Access Utah

Weekdays 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Access Utah is UPR's original program focusing on the things that matter to Utah. The hour-long show airs daily at 9:00 a.m. and covers everything from pets to politics in a range of formats from in-depth interviews to call-in shows.

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Utah State University biologist Zachariah Gompert asks questions about evolution that have been eluding scientists for decades and he and colleagues are using the flood of new genetic tools to find clues to one of their main questions - is evolution predictable and repeatable? Sheri Quinn talks to Professor Gompert about his study recently published in the journal Science.

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released proposed regulations which would cut carbon pollution from future and existing power plants. Since coal accounts for about 70 percent of Utah’s power generation (twice the national average) our state may be disproportionately affected.

The oil and gas industry has increased by 40 percent in the past seven years across the United States, leading to dramatic growth some areas. Duchesne County, for example, is the second fastest growing county in the U.S. compared to counties of similar size.

Last year, USU professors Alison Cook and Christy Glass tested the glass cliff phenomenon—the idea that women are more likely to get promoted to leadership positions when a firm is struggling, placing them in a precarious position from the start. The glass cliff is back in the news with the recent firing of Jill Abramson as executive editor of the New York Times. Cook and Glass found that merit alone doesn’t give women and minorities the key to the executive suite and that the composition of the board of directors can affect whether or not they succeed. Their analysis confirmed that the glass cliff theory also applies to minorities, a phenomenon they dubbed “the savior effect.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints renounced the practice of plural marriage in 1890. In the mid- to late nineteenth century, however--the heyday of Mormon polygamy--as many as three out of every ten Mormon women became polygamous wives.

Stories of backyard bears and cat-eating coyotes are becoming increasingly common—even for people living in non-rural areas. Farmers anxious to protect their sheep from wolves aren’t the only ones concerned: suburbanites and city dwellers are also having more unwanted run-ins with mammalian predators. 

“The principle of net neutrality guarantees a level playing field in which Internet users do not have to pay Internet service providers more for better access to online content, and content generators do not have to pay additional fees to ensure users can access their websites or apps. In other words all Internet traffic should be treated equally.” (Leticia Miranda, The Nation). 


There was a time when the phrase "American family" conjured up a single, specific image: a breadwinner dad, a homemaker mom, and their 2.5 kids living comfortable lives in a middle-class suburb. Today, that is no longer the case, due to divorce rates, single parenthood, and increased out-of-wedlock births. Most Americans fail to identify the root factor driving the changes: economic inequality that is remaking the American family along class lines.

Concerned community members say that because of a new joint operating agreement between the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, the Tribune is in danger.

With Memorial Day approaching, we’ll honor our military veterans on Wednesday’s Access Utah. Mark Lee Greenblatt, author of “VALOR: Unsung Heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front,” will join us along with Sergeant Buck Doyle, a Utah resident who is featured in the book. We'll also speak with WWII veteran Edgar Harrell who will recount his experiences in the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the sharks, hypothermia and the struggle to survive one of the U.S. Navy's greatest catastrophes at sea. Edgar Harrell is author of “Out of the Depths.” Then Terry Schow, former Utah Director of Veterans Affairs will discuss how changes in health care are affecting those who fought for our country.

A new documentary from Greentech Films, “Scaling Wind,” looks at people championing the proposal of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2008 report, “20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030,” the film profiles people working to overcome the challenges facing achievement of the 20% vision, including the need to modernize and expand the power grid and smarten the nation’s energy policy for a stable market.

The red rock canyon country of southeastern Utah and northeastern Arizona is one of the most isolated, wild, and beautiful regions of North America. Europeans and Americans over time have mostly avoided, disdained, or ignored it. Wrecks of Human Ambition illustrates how this landscape undercut notions and expectations of good, productive land held by the first explorers, settlers, and travelers who visited it. Even today, its aridity and sandy soils prevent widespread agricultural exploitation, and its cliffs, canyons, and rivers thwart quick travel in and through the landscape.

Historians and novelists alike have described the vigilantism that took root in the gold-mining communities of Montana in the mid-1860s, but Mark C. Dillon is the first to examine the subject through the prism of American legal history, considering the state of criminal justice and law enforcement in the western territories and also trial procedures, gubernatorial politics, legislative enactments, and constitutional rights. 

For more than a century, oil has been the engine of growth for a society that delivers an unprecedented standard of living to many. We now take for granted that economic growth is good, necessary, and even inevitable, but also feel a sense of unease about the simultaneous growth of complexity in the processes and institutions that generate and manage that growth.

For years, Todd Snider has been one of the most beloved country-folk singers in the United States, compared to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, John Prine, and dozens of others. He's become not only a new-century Dylan but a modern-day Will Rogers, an everyman whose intelligence, self-deprecation, experience, and sense of humor make him a uniquely American character. 

The Mormon village was originally conceived as a place removed from the rest of the world, a place where the Saints could live strong faith-based identity. Although common in Europe, the pattern that Mormons used of residential villages with outlying farms was unusual in the American West. The first studies of these villages were by travelers who lived among the Mormons and wrote about their experiences. By linking these early accounts to the move of more formal academic studies of the twentieth century, “Saints Observed” provides the most complete look at Mormon community life.

Josh Hanagarne couldn't be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn't officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old and onstage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms.

This program originally aired in July of 2013.

On Wednesday's Access Utah, we revisit a conversation with Julia Corbett. Her book, "Seven Summers: A Naturalist Homesteads in the Modern West" is the story of a naturalist-turned-professor (Corbett) who flees city life each summer with her pets and power tools to pursue her lifelong dream: building a cabin in the Wyoming woods. 


girl on fence calls to horse
April Ashland

We want to hear about your dog, cat, rabbit, armadillo, or any other animal you love. Post a picture, comment or question on our page for Dr. James Israelsen, with Mountain View Veterinary Health Center.

Seven moves in seven years as a pre-teen cursed Kirk Millson with a pathologically low tolerance for routine. After terrorizing his wife, Alison, with several near-death wilderness experiences, he toughened up his young children on a steady diet of desert excursions until their luck changed and his career intervened. 

On Thursday’s AU we revisit our conversation with Doris Kearns Goodwin:

“The gap between rich and poor has never been wider . . . legislative stalemate paralyzes the country . . . corporations resist federal regulations . . . spectacular mergers produce giant companies . . . the influence of money in politics deepens . . . bombs explode in crowded streets . . . small wars proliferate far from our shores . . . a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life.”  

National Geographic

If the trends of population growth and richer diets continue, experts say that by 2050 we will need to double the amount of crops we grow. Jonathan Foley, author of “Food: Feeding Nine Billion” in the May edition of National Geographic is director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.

Go back a few generations and odds are that your family lived and worked on a farm. We’re going to go back to our roots with USU professors Joyce Kinkead, Evelyn Funda, and Lynne McNeill, authors of “Farm: A Multi-Modal Reader,” which explores what farms, farming, and farmers mean to us as a culture.

Today's Access Utah is a rebroadcast of a program that originally aired April 29, 2013.

In the late 1940s Helmuth Hubener, a Mormon teenager, decided to leave Hitler’s Youth and confront the Nazi regime and his church leaders. Eventually, he was excommunicated from his church and became one of the youngest opponents of the Third Reich to be executed. 

April Ashland / Utah Public Radio

Friday on Access Utah we’ll hear from some of the 16 Moab students who showed up recently for the town’s first “Rock Camp.” Then from the UPR series “My Address Is…” we’ll meet Don Baldwin, who grew up in Salt Lake City but decided as a young man that he wanted to be a dairy farmer; and the Landau family, who live in the city and bike to work and hike from home. 

Finally we’ll talk to a woman whose address is often “The Road:” National Geographic photographer, Karen Kasmauski, who explores how science allows us to understand ourselves and how that shapes our destiny.