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Revisiting The Disappearing Great Salt Lake With Wayne Wurtsbaugh On Monday's Access Utah

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."

Wayne Wurtsbaugh is a Professor Emeritus of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University. He received graduate degrees and post-doctoral experience at the University of California, Davis and Oregon State University. Since coming to USU in 1983 he has done research throughout the western United States, Peru, Argentina, Switzerland and Spain. He has broad experience in fish ecology and limnology. His research takes a holistic view of aquatic ecosystems, analyzing how nutrients, algae, invertebrates, fish and birds interact and are influenced by anthropogenic factors. One of his recent projects involves studying how eutrophication and metal pollution in the Great Salt Lake influence brine shrimp and brine fly ecology. 


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.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.