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

Yale Environment 360

A recent article in the online magazine Yale Environment 360 is headlined “The West’s Great River Hits Its Limits: Will the Colorado Run Dry?” And the sub-headline: “As the Southwest faces rapid growth and unrelenting drought, the Colorado River is in crisis, with too many demands on its diminishing flow. Now those who depend on the river must confront the hard reality that their supply of Colorado water may be cut off.”

boldaslove.us

Tyehimba Jess is winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book “Olio.” With ambitious manipulations of poetic forms, Jess presents the sweat and story behind America’s blues, worksongs and church hymns. Part fact, part fiction, his much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I.

U of U Press

Reimagining a Place for the Wild contains a diverse collection of personal stories that describe encounters with the remaining wild creatures of the American West and critical essays that reveal wildlife’s essential place in western landscapes. Gleaned from historians, journalists, biologists, ranchers, artists, philosophers, teachers, and conservationists, these narratives expose the complex challenges faced by wild animals and those devoted to understanding them.

USU Office of Research

Over 70% of Americans—and two-thirds of Utahns—think that climate change is happening. Research led by Dr. Peter Howe reveals this statistic, along with much more detailed data about how Americans think about climate change from the national to the local level. Drawing from large surveys of the American public, Dr. Howe’s research has developed statistical methods to map public opinion, risk perceptions, and responses in every state, county, and even neighborhood across the country.

WSU Insider

Bill Lipe is professor emeritus of anthropology at Washington State University. He has spent much of his more than 50 year career in Utah archaeology beginning with the archaeological salvage of Glen Canyon before the dam construction and on into Cedar Mesa where he became a leading scholar in the early Basketmaker agricultural societies of southeastern Utah. Dr. Lipe began his work at a time when there was little federal legislation protecting archaeology or guiding preservation efforts.

USU History Department

Elizabethans lived through a time of cultural collapse and rejuvenation as the impacts of globalization, the religious Reformation, economic and scientific revolutions, wars, and religious dissent forced them to reformulate their ideas of God, nation, society and self. Being Elizabethan portrays how people’s lives were shaped and changed by the tension between a received belief in divine stability and new, destabilizing, ideas about physical and metaphysical truth. 

Twitter: @jmgossard

Julia Gossard, assistant professor of history at Utah State University, says that since thousands of witch trials took place across Europe and North America, one stereotypical image of an early modern woman is that of a witch. Gossard teaches a class called “Witches, Workers, & Wives,” which examines attitudes, ideas, and stereotypes about gender, sexuality, and power - including how the witch became a quintessential early modern trope.

Publishers Weekly

From Anne Lamott, the New York Times-bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow, comes the book we need from her now: How to bring hope back into our lives.

Amazon

Legend Tripping: A Contemporary Legend Casebook explores the practice of legend tripping, wherein individuals or groups travel to a site where a legend is thought to have taken place. Legend tripping is a common informal practice depicted in epics, stories, novels, and film throughout both contemporary and historical vernacular culture. In this collection, contributors show how legend trips can express humanity’s interest in the frontier between life and death and the fascination with the possibility of personal contact with the supernatural or spiritual.
 

Amazon

In his memoir, “The Weight of Shadows,” José Orduña chronicles the process of becoming a North American citizen in a post-9/11 United States. Intractable realities—rooted in the continuity of US imperialism to globalism—form the landscape of Orduña’s daily experience, where the geopolitical meets the quotidian. In one anecdote, he recalls how the only apartment his parents could rent was one that didn’t require signing a lease or running a credit check, where the floors were so crooked he once dropped an orange and watched it roll in six directions before settling in a corner.

The Utah Statesman

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally-funded program through the U.S. Department of Education that was designed to help students prepare for and succeed in college. GEAR UP is a highly competitive grant program that helps empower local partnerships comprised of schools, institutions of higher education, state agencies, and community organizations. 

True West Magazine

An ignored people who, despite all odds, were instrumental in the success of John Wesley Powell's Expeditions. Immortalized in the only existing collection outside the Smithsonian of John Hillers' 116 original 1872 albumen photographs. Now the photos are preserved and this people's incredible story of surviving and thriving in the most inhospitable place in North America can be told.

Amazon

Today on Access Utah, author Margo Mowbray joins us for the hour to discuss two of her books: An Answering Flame and Havoc Red

Basic Books

"What a novel my life has been!" Napoleon once said of himself. Born into a poor family, the callow young man was, by twenty-six, an army general. Seduced by an older woman, his marriage transformed him into a galvanizing military commander. The Pope crowned him as Emperor of the French when he was only thirty-five. Within a few years, he became the effective master of Europe, his power unparalleled in modern history. His downfall was no less dramatic.

Amazon

Walter Link and Miriam Wollaeger, a young geologist couple in 1920s Wisconsin, set out to find oil to supply the surging U.S. demand. This exciting work will allow them to build their lives in South and Central America, Indonesia, and Cuba. But from the first posting in Columbia, they quickly discover that no women are working in the field in these places. While Walter faces the hardships and thrills of exploration in the jungles and mountains, and eventually becomes chief geologist for Standard Oil, Miriam is left behind in the colonial capitals during Walter’s often lengthy times away.

Amazon

New York Times bestselling historian H. W. Brands’ latest book is “Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, The Second Generation of American Giants” It tells the riveting story of how, in nineteenth-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and decide the future of our democracy.

Pixabay: @geralt

Yoga is growing in popularity in the U.S.  There were 36 million practitioners (or ~9% of the population) in 2016, up from 20.4 million in 2012, and 28% of Americans have participated in a yoga class at some point in their lives. (Yoga Journal 2016 U.S. Market Research Study). We’ll talk about Yoga, past, present and future on Tuesday’s Access Utah.

Penguin Random House

Today on Access Utah, as a part of “Our Favorite Books” series, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Willa Cather’s “My Antonia.” Tom Williams’ guests include Cather scholars and USU professors Evelyn Funda and Steve Shively. Funda says that “My Antonia” is fresh and contemporary and raises issues about immigration, assimilation, class and female power that resonate today. We also talk about Funda’s mother, also named Antonia, who escaped her native Czechoslovakia in 1955 as the Communist Iron Curtain closed in.

NPR

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.

Simon & Schuster

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more.

Wikimedia Commons

The Utah Women’s Giving Circle’s upcoming Spring Dialogue is titled “After #MeToo: A New Frontier.” The Utah Women’s Giving Circle says that their members want “to take the awareness generated by #MeToo to drive the conversation forward into solution and a new standard, answering the question,

Wikipedia

Every year for Earth Day, we talk about the earth with writer and photographer Stephen Trimble, author of “Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America,” and many other books. This time, we’ll also be talking to retired Westminster professor David Stanley and former National Park Service naturalist and planner Greer Chesher. All are editors of books in the ongoing National Park Reader Series published by University of Utah Press.

Twitter: @mdlaplante

The world's largest land mammal could help us end cancer. The fastest bird is showing us how to solve a century-old engineering mystery. The oldest tree is giving us insights into climate change. The loudest whale is offering clues about the impact of solar storms.

For a long time, scientists ignored superlative life forms as outliers. Increasingly, though, researchers are coming to see great value in studying plants and animals that exist on the outermost edges of the bell curve.

Unsplash: @perrygrone

We’re heartened by all the good being done in our communities by dedicated individuals and nonprofits. They sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve, and you may want to help but don’t know where and how. Today we’re opening the phone lines, email and Twitter to give you the opportunity to spotlight a nonprofit or individual doing good in your community.

U of U Press

Though photographers Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams were contemporaries and longtime friends, most of their work portrays contrasting subject matter. Lange’s artistic photodocumentation set a new aesthetic standard for social commentary; Adams lit up nature’s wonders with an unfailing eye and preeminent technical skill. That they joined together to photograph Mormons in Utah in the early 1950s for Life magazine may come as a surprise.

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