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Phone: 208-885-6291

Fax: 208-885-5841

Email: uinews@uidaho.edu

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The Vandal Theory Podcast

The logo for The Vandal Theory podcast.

The Vandal Theory podcast asks, “What gets University of Idaho researchers’ brains buzzing... besides coffee?” These award-winning stories showcase researchers exploring and solving real-world problems. With interviews and quick updates on all things Vandal, discover the world of U of I research with host Leigh Cooper.

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Special Season, Episode 4: Lil Alessa — COVID-19 Disinformation

Meet Lil Alessa, professor and co-director of the Center for Resilient Communities at the University of Idaho. We all know fake news exists, and you’ve probably noticed fake news about COVID-19 zooming by on your social media feeds. Lil and a group of academics are spending part of their time searching out disinformation on COVID-19 as it pops up. They then figure out whether there could be important consequences to the spread of that information. Lil and I chatted about the significance of disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the COVID 19 Agricultural Economic Security map.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I Research

Our entrepreneurial team CatheterX has designed an innovative urinary catheter that should prevent infections, save lives and reduce hospital costs. Read more.

The University of Idaho is working to identify a cure for coronaviruses, including COVID-19. The Department of Biological Sciences team expects to finish preliminary tests within a year. Read more.

John Abatzoglou, from the Department of Geography, and colleagues looked at how snowmelt affects food production and how changes in snowmelt may threaten production in irrigated regions. Read more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org, not modified.

The Stork” by Ketsa via freeusicarchive.org, not modified.

Special Season, Episode 3: Lorie Higgins — A Rural Look at COVID-19

Meet Lorie Higgins, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology and an Extension specialist at the University of Idaho. Many COVID-19 hot zones are located in large cities, but small towns and rural areas aren’t immune to the virus. Lorie, who’s an expert on rural communities, thinks there are likely benefits and challenges to living outside of big cities during the current pandemic. She thinks everything from the age of local populations to internet connectivity could impact how the pandemic impacts places like the Gem State. Lorie and I chatted virtually about how places like rural Idaho are dealing with COVID-19.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I Research

Geographer Grant Harley and colleagues will be using tree rings to reconstruct summer air temperature in the Eastern United States, from North Carolina to maritime Eastern Canada. Read more.

Many climate change skeptics hold pro-environmental views. The researchers from U of I interviewed 33 Idahoan climate skeptics and found that many had concerns about pollution and deforestation and supported policies for clean air and water and alternative energy sources. Read more.

Ann Brown with Movement Sciences conducted a study on female collegiate dancers and their protein intake. The findings suggest protein supplementation for 12 weeks could be a simple way to improve the diets of female collegiate dancers without altering overall body weight. Read more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org, not modified.

Multitudes” by Gillicuddy via freeusicarchive.org, not modified.

Special Season, Episode 2: Jamie Derrick — Calm in a Pandemic

Meet Jamie Derrick, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Communications Studies at the University of Idaho. I think we can all agree that going through a pandemic is stressful. Whether it’s concern for the health of our loved ones, job and food security or balancing childcare and work, there is a lot to keep us up at night. Jamie knows about stress, what triggers it, how it manifests and how we can overcome it. She is also an expert in helping people deal with trauma and has a toolkit for handling stress. Jamie and I chatted about how it feels to go through a pandemic, and we practiced tools for de-stressing.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I Research

The Rural Studies Program and U of I Extension have developed infographics for every county in Idaho to help manage the unknown around the threat of COVID-19. Read more.

Researchers in the Mind and Movement Lab found that when older adults thought about posture as effortful, they had worse balance than when they stood in a relaxed way. In contrast, participants had the best balance when they thought about “lightening up” into length. Read more.

The College of Engineering’s Idaho Clean Snowmobile Team earned fourth place overall in the gasoline spark-ignited class at the 2020 Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge. Read more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org, not modified.

Gamma Muscae” by Florian Decros via freeusicarchive.org, not modified.

Special Season, Episode 1: Tanya Miura — The Virus Behind COVID-19

Meet Tanya Miura, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Idaho. Unlike many of us, Tanya knew about coronaviruses before the current pandemic. She has studied this family of viruses throughout her entire career. Although no one is an expert on COVID-19 yet, Tanya has been following the outpouring of research on the virus, the spread of the pandemic and some of the misconceptions surrounding COVID-19. Tanya and I discuss the specifics of the virus itself.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I Research

University of Idaho faculty are partnering with our sister institutions in the region to model intervention strategies across Idaho during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Leda Kobziar used flying drones and vacuumed air onto filters to capture microbes found in smoke. Her team found more diversity of bacteria and fungi in the smoky air than in non-smoky air. Read more.

Tonia Dousay and Cassidy Hall from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction are partnering with Google to produce teachers who are ready to use technology in the classroom. Read more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org, not modified.

Work Wonders” by Lobo Loco via freeusicarchive.org, not modified.

Season 2, Episode 8: Jenny Durrin — The Potato Nursery

“I’m not sure everyone’s aware, but Idaho is known for potatoes… We grow over 322,000 acres of potatoes and produce over a third of the potatoes in the U.S.”

Meet Jenny Durrin, the director of the Seed Potato Germplasm Program at the University of Idaho. Whether we are talking about French fries from McDonald’s or the small purple potatoes you find at farmers markets, 90% of potatoes produced in Idaho can trace their lineage to Jenny’s lab. Picture the lab as a potato nursery. A really sterile potato nursery. In the lab, Jenny is the caretaker of more than 300 varieties of potatoes including new varieties of the tubers produced by researchers at U of I.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I Research

College of Engineering students earned top placement in the National Academy of Engineering Global Grand Challenges Summit student competition. Read more.

University of Idaho, Idaho Falls computer science graduate students took first place locally in the 2019 U.S. Department of Energy CyberForce Competition. Read more.

A University of Idaho-led team of researchers found that experimental fences — including fences made from beehives — reduced the number of times elephants left Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park to raid nearby crops by 80-95%. Read more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org, not modified.

Coffee” by Cambo via freeusicarchive.org, not modified.

Season 2, Episode 7: Jon Waterhouse — Modern and Indigenous Science

“You’ll hear it at large native gatherings and small native gatherings. Someone will say ‘all my relations.’ What they mean is not…grandma and grandpa. They do mean that, but, when they say ‘all my relations,’ they’re looking out across the entire existence of what we see. The trees. The rocks. The whole works. We have a connection to all that. We’re not separate from the natural system. We’re just part of it.”

Meet Jon Waterhouse, a research scientist at the University of Idaho and a National Geographic Explorer. Jon has spent much of his time at National Geographic traveling with indigenous peoples from around the world, including the Amazon and Alaska. His goal is to provide a way for indigenous people to gather, record and communicate their place-based science with the wider world. At U of I, Jon will be continuing that work through a project called LINK, which combines virtual technology, modern environmental science and indigenous science.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I Research

U of I will begin designing the nation’s largest research dairy, called the Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE). A $1 million gift from the J.R. Simplot Co. brought the university commitment for the project to $10 million. Read more.

Department of Biological Sciences’ Larry Forney found that measuring the levels of acids and proteins in vaginal fluid may be a non-invasive, cost-effective way to assess the risk for preterm birth due to a short cervix. Read more.

Assistant Professor Dakota Roberson has earned a 2019-20 White House Fellowship and will spend a year working for the U.S. Department of Defense. His expertise in power systems and renewable energy integration led him to the national leadership and public service program. Read more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org, not modified.

Impact Andante” by Kevin MacLeod via freeusicarchive.org, not modified.

Season 2, Episode 6: Steve Peterson — The Story of Idaho’s Economy

“Our analysis starts with a database, essentially a model of the entire economy. You’re painting a numeric picture of the economy and what the drivers are.”

Meet Steve Peterson, an associate clinical professor at the University of Idaho. Steve is an economist who lends his knowledge to regional businesses, non-profits and other organizations. He writes economic assessments for these groups, answering questions like, how much money does the Botanical Garden bring to Boise? Does the Moscow Farmers Market bring in enough money to justify putting in a public restroom? And how many jobs do the five Native American tribes of Idaho bring to the state?

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I research

NASA will fund a research proposal to evaluate countermeasures that prevent or ease the signs and symptoms associated with brain and vision problems, which result from space travel. Read more.

The College of Art and Architecture in Boise launched its third Virtual Technology Laboratory. The lab will partner with the Autism Cross-Reality Institute to develop educational, diagnostic and therapeutic tools to aid individuals with autism. Read more.

The University of Idaho was ranked sixth among nearly 300 higher education institutions on the Sustainable Campus Index, a grade published by the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Learn more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org, not modified.

Sun Tan Lines” by Florian Decors via freeusicarchive.org, not modified.

Season 2, Episode 5: Dilshani Sarathchandra — Feelings About Risk

“Our students would…rationalize their risky behavior by comparing themselves to their peers who they say also take similar actions and have remained safe.”

Meet Dilshani Sarathchandra, an assistant professor at the University of Idaho. Dilshani is a sociologist who studies risk assessment. She focuses not on the calculations behind risk assessment, but how our human emotions and feelings influence what we consider risky behavior. And it turns out we’re really terrible at deciding what is risky behavior and where to put our trust. Dilshani has spent her career studying this odd dichotomy between real and perceived risky behavior, including a number of studies on people’s trust in science and cybersecurity risk among college students.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I research

U of I has identified and cloned a gene that can fend off a major fungal threat to wheat and barley. This genetic advance could lead to new wheat varieties with more dependable yields and reduce the need for pesticides. Learn more.

David Ausband published a study on how wolves use the space around the sites where they rear their pups. The study suggests the closer the wolves are related to a litter of pups, the more time they will spend rearing the young. Read more.

The U of I wants to create a dynamic new meat science center and a $1 million gift took us one step closer. The new center will expand students’ educational opportunities in animal processing. Learn more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org, not modified.

Terminalism” by Phylum Sinter via freeusicarchive.org, not modified.

Season 2, Episode 4: Mike Quist — Trailing Steelhead

“The most recent economic data that I could find were for 2011, and both salmon and steelhead fisheries brought in around $90 million to the state…It’s not a trivial part of our economy.”

Meet Mike Quist, an associate professor at the University of Idaho. Mike spends his time at U of I fishing. OK, that’s a bit simplistic. He actually studies fish, including the best ways to manage our fisheries. Fisheries management can be complicated with the involvement of anglers, conservationists, landowners, tribes and all levels of government. For his part, Mike often evaluates and monitors fish populations. He’s recently focused on studying steelhead trout populations in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I Research

The University of Idaho Advanced Biofuels Lab is partnering with the U.S. Air Force on a project to commercialize a biofuel that doesn’t freeze at high altitudes and has the potential to be carbon-negative. Read more.

Postdoctoral Associate Jane Lucas published on Azteca alfari ant nests in trumpet trees. The study found that nursery chambers had fewer bacteria species than the rest of the nest. Learn more.

U of I’s Richard Christensen was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy grant to support the installation of a NuScale reactor plant simulator. The simulator is a virtual nuclear power plant control room and will be housed at U of I Idaho Falls. Read more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org (License), not modified.

Springish” by Gillicuddy via freeusicarchive.org (License), not modified.

Season 2, Episode 3: Anastasia Telesetsky — Single-Use Plastics

“Someone reported that they were finding…single-use plastic bags in the Mariana Trench, which is one of the deepest places in the ocean, and it’s kind of remarkable just how far it’s traveled. And I’m a believer that this is a particular issue that we have social capital around, and we can actually see changes. That we can see behavioral changes.”

Meet Anastasia Telesetsky, a professor of law at the University of Idaho. Anastasia has focused much of her law career on international and environmental law including work on whaling, sustainable fisheries and climate change. Now, she is tackling a new oceanic plague, plastic pollution. Researchers estimate 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year; that’s roughly the weight of 90 aircraft carriers. To help solve the problem, Anastasia proposes an international ban on most single-use plastics.

Read more at The Conversation.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I research

Katherine Himes and U of I’s James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research have initiated the Idaho Climate-Economy Impacts Assessment, a two-year project to evaluate the economic impact of climate change on Idaho. Read more.

Doctoral student Andrew Maguire was awarded the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology fellowship that will support Maguire’s Arctic research on trees. Learn more.

Research at U of  I often takes place beyond Idaho’s borders. Check out our website to watch five students who, during summer 2019, investigated everything from antelope diets in Mozambique to the logistics of building a boarding school in Togo.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org (License), not modified.

Assignment” by BoxCat Games via freeusicarchive.org (License), not modified.

Season 2, Episode 2: Matt Fox-Amato — Slavery and Photography

Stereograph showing Capt. B.S. Brown (left); Lt. John P. Shaw, Co. F 2nd Regt. Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry (center); and Lt. Fry (right) with African American men and boy at Camp Brightwood, D.C..
“Contraband Foreground,” c. 1861-1865, stereograph, albumen print, 8 x 18cm. Civil War Photograph Collection, Stereograph Cards Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-stereo-1s02759.
an African American boy holding on to the horse drawn carriage in front of a planter's house. A man prepares to board the carriage.
Osborn and Durbec, “Planter’s summer residence, no. 10,” c. 1860, stereograph. Civil War Collection, Stereograph Cards Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-stereo-1s03920.
Ten African Americans pose together at the top of an embankment.
Alexander Gardner, Richmond, Virginia. “Group of Negroes (‘Freedmen’) by canal,” April 1865, collodion negative. Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints Collection, Civil War Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-cwpb-00468.

“These pictures of enslaved people…they’re primarily well-dressed studio portraits. They don’t show enslaved people visible dissenting from their position. And so what I talk about is how we see in the 1840s and 1850s slave holders taking up what is a neutral visual technology and warping it and turning it toward particular political ends. I call this dynamic in particular a quiet habit of domination.”

Meet Matt Fox-Amato, an assistant professor at the University of Idaho. In spring 2019, Matt published a book on the relationship between slavery and photography, a technological advancement that was developed and flourished in the two decades preceding the Civil War. His book draws on rare photographs from the middle of the 19th century, along with archival letters to investigate how photography affected how slavery and freedom were recorded, imagined and contested. The book is titled “Exposing Slavery: Photography, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America.”

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

More U of I research

Assistant Professor Dakota Roberson was recognized as co-inventor on a patent that improves the ability to compensate against large electric power flow changes brought on by intermittent disturbances or even cyberattacks. Read more.

U of I researchers found people who are skeptical of health institutions and live farther away from a disease outbreak harbor less favorable vaccination views than those who are skeptical but live in closer proximity to an outbreak. Learn more.

U of I’s Adrienne Marshall found that back-to-back low snow years may become six times more common across the Western United States over the latter half of this century. Read more about the study and read Marshall’s story in The Conversation.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org (License), not modified.

Headway” by Kai Engel via freemusicarchive.org (License), not modified.

Photos

Used on U of I promos: Alexander Gardner, Richmond, Virginia. “Group of Negroes (‘Freedmen’) by canal,” April 1865, collodion negative. Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints Collection, Civil War Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-cwpb-00468.

Osborn and Durbec, “Planter’s summer residence, no. 10,” c. 1860, stereograph. Civil War Collection, Stereograph Cards Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-stereo-1s03920.

“Contraband Foreground,” c. 1861-1865, stereograph, albumen print, 8 x 18cm. Civil War Photograph Collection, Stereograph Cards Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-stereo-1s02759.

Season 2, Episode 1: Jason Barnes — A Journey to Titan

“We really started thinking about, what do we want to explore on Titan? We want to explore these interesting organic grains…Of course, organic stuff is…what life is made of. It’s made of carbon-based molecules. And so when we’re looking at Titan we’re looking at the most exciting carbon chemistry anywhere but Earth.”

Meet Jason Barnes, who was recently promoted to professor at the University of Idaho. Jason is a founding member of an international team of scientists that has spent years designing a robotic quadcopter that can land on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. This drone-like rotorcraft, which is affectionately named Dragonfly, is intended to fly from sampling site to sampling site, studying the moon’s atmosphere and surface. In the long run, Dragonfly should help scientists answer questions about how life started on Earth.

Learn more about Project Dragonfly.

Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

The Dragonfly project will be led by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and is funded by NASA in the amount of up to $850 million. The project is 100 percent federally funded.

More U of I Research

Doctoral student Maria Zubkova found that the amount of area burned across Africa declined by 18.5 percent between 2002 and 2016. This reduction was likely driven by an increase in plant-available moisture. Learn more.

A group of current and retired faculty from the College of Art and Architecture contributed to the peer-reviewed online encyclopedia, Archipedia, which features the country's most architecturally significant structures. Read more.

U of I’s Tara Hudiburg was given the 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government. Learn more.

Music

Young Republicans” by Steve Combs via freemusicarchive.org (License), not modified.

Out of the Skies, Under the Earth” by Chris Zabriskie via freeusicarchive.org (License), not modified.

Season 1, Episode 3: Beyond the science — climate change and society in Idaho

Season 1, Episode 2: How is climate change affecting farming, ranching and aquaculture in Idaho?

Season 1, Episode 1: How is climate change affecting Idaho’s natural landscapes?

Contact

University Communications and Marketing

Phone: 208-885-6291

Fax: 208-885-5841

Email: uinews@uidaho.edu

Web: Communications and Marketing

U of I Media Contacts