utah public radio

UPR Takes Home 18 SPJ Awards

Aug 6, 2021
Erin Cox

The staff of Utah Public Radio received 18 awards at the 2021 Utah Headliners Society of Professional Journalists Awards. You can listen to the award winning stories here:

Images of Morrison's bumble bee, western cicada killer, and spider wasp by Dr. Joseph Wilson. Image of Asian giant hornet by Wikimedia.

Dr. Joseph Wilson knows a little something about Vespa mandarinia, the species commonly called the Asian giant hornet

Utah farmers and ranchers struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic can apply for up to $40,000 in grants from the Utah Conservation Commission as part of federal relief funding headed under the CARES Act.


Utah’s own Space Dynamics Laboratory is working with NASA to find clues that could give more insight into the big questions about where we come from.


Utah’s Space Dynamics Laboratory recently delivered a test version of a satellite sub-unit to NASA that will measure the movements of microscopic creatures within Earth’s oceans from space. The Space Dynamics Laboratory is an affiliate lab to Utah State University and is working on a sub-unit of the PACE spacecraft, which NASA will launch into space in 2022. PACE stands for Plankton Aerosol Cloud Ocean Ecosystem.

Standard Examiner

The American Lung Association recently released their annual State of the Air report.

Will Barrett is the Director of Clean Air advocacy for the American Lung Association.

“Nearly half of Americans live in counties that have unhealthy ozone or particle pollution.  Unfortunately that includes about two and a half million people in the Salt Lake City region," Barrett said.

Beware Of Financial Scams Related To Stimulus Checks

Apr 16, 2020





Assistant Special Agent In Charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch of the IRS Tyler Hatcher is all too aware of the methods criminals use to scam Americans.


There are guidelines on the income restrictions available at the IRS website in relation to the coronavirus stimulus checks the United States government will be sending out, but most Americans will qualify for the money.


Many groups are working to develop antibody tests as part of the effort to aid doctors in the fight against COVID-19, including a northern Utah biomedical company.

UServeUtah Soliciting PPE Donations

Apr 8, 2020

State officials are accepting donations of personal protective equipment, or PPE, such as masks and gloves, to be distributed to healthcare workers across the state. Mike Moon is the associate director at UServeUtah, the state agency that is organizing the effort.  

University of Utah

Scientists at the University of Utah recently received funding to contribute to the fight against the spread of Covid 19.

“This grant is studying mucus and it’s interactions with coronaviruses," said Dr. Jessica Kramer, and you heard right.  She is studying how coronaviruses interact with mucus.

The Times of Israel

Businesses and organizations around the state are shuttering their doors in response to mandates to stay at home during the COVID-19 crisis.

LA Johnson/NPR

Hate crimes against Asian and Asian-American individuals are increasing in frequency and intensity in the United States as the spread of the coronavirus increases.





Utah’s food banks, which already feed thousands of hungry people a day, are facing high demand and major challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic. Some reports in recent days say mobile pantries operated by the Utah Food Bank have run out before serving everyone in line, and many volunteers have been scared away by the coronavirus crisis. 

Utah State University

Administrators at Utah State University are increasing efforts to fight global climate change by finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sooner. In 2007, USU announced the campus would become carbon neutral by 2050. Members of the USU Greenhouse Gas Reduction Committee recently announced plans are underway to make even more changes and to do it before the 2050 deadline.

Ashley Rohde

Spring is almost here and many Utahns will take advantage of the warmer weather to get in just a few more ski days.  However, experts at the Utah Avalanche Center say avalanche dangers will change along with the season.

gonzales2010 / flickr

On Wednesday, the Utah State University Honors Program held the 44th Annual Last Lecture – a tradition where a distinguished professor is nominated to give a talk as if it were their last presentation at USU.

Rachel Kubina

The Navajo sandstone is one of Utah’s most iconic rock formations, with its massive white-pink cliffs strikingly visible in Zion and other national parks and monuments. Deposited during the Jurassic time period, these sandstones tell us the story of a major turning point in Earth’s history when fertile lands turned into an immense desert – in a process called desertification. 

Amanda DeRito / Utah State University


Last spring, while trying to work on the emergency alert system, Utah State University sent out a false active shooter alert to students, faculty and families. The university’s executive director of public safety Earl Morris explained that the institution has since made it their goal to finalize updates for a better emergency alert system.


Beginning August 28, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be adding rotenone to several lakes and streams in the Eastern Uinta Mountains aimed at helping eliminate invasive species that threaten the populations of Colorado River Cutthroat trout. 

Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr

The Utah Rail Passengers Association announced this week that they disapprove of the current proposal for the Uinta Basin Railway presented by the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition, a rail line intended to expand the economy of the Uinta Basin. 

Bureau of Land Management

As wildfires are becoming larger and more frequent across the nation, scientists are interested in the potential impacts smoke emissions may have on the atmosphere and air quality. 

_ChrisUK / Flickr

Utah State University’s Synthetic Spider Silk Laboratory is using CRISPR technology to edit the DNA of silkworms in order to increase the strength and elasticity of their silk. Their DNA will contain strands from silk spiders, who are known for their incredibly strong silk. 

Gabriel Ugueto

If you have ever traveled to southeastern Utah, you may have noticed a greenish-colored rock formation sandwiched between the monumental red rocks. This green mudstone is part of the Morrison Formation, a distinct rock layer spread across the western United States. 

Gillian Allard, FAO of United Nations / Bugwood.org

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is warning Utahns not to transport firewood across state lines because the wood could be harboring invasive insects. 

Zach Gompert / iNaturalist

Utah State University biology professors wants to engage the community with a unique citizen science project aiming to explore interactions between insects and alfalfa plants. 

Peter Padelsky / USFWS / Flickr

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge near Brigham City is applying for an Urban Night Sky Place designation through the International Dark Sky Association. The wildlife refuge hopes this designation will set an example for other places in Utah to minimize light pollution.

Joseph Alleman

Local art studio Jump the Moon is hosting a series of monthly professional demonstration nights to help raise money for their unique nonprofit organization that aims to make art more accessible to those with mental and physical challenges. These monthly events will allow participants to learn new art skills from professional artists.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Last year, the Dollar Ridge Fire in Ashley National Forest burned over 100 square miles of land in Utah, including several state wildlife management areas, destroying several guzzlers that help supply water for wildlife during the dry season. 

Kent Sutcliffe / NRCS

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) recently released the Utah Water Supply Report for spring, revealing that reservoir levels across Utah are significantly above average this year and approaching capacity. This information is especially important for dam managers and water conservation districts who distribute water to their water users.