Tom Williams

Program Director | Access Utah Host

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996.  He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.)  He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah” and “Opera Saturday.”  He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.

Ways to Connect

CBS News

USA Today reports, "The firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel who risked their lives answering the call on Sept.11, 2001, may finally be getting the rescue they've been demanding. The Senate Tuesday is expected to pass a bill that would replenish a compensation fund set up shortly after the 2001 terror attacks in New York City and at the Pentagon to compensate first responders who suffered illnesses, injuries and other medical problems as a result of the attacks."

Amazon

In late July 1776, fathers Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Francisco Vélez de Escalante set out from Santa Fe to chart a route to the new Spanish missions in California. The Fransiscans planned to scout the country for mineral wealth and locate the Ute and Navajo tribes for conversion. In present- day Utah, however, the dangers of starvation and hypothermia forced them to turn back. By November the friars were reduced to survival mode: stymied by the raging Colorado River, they had to kill their horses for food.

Berkeley Wellness

Utah State University was awarded a $500,000 three-year Farmers Market Promotion Program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant will fund a variety of capacity-building, outre

ach, and marketing activities that will help connect more low-income and ethnically diverse populations to health local food. 

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

The Tribal and Rural Opioid Initiative was launched by Utah State University Extension in 2018 in an effort to provide effective resources to address opioid use among rural Utahns. The initiative team is working to combat the effects of opioid misuse through prevention, recovery and treatment, with a primary focus on stigma reduction education. Today on Access Utah we preview the summit.

Amazon

George Bird Grinnell, the son of a New York merchant, saw a different future for a nation in the thrall of the Industrial Age. With railroads scarring virgin lands and the formerly vast buffalo herds decimated, the country faced a crossroads: Could it pursue Manifest Destiny without destroying its natural bounty and beauty? The alarm that Grinnell sounded would spark America’s conservation movement. Yet today his name has been forgotten—an omission that John Taliaferro’s commanding biography now sets right with historical care and narrative flair.

World Agriculture Network

We’ve all heard the terms ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ agriculture, but what do those descriptions really mean?

Utah Public Radio explores this question with soil scientist Jennifer Reeve. She presents “What is Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, Anyway?” on Monday, July 15th. 

Credit Town Hall Seattle

Gary Paul Nabhan is an Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author whose work has focused primarily on the interaction of biodiversity and cultural diversity of the arid binational Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement.

 

Amazon

When we encounter conflict with another culture, we get confused, frustrated, offended, or even angry.

Cultural difference has consequences. For thousands of years, cultural difference has led to conflict and wars. But it is also the cause of some of our greatest triumphs as humans and as individuals. In today's global environment, we need to be able to work with people who are different. If we don't, the conflict cycle continues. If we do, we will discover our highest potential.

NearSt

For those who go in search of the isolation, silence and adventure of wild places it is―perhaps ironically―to the man-made shelters that they need to head; the outposts: bothies, bivouacs, cabins and huts. In his new book “Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth,” Dan Richards says that part of their allure is their simplicity: enough architecture to shelter from the weather but not so much as to distract from the immediate environment around.

Amazon

For 12,000 years, people have left a rich record of their experiences in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park. In The Capitol Reef Reader, award-winning author and photographer Stephen Trimble collects the best of this writing—160 years worth of words that capture the spirit of the park and its surrounding landscape in personal narratives, philosophical riffs, and historic and scientific records. 

USU Research and Graduate Studies

Superhero stories have been called the myths of our day, helping us understand who we are and what unites us. Since Superman first leapt tall buildings with a single bound, the vast majority of the characters have been white, straight, men. Movies and television have consistently held to this standard, giving us Han Solo and Luke Skywalker to root for as they rescue Leia. However, in recent years we have seen new faces in popular franchises and behind the masks of our already beloved heroes.

Amazon

The United States Marine Corps has a unique culture that ensures comradery, exacting standards, and readiness to be the first to every fight. Yet even in a group that is known for innovation, culture can push leaders to fall back on ingrained preferences. In her new book “The Marines, Counterinsurgency, and Strategic Culture: Lessons Learned and Lost in America's Wars,” USU Associate Professor of Political Science Jeannie L. Johnson takes a sympathetic but critical look at the Marine Corps's long experience with counterinsurgency warfare.

UC Davis School of Education

Poet Naomi Shihab Nye says “I grew up in Ferguson, Mo. No one ever heard of it, unless you lived elsewhere in St. Louis County. Then my family moved to Palestine – my father’s first home. A friend says, ‘Your parents really picked the garden spots.’ In Ferguson, an invisible line separated white and black communities. In Jerusalem, a no-man’s land separated people, designated by barbed wire.

prairiefiresbook.com

Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls―the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true saga of her life has never been fully told. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser―the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series―masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder’s biography.

Webster University

Yoram Bauman is the world’s first and only stand-up economist. He is co-author of the “Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change” and the two volume “Cartoon Introduction to Economics,” and the 1998 book “Tax Shift,” which helped inspire the revenue-neutral carbon tax in British Columbia. He is campaign co-chair for the new Clean the Darn Air initiative, which supporters are working to get on the ballot in Utah in 2020.

Amazon

Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers, a writer with deep ties to the land who has watched the battles over water intensify even as California lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land, he travels the state to explore the one-of-a-kind distribution system, built in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, that is straining to keep up with California's relentless growth.

University of Toronto Magazine

Have you ever wondered where your dreams come from? Why they’re so hard to remember? Today on Access Utah, we explore the mysteries of the unconscious mind. We'll go over tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, remember more about what you dream, and conjure lucid dreams. 

Allan Peterkin is Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Toronto where  he heads the Program In Health, Arts and Humanities and serves as Humanities Faculty Lead for Undergraduate Medical education and Post-MD Studies.

 

Amazon

“Anointed with Oil” places religion and oil at the center of American history. As prize-winning historian Darren Dochuk reveals, from the earliest discovery of oil in America during the Civil War, citizens saw oil as the nation’s special blessing and its peculiar burden, the source of its prophetic mission in the world.

Utah State University

Native American Culinary Association founder, Chef Nephi Craig, is visiting Utah State University to conduct a series of foods presentations and deliver a lecture on his work with the “Three Sisters” of Native American cuisine—beans, corn and squash—and to teach nutrition and share cultural heritage.   

Along with sharing on indigenous foodways, Craig will meet with folklore, nutrition, and plant, soils and climate students. Craig will give a lecture on March 6 at 3 p.m. at Merrill-Cazier Library in room 101, with a reception to follow.

Amazon

Craving Supernatural Creatures: German Fairy-Tale Figures in American Pop Culture analyzes supernatural creatures in order to demonstrate how German fairy tales treat difference, alterity, and Otherness with terror, distance, and negativity, whereas contemporary North American popular culture adaptations navigate diversity by humanizing and redeeming such figures.

Wikimedia Commons

Michele Anderson says “I am what you might call a ‘homecomer.’ Wendell Berry, the Kentucky writer and farmer, uses that word to describe people who have spent some time away, usually to pursue better opportunities in cities, and then choose to return to their rural roots.” Her recent opinion piece in the New York Times is headlined “Go Home to Your ‘Dying’ Hometown.”

USU Research and Graduate Studies

David Brown is Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Utah State University. A while back he gave a talk in the Science Unwrapped series from the College of Science titled “Artificial Intelligence: Too Late to Stop the Robot Apocalypse?” Professor Brown says “Perhaps ironically, salient technology superstars, like Elon Musk and Bill Gates, and publicly known geniuses, like Stephen Hawking, have spoken out and warned us about the advent of artificial intelligence (AI).

Encyclopedia Britannica

John DeVilbiss writes in USU Magazine, "It flashes like a beacon to millions of birds on migratory marathons. It is a sea in the sand that shimmers lavender in one glance and pale turquoise in another. A place you can go for an entire day without seeing a single soul, yet where two million people live within an hour's drive. It is a lake of paradoxes, said historian Dale Morgan, a liquid lie, said Terry Tempest Williams. The salty truth, however, is that the Great Salt Lake, the largest saline lake in the Western hemisphere, is drying up."

Amazon

In a rural Kenyan village, nineteen-year-old Hannah Blake labors alongside her American parents to provide healthcare for a tight-knit tribal community steeped in culture and tradition. But it is impossible for her to deny her true north—her spiritual connection to the wild creatures of the African savanna.

kobo.com

Over the next several decades, as human populations grow and developing countries become more affluent, the demand for energy will soar. Parts of the energy sector are preparing to meet this demand by increasing renewable energy production, which is necessary to combat climate change. But many renewable energy sources have a large energy sprawl—the amount of land needed to produce energy—which can threaten biodiversity and conservation. Is it possible to meet this rise in energy demand, while still conserving natural places and species?

 

Pages