Idaho State University researchers participate in study documenting contaminants in the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River

ISU researchers rafting through the Grand Canyon's Lava Falls while the group was completing research on Colorado River food webs. (Photo courtesy of Colden Baxter)

POCATELLO – Idaho State University’s Colden Baxter and other ISU researchers contributed to a study that documents high levels of contaminants in the Colorado River as it flows through the Grand Canyon.

The study, released in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, documents high levels of mercury and selenium in this stretch of the Colorado River. It has received widespread national and international media attention.

“One of the take-home messages of the study is that because the Grand Canyon is set aside as a national park people might expect it to be buffered from the impacts of such pollution, but we’ve learned over and over again that pollutants like selenium and mercury don’t know those boundaries,” said Baxter, an ISU associate professor of biological sciences who is the director of the ISU Stream Ecology Center and a coauthor on the recent paper. [Read more…]

NASA/ISU RECOVER Web tool used by wildfire managers to help plan recovery of Idaho’s Soda Fire

ISU's Keith Weber with the RECOVER screen in the background.

POCATELLO – Wildfire managers are using a Geographic Information System (GIS) satellite imagery decision support system designed by Idaho State University and NASA ­to help plan for the recovery of Idaho’s 280,000-acre-plus Soda Fire.

The system, officially known as the Rehabilitation Capability Convergence for Ecosystem Recovery (RECOVER), is still just in the first year of its second phase of development. It is a computerized decision support system in the form of multi-layered GIS maps that is automatically deployable and site-specific. ISU and NASA have worked with the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies to develop it. [Read more…]

ISU Professor Youngs receives grant to preserve Teton National Park American Indian artifacts with 3D scans

ISU history Professor Yolonda Youngs at Yellowstone Park.

POCATELLO – Idaho State University assistant history professor Yolonda Youngs has received a $39,000 grant to preserve American Indian artifacts at Grand Teton National Park with 3D scans.

“Our 3D scans will provide the ability for visitors both near and far from Grand Teton National Park to see and explore (by rotating on a digital screen) high-resolution scans of American Indian artifacts that are rarely accessible to the public due to the artifacts’ vulnerable and fragile conditions,” Youngs said. [Read more…]

Idaho State University nuclear reactor turns 50

Jay Kunze, left, and Adam Mallicoat, with the ISU AGN 201 Nuclear Reactor in the background. (ISU Visual Services)

POCATELLO – It’s been converting matter to create energy for 50 years and could keep running without any new fuel for more than 200 years.

Idaho State University’s AGN 201 Nuclear Reactor is celebrating its 50th year of operation on the ISU campus, providing unique learning and research opportunities for students, faculty and staff, and inspiring awe in some.

“In my personal opinion, the fissioning of the uranium nucleus is the most impressive advancement we’ve made in the past 100 years – nuclear reactors are not yet 100 years old,” said Adam Mallicoat, ISU reactor operator, referring to producing nuclear energy. “The fact that we are able to destroy matter to make energy, for that reason alone, they are the most fantastically interesting applications. They make E=mc2 a workable reality for power production.” [Read more…]

$1 million upgrade to ISU Pocatello anatomy and physiology lab boosts learning opportunities

Mark Austin, ISU biological sciences chair and professor, in the remodeled anatomy and physiology laboratory on the Pocatello campus.

POCATELLO – A $1 million-plus anatomy and physiology laboratory upgrade and the installation of an $87,000 virtual dissection table will provide a major boost to the already exceptional quality of anatomy and physiology classes taken by hundreds of Idaho State University students each semester on the Pocatello campus.

Both projects are slated for completion by the start of fall semester.

The existing anatomy and physiology laboratory located in the ISU Gale Life Science Building was updated with new ventilation, heating, cooling and lighting, and was “completely gutted and remodeled” and has new ceiling tiles, flooring and cabinets. Its refrigerated area has been expanded and upgraded and now has the capacity to hold eight cadavers. [Read more…]

Professor JoAnn Gurenlian honored for contributions to dental hygiene

JoAnn Gurenlian

Idaho State University dental hygiene professor JoAnn Gurenlian is the 2015 recipient of the Esther Wilkins Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to oral health, education and the dental hygiene profession.

Gurenlian, director of ISU’s dental hygiene master’s program, received the award in June at the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Annual Session in Nashville, Tennessee. [Read more…]

Idaho Museum of Natural History joins Smithsonian magazine’s 11th annual Museum Day Live! Free admission on Sept. 26 with a downloadable ticket

POCATELLO – The Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH) at Idaho State University in Pocatello will open its doors free of charge on Saturday, Sept. 26, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 11th annual Museum Day Live!

On this day only, participating museums across the United States emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington D.C.-based facilities, which offer free admission every day, and open their doors for free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket. [Read more…]

Idaho State University/NASA develop tool to track cheatgrass, monitor potential wildfire hazard

ISU/NASA team in GIS Center, from left, sitting, Zachery Simpson, and Jenna Williams; standing, Keith Weber and Jeff May.

POCATELLO – Idaho State University and NASA researchers teaming up with the Bureau of Land Management used satellite imagery to identify increased wildfire susceptibility due to the invasion of cheatgrass on rangelands.

The Idaho Disasters III Project Team working at ISU’s GIS Training and Research Center, one of only eight regional NASA DEVELOP Nodes in the United States, created reliable map images that BLM managers can use to identify cheatgrass infested areas. The map covers a large swath of eastern Idaho. [Read more…]

Idaho State University awarded telepharmacy grant

POCATELLO — Let’s say you’re taking Coumadin and want to know how the popular blood thinner will mix with your other medications.

What about the diabetes medication Metformin—could that explain your lower backache and drowsiness?

Finding answers to health care questions can be difficult in rural Idaho communities where medical resources are in short supply. But thanks to a $13,000 grant, Idaho State University researchers could be a step closer to bringing clinical pharmacy services to underserved communities that want them. [Read more…]