Science

Ceremonial signing of climate resolution by Utah governor
Utah Governor's Office

Last week, Utah legislation took a leap towards a more sustainable future with the passing of the state’s first climate change resolution. The House Concurrent Resolution on Environmental and Economic Stewardship was sponsored by Republican Representative Rebecca P. Edwards of District 20.

Sunlight peeking between rocky craigs, reflecting off the Unita Mountain snow pack.
NOAA Research

According to new research out of Utah State University, perceiving local weather as warmer or colder than normal is strongly connected to our pre-existing beliefs in climate change. 

Separated crossing implemented in Banff National Park
Flickr

Wildlife collisions can be very dangerous for drivers and for animals.

Corinna Riginos is a conservation scientist at The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming studying wildlife collisions with ungulates like elk and golden eagles. The two are more closely related than you might think.

Fish sampling
Riana Gayle

It’s 8:00 a.m. on one of the last days of April and two officials from the Division of Wildlife Resources are loading up their boat at the Bear Lake State Park Marina. They are joined by two volunteers for today’s fisheries sampling, the last one scheduled for the Spring.

Mulch is a useful topdressing around garden beds and trees at Utah State University
Riana Gayle

Utah State University is one of 19 universities being awarded the 2017-2018 PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund. The fund recognizes projects with green initiatives.

Shorebirds
Wikimedia Commons

Utah has long been known as a resting place for migrating bird species, however this year it’s receiving special recognition as the Utah government declares May the Month of the Bird.  Officials say that May is an ideal month to do this because of the migratory patterns of birds.

Herd mentality takes over as wildebeests migrate across river
Chris Dutton / Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Researchers have found that the Serengeti Wildebeest play a surprising and significant role in aquatic systems in the Mara River Basin of Kenya.

A rising river with sandbagged house
Cottonwood Heights

  


April showers bring May flowers… and rising water levels! And we all know what that means.

Up to forty percent of America's food is being wasted along the supply chain.
Flickr

Earth Day is right around the corner and if you are looking for ways to get involved or reduce your footprint, look no further than the fridge. According to the United Sates Department of Agriculture, up to 60 percent of food waste occurs in households and businesses. While composting is an option for some of that waste, there may be other uses for your stale doughnuts and banana peels.

Native plants benefit bird species across the U.S.
Flickr

The National Audubon Society has just launched a new citizen-science project called Plants for Birds. The project calls for individuals across the U.S. to replace turf and non-native landscapes with native plants, which are important to the life cycle of native bird species.  

Girls in Aviation takes flight
Riana Gayle / Utah Public Radio

The Girls in Aviation program was started just one year ago by the Cache Makers group based out of Logan, UT. The program focuses on exposing girls ages nine to 15 to the aviation industry as well as broad STEM, or Science Technology Engineering and Math, opportunities.

Example of a NEON site tower constructed for data collection
Jennifer Perez / The Jornada Rangeland Research Programs


A group of researchers at Utah State University are leading a project called ARGON or Augmenting Research Grounded On NEON. The program has already collected over 18 million data points related to species and community traits.

Meghan Duffy / University of Michigan

Professor Meghan Duffy, an expert in infectious diseases who recently lectured at Utah State University, was interested in how food webs in lakes are affected by pathogens, not drug discovery. She set up an experiment to see how water fleas – a small crustacean that are also important food for young fish – grow and reproduce under different diets with different pathogen exposures.

Smith and Garrett successfully transplanted a type IV CRISPR immune system into E. coli.
Mary-Ann Muffoletto/USU College of Science.

In the Jackson lab at Utah State University, mixers whirr, protein purification machines beep, and shakers jiggle, all with one goal: isolating and describing the bacterial immune systems known as CRISPR.

View of the Salt Lake City skyline
Flickr


  Scientists at the University of Utah are leading the way in what we can learn about CO2 emissions in urban and rural settings. What began as one sensor, established on the university’s campus in 2001, has grown to a network of five sensors measuring emissions across the Salt Lake Valley.

The rate of spring runoff is prompted by dust deposition in addition to warming temperatures
Wikimedia

According to a recent study, increasing temperatures are not the only factors contributing to spring snowmelt.  

Environmental tax suggests we pay more for gas to offset environmental costs
Jennings

The Cache Clean Air Consortium hosts regular events that enable residents to learn about and become involved with improving their local air. Their events include the annual high school Clean Air Poster contests, bike challenges and expert talks. 

T. cristinae comes in three colors:  green, green-striped, and brown.
Aaron Comeault / University of North Carolina

If you spend enough time poking around bushes in California, Nevada or Arizona, you’ll find stick insects, long little guys that blend in with sticks or leaves. Sometimes you only notice them when they drop out of their camouflaged environment and onto your shirt. They’re funny looking, harmless and at the center of a recent high-impact study at Utah State University describing when and how you can predict evolution.

Residents along the Wasatch front surveyed on water issues
Flickr

A recent study by Utah science researchers indicates communicating about science can have an impact on efforts by scientists to manage and protect the state’s water resources. The study also shows a correlation between public outreach events and citizen involvement when it comes to participating in water information programs.  

Andrew Kulmatiski / Utah State University

For sagebrush lovers, fire is scary.  It destroys the native shrubs, grasses and wildflowers, leaving cheatgrass in its wake. Cheatgrass displaces native seedlings, destroys wildlife habitat, and increases the chances that fire will reoccur.  

Winter bird sightings in Utah
Wikimedia Commons

The Great Backyard Bird Count takes place every February. One of the key differences between this event and the Christmas Bird Count, is that the Great Backyard Bird Count is global and may capture some of those early migrants returning for the Spring.

Jenny Eberlein / National Park Service

If you see one, especially up close, you always remember it.  They have featherless orange-pink faces and their massive wings span nine feet.  Iconic and intimidating, there is no forgetting the critically endangered California Condor.

Milky Way Galaxy as seen at night
Serge Brunier

 

To earn the designation as an International Dark Sky Community by the International Dark Sky Association, residents in Torrey implemented lighting ordinances, replaced outdoor street bulbs and coordinated public education about the benefits of having a dark sky.

Noctural, flightless, and solitary, kakapo are one of the most evolutionarily distinct parrots
Mnolf / Wikimedia

It’s easy to care about the wellbeing of the threatened giant panda because they’re cute.  But it’s hard to care about the critically endangered Chinese giant salamander, because they look like an enormous booger. 

A red moon otherwise known as a blood moon
http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Cosmos-Space-Astronomy-Sky-Moon-Lunar-Eclipse-2146596

Supermoons, the recently coined term for the appearance of a larger moon, are becoming more publicized, although they are not actually becoming more frequent. This next supermoon is more unusual however, with the coinciding of a new moon and total lunar eclipse, this next supermoon is something to look forward to.

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