Home / Departments


When I first arrived at Utah State University in 1990 as a new professor studying sheep genetics, I never imagined becoming USU’s president someday. Instead, my days were filled with organizing and delivering an animal genetics class, writing papers and grants, traveling to scientific conferences, and conducting research in my lab.

My first awareness of limited water was in 2009. Our neighborhood’s well was shut off after nitrates were discovered in the water. Although we were reconnected to the local town’s water supply, our neighborhood was informed we couldn’t use culinary water for landscape watering. As an avid gardener I had already planted

Stefani Crabtree obviously wasn’t there, 50 millennia ago, when the first early humans set out to cross the supercontinent of Sahul. She didn’t directly track the progress of people up steep canyon trails, across stretches of barren desert, or alongside the greenspace near cool springs. But she still knows a

Imagine this frustrating start to your day: Late for work, you rush out the door, forgoing your usual breakfast routine of eating while scrolling through the morning news. As you start the car, the glowing low-fuel indicator glares back. You zip to the neighborhood coffee shop for a scone and

The human brain is full of unknowns — from its billions of neurons to its cerebral folds. Using micro-engineered materials and devices, the research of YU HUANG, a biological engineering assistant professor at Utah State University, may unlock some of these mysteries. Huang leads the MicroBrain Laboratory and focuses on

If you build it, wildlife will come. States from California to Florida are banking on it. In 2021, legislatures nationwide pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to connect habitat through the strategic placement of wildlife crossings and partnerships with private landowners. And it’s not just because people love animals, it’s a

After nearly a week of instructing and collaborating with theater and set design students and instructors at Utah State University, Patrick Larsen ‘99 settles into a chair in a quiet corner of the University Inn, contemplating the journey home to Indonesia — a trip that takes on average 28 hours. “It’s

Decades of drought leave many people wondering what they can do to preserve every last precious drop. In April, with most of Utah in severe or extreme drought and following a winter with below normal snowpack, Governor Spencer Cox ‘98 issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency, asking residents

Zachary Ames is no stranger to global setbacks. When he graduated from Utah State University in 2008, the country was in the midst of a recession not seen since the 1930s. Ames responded by methodically plotting how to find work in organizational development while waiting tables in Salt Lake City

In the early days of COVID-19, homebound Americans descended upon stores, scooping up what remained of flour, yeast, and toilet paper supplies. Two years later, ripple effects from the pandemic continue to plague businesses. While shortages have shifted to building supplies and computer chips, for weeks last fall container ships were

Drought isn’t something that Grace Affram worried about growing up. “In Ghana, there are just a few places that have droughts,” she explains. “We have a lot of water — and we don’t really use it wisely.” But she became fascinated with drought as an undergraduate and couldn’t shake her interest in

For centuries, large saline lakes in Utah and Iran have served as feeding grounds for millions of birds. And lately, the lakes are disappearing. Dust from the drying lakebeds threatens the health of millions of people nearby. The remaining water is saltier and less hospitable to life — potentially killing off

After a long pause, Melanie Domenech Rodríguez apologizes. “I’m thinking in Spanish, sorry,” she says. “When I think about something that’s really emotionally charged, it gets generated in Spanish.” Domenech Rodríguez, a psychology professor and Utah State University 2022 D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award recipient for high-impact work, is explaining

A coyote brain is about the size and shape of a small avocado. One easily fits cradled inside the gloved palm of Sara Freeman, an assistant professor of biology at Utah State University, whose lab is one of the few studying the wild canid for clues about the neuroscience of

The Utah State Agricultural College Bulletin published in September 1954 focused its entire 20 pages on the notable amenities of the nearly new Student Union building, which combined services and shops previously found throughout the campus into one central facility. Now known as the Glen L. Taggart Student Center, the

For decades, Utah State University professors climbed aboard small aircraft in Logan to hop over 13,000-foot peaks to teach in the Uintah Basin and return the same night, landing long after the valley was asleep. The effort was “not for the faint of heart” retired USU English professor Glenn Wilde recalled

6 Decades of the Space Dynamics Laboratory Utah State University certainly has a significant amount of reach. From the main campus in Cache Valley, USU’s influence stretches across the rest of the Beehive State via its Statewide Campuses. But it’s undoubtably in space where Utah State reaches the farthest. And the Space

Pranks, when done well, can be memorable, funny, and even unifying—particularly against a common adversary like Brigham Young University. A good prank requires ingenuity and a good dose of verve. Utah State University Aggies know a thing or two about that. USU archivist Robert Parson recently reflected on campus pranks that

“For over 30 years Miller has been driven to photograph the United States’ space program in an artistic and scientific approach to storytelling. He has traveled throughout the USA to photograph launches, landings, and related structures to introduce his personal exploration of NASA’s history and to transform science into art.

People who are overly perfectionistic do not see perfectionism as a problem; most likely, they see perfectionism as an attribute. Like most attributes, there are times they help us and times they hold us back. Look at the outcomes of perfectionism and see if there are parts of it that could

The ability to detect hogwash is a critical life skill. In a world where photos are easily faked, data graphics can manipulate our emotions — whether by intention or incompetence — and numbers can be twisted to mislead, you can't just trust what you see. Jevin D. West ’00, M.S. ’04, director

In the midst of conducting an interview with Russell M. Nelson for their recently published book Fathers of the Prophets: From Joseph Smith Jr. to Russell M. Nelson, authors Emily Madsen Jones and Rebecca Madsen Thornton were surprised to find that the tables had suddenly been turned.  Rather than learning more

The ceramics studio at Utah State University is rarely empty. There is always a bowl to throw, a pot to trim, or someone glazing a piece for the kiln. But just before winter break, senior Amanda Brown ‘22 snuck in a quiet moment to glaze a Mad-Hatter mug — one

Rustling leaves followed by the satisfying snap of an apple popping off a branch. That is the sound of Utah State University’s gleaning team during peak harvest. The organization salvages produce destined to become food waste and was founded in 2019 by Kara Bachman ‘21, a master’s student in public health

“All visitors welcome,” reads the handwritten sign tucked underneath a long, slender windshield wiper of the Utah Black History Museum’s mobile exhibit. Below it, sharing space with the same bus windshield, a poster advertises events for Utah State University’s Juneteenth celebration — the first since it became a state holiday in

Sometimes, establishing a Utah State University campus in Moab felt like too big of a lift. Steve Hawks, a sixth generation Moab resident and USU professor of health science and promotion, remembers when an Extension agent first planted the seed in the 1990s with long-time residents Ray and Ruth Holyoak, as