of controlled releases of water from Glen Canyon Dam, starting in 1996, in an effort to restore habitats altered by the use of dams.

Science Questions profiles India's largest public toilet system that has saved the "Untouchables" from a lifetime of cleaning up human waste. Later, we hear about the amazing ability of what are called Cemetery Trees.

On today's Access Utah Sheri Quinn discusses population growth and climate change eco-cities are on the rise across the world. Cities that are committed to producing renewable energy-renewable resources and removing carbon waste. Cache Valley resident and long-time sustainability living activist Jim Goodwin joins us to talk about the challenges Cache Valley faces as the valley grows and seeks cleaner energy alternatives.

This is an Encore Presentation of Access Utah.

Science Questions explores the Paleo Diet that has swept the nation in recent years.  The diet promotes eating like a hunter gatherer, which means cutting out most breads, dairy and processed foods.  

Today on Access Utah we discuss how roughly 300,000 patients in the U.S get surgical site infections every year. A 2013 University of Utah study suggests that some of those infections are connected to a heritable genetic mutation.  Today on the program, Dr. Harriet Hopf, professor of anesthesiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine joins us to discuss the scope of the problem and her recent findings.

Science Questions explores the recent Colorado flood with author Laura Pritchett.  She watched and listened to the flood from her Colorado home and observed the aftermath that included thousands of gallons of fracking fluid leaking into the rivers.  She recalls her shocking experiences writing about the disaster, after seeing the damage from an airplane.

Cache Valley has some of the worst air in the nation a few days out of the year, typically in the winter time.  Even short-term exposure to air pollution can cause long-term health effects according to studies conducted at Utah State University.  Today on the program, Utah State University toxicologist Dr. Roger Coloumbe joins us to discuss the Cache Valley air pollution studies and how it impacts our health.