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Utah State professors collaborate with regional network to improve community resilience

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Colin Flint
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Utah State University is part of the National Science Foundation funded Transformation Network. This network includes eight universities, and over 50 partners across five states all collaborating on ways to improve community resilience. 

Professor Courtney Flint, USU’s lead on the project, said while recent events have taken a toll on communities, the network is taking a glass half full approach.

 

“This is an effort to try to just think positively and harness all of the great energy that's out there to really make some transforming sustainable sort of decisions in the region,” Flint said.

 

The goals of this project include utilizing local and academic knowledge across many disciplines to create sustainable solutions for areas hit by difficult problems such as wildfires or fast growing populations.

 

Team member and professor Jessica Schad said collaboration is key for this project.

 

“The problems that we're experiencing are all interlinked,” Schad said. “Coming up with solutions that account for that, I think this sort of project is needed to do that.”

 

Flint said the project includes knowledge from indigenous sovereign nations, non profit organizations, and businesses as well as academics. This diversity, Schad said, will be at the forefront of the project.

 

“Just making sure that we're not prioritizing a certain way of knowing, and making sure that we bring in diverse voices when we're generating new knowledge,” Schad said.

 

Flint said this collaboration isn’t just helpful for the region as a whole, it will also make a difference close to home.

 

“We'll really be working to try to integrate all of the great findings and innovations from the study areas,” Flint said. “And bring them back to Utah.”

Emma Feuz is a senior at Utah State University majoring in broadcast journalism with minors in sociology and political science. She grew up in Evanston, Wyoming where, just like Utah State, the sagebrush also grows. Emma found her love of writing at an early age and slowly discovered her interest in all things audio and visual throughout her years in school. She is excited to put those passions to use at UPR. When school isn't taking up her time, Emma loves longboarding, cheering on the Denver Broncos, and cleaning the sink at Angies.