Summer is an important time for university research and scholarship. Traveling around Idaho in support of our research enterprise, I am thrilled by the activity I see across disciplines. In Ketchum recently, our College of Natural Resources convened a timely outreach session about living with wildfire. The BUILD Dairy research consortium – a network of university research programs on dairy and related issues – held their annual meeting in Moscow in July to discuss research progress and map out future partnership. In our libraries and laboratories and natural world, Vandals are taking on the exciting work of discovery and innovation.
While that work largely occurs outside of the public eye, the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21 has focused the world’s attention on science and on our state. Southern Idaho is a prime location for viewing the one-in-a-lifetime phenomenon as it cuts a swath across the continent. With the eyes of the country turning toward the sky, UI research helps inform our understanding of what to see and how to see it. The Washington Post recently highlighted the work of associate professor Luigi Boschetti and doctoral student Andrea Melchiorre in our College of Natural Resources in developing sophisticated maps that use historical data from NASA to show the probability of clear skies. Our Idaho Space Grant program has helped fund the work of the Eclipse Balloon Project – a Moscow High School student team including a participant from UI’s Advanced Technology and Exploration Research to Optimize Teamwork in Space (TATERTOTS) and led by a UI alumnus – to launch a balloon that will stream videos of the eclipse and capture atmospheric data.
We are fortunate the eclipse has provided Idaho’s research leader a prime opportunity to learn more about our solar system. It is also a remarkable opportunity for the public to appreciate the science connected to this awe-inspiring event. As I approach my year anniversary in my tenure as Vice President for Research and Economic Development, I am as excited as ever about our research and scholarship mission. From Idaho’s leading national research university, the view looks great.
Janet E. Nelson
Research and Economic Development