11 episodes

The Vandal Theory podcast asks, “What gets University of Idaho researchers’ brains buzzing...besides coffee?” These award-winning stories will showcase researchers exploring and solving real-world problems. With interviews and quick updates on all things Vandal, discover the world of U of I research with host Leigh Cooper.

The Vandal Theory University of Idaho

    • Science

The Vandal Theory podcast asks, “What gets University of Idaho researchers’ brains buzzing...besides coffee?” These award-winning stories will showcase researchers exploring and solving real-world problems. With interviews and quick updates on all things Vandal, discover the world of U of I research with host Leigh Cooper.

    Episode 2.8: Jenny Durrin — The Potato Nursery

    Episode 2.8: Jenny Durrin — The Potato Nursery

    “I’m not sure everyone’s aware, but Idaho is known for potatoes… We grow over 322,000 acres of potatoes and produce over a third of the potatoes in the U.S.”

    Meet Jenny Durrin (bit.ly/2OHI1PG), the director of the Seed Potato Germplasm Program at the University of Idaho. Whether we are talking about French fries from McDonald’s or the small purple potatoes you find at farmers markets, 90% of potatoes produced in Idaho can trace their lineage to Jenny’s lab. Picture the lab as a potato nursery. A really sterile potato nursery. In the lab, Jenny is the caretaker of more than 300 varieties of potatoes including new varieties of the tubers produced by researchers at U of I.

    Visit our website uidaho.edu/vandaltheory. Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

    Learn about Idaho’s premier research university, University of Idaho, at uidaho.edu.

    More U of I research:
    College of Engineering students earned top placement in the National Academy of Engineering Global Grand Challenges Summit student competition. Read more (bit.ly/34IXLHF).

    University of Idaho, Idaho Falls computer science graduate students took first place locally in the 2019 U.S. Department of Energy CyberForce Competition. Read more (bit.ly/35NhFRU).

    A University of Idaho-led team of researchers found that experimental fences — including fences made from beehives — reduced the number of times elephants left Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park to raid nearby crops by 80-95%. Read more (bit.ly/2r6DyNk).

    Music:
    “Young Republicans” by Steve Combs (bit.ly/2PsMCpw) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2Ju7MQb).
    “Coffee” by Cambo (bit.ly/2rQgRgw) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2DCpXQn).

    • 22 min
    Episode 2.7: Jon Waterhouse — Modern and Indigenous Science

    Episode 2.7: Jon Waterhouse — Modern and Indigenous Science

    “You’ll hear it at large native gatherings and small native gatherings. Someone will say ‘all my relations.’ What they mean is not…grandma and grandpa. They do mean that, but, when they say ‘all my relations,’ they’re looking out across the entire existence of what we see. The trees. The rocks. The whole works. We have a connection to all that. We’re not separate from the natural system. We’re just part of it.”

    Meet Jon Waterhouse (bit.ly/2R144T1), a research scientist at the University of Idaho and a National Geographic Explorer. Jon has spent much of his time at National Geographic traveling with indigenous peoples from around the world, including the Amazon and Alaska. His goal is to provide a way for indigenous people to gather, record and communicate their place-based science with the wider world. At U of I, Jon will be continuing that work through a project called LINK, which combines virtual technology, modern environmental science and indigenous science.

    Visit our website uidaho.edu/vandaltheory. Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

    Learn about Idaho’s premier research university, University of Idaho, at uidaho.edu.

    More U of I research:
    U of I will begin designing the nation’s largest research dairy, called the Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE). A $1 million gift from the J.R. Simplot Co. brought the university commitment for the project to $10 million. Read more (bit.ly/35uuobO).

    Department of Biological Sciences’ Larry Forney found that measuring the levels of acids and proteins in vaginal fluid may be a non-invasive, cost-effective way to assess the risk for preterm birth due to a short cervix. Read more (bit.ly/2KQWxlO).

    Assistant Professor Dakota Roberson has earned a 2019-20 White House Fellowship and will spend a year working for the U.S. Department of Defense. His expertise in power systems and renewable energy integration led him to the national leadership and public service program. Read more (bit.ly/2XIZxWw).

    Music:
    “Young Republicans” by Steve Combs (bit.ly/2PsMCpw) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2Ju7MQb).
    “Impact Andante” by Kevin MacLeod (bit.ly/2XN8QVa) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2DeR0B9).

    • 24 min
    Episode 2.6: Steve Peterson — The Story of Idaho’s Economy

    Episode 2.6: Steve Peterson — The Story of Idaho’s Economy

    “Our analysis starts with a database, essentially a model of the entire economy. You’re painting a numeric picture of the economy and what the drivers are.”

    Meet Steve Peterson (bit.ly/2O2MFap), an associate clinical professor at the University of Idaho. Steve is an economist who lends his knowledge to regional businesses, non-profits and other organizations. He writes economic assessments for these groups, answering questions like, how much money does the Botanical Garden bring to Boise? Does the Moscow Farmers Market bring in enough money to justify putting in a public restroom? And how many jobs do the five Native American tribes of Idaho bring to the state?

    Visit our website uidaho.edu/vandaltheory. Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

    Learn about Idaho’s premier research university, University of Idaho, at uidaho.edu.

    More U of I research:
    NASA will fund a research proposal to evaluate countermeasures that prevent or ease the signs and symptoms associated with brain and vision problems, which result from space travel. Read more (bit.ly/2O3yl1i).

    The College of Art and Architecture in Boise launched its third Virtual Technology Laboratory. The lab will partner with the Autism Cross-Reality Institute to develop educational, diagnostic and therapeutic tools to aid individuals with autism. Read more (bit.ly/2QBrvSv).

    The University of Idaho was ranked sixth among nearly 300 higher education institutions on the Sustainable Campus Index, a grade published by the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Learn more (bit.ly/2qku5Sh).

    Music:
    “Young Republicans” by Steve Combs (bit.ly/2PsMCpw) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2Ju7MQb).
    “Sun Tan Lines” by Florian Decors (bit.ly/2racnAP) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/33auZOF).

    • 19 min
    Episode 2.5: Dilshani Sarathchandra — Feelings About Risk

    Episode 2.5: Dilshani Sarathchandra — Feelings About Risk

    “Our students would…rationalize their risky behavior by comparing themselves to their peers who they say also take similar actions and have remained safe.”

    Meet Dilshani Sarathchandra (bit.ly/2O7SLFw), an assistant professor at the University of Idaho. Dilshani is a sociologist who studies risk assessment. She focuses not on the calculations behind risk assessment, but how our human emotions and feelings influence what we consider risky behavior. And it turns out we’re really terrible at deciding what is risky behavior and where to put our trust. Dilshani has spent her career studying this odd dichotomy between real and perceived risky behavior, including a number of studies on people’s trust in science and cybersecurity risk among college students.

    Visit our website uidaho.edu/vandaltheory. Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

    Learn about Idaho’s premier research university, University of Idaho, at uidaho.edu.

    More U of I research:
    U of I has identified and cloned a gene that can fend off a major fungal threat to wheat and barley. This genetic advance could lead to new wheat varieties with more dependable yields and reduce the need for pesticides. Learn more (bit.ly/34SoD7O).

    David Ausband published a study on how wolves use the space around the sites where they rear their pups. The study suggests the closer the wolves are related to a litter of pups, the more time they will spend rearing the young. Read more (bit.ly/2Q7M4Wr).

    The U of I wants to create a dynamic new meat science center and a $1 million gift took us one step closer. The new center will expand students’ educational opportunities in animal processing. Learn more (bit.ly/33E6MRM).

    Music:
    “Young Republicans” by Steve Combs (bit.ly/2PsMCpw) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2Ju7MQb).
    “Terminalism” by Phylum Sinter (bit.ly/2p4s1wS) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2rs2M8y).

    • 22 min
    Episode 2.4: Mike Quist — Trailing Steelhead

    Episode 2.4: Mike Quist — Trailing Steelhead

    “The most recent economic data that I could find were for 2011, and both salmon and steelhead fisheries brought in around $90 million to the state…It’s not a trivial part of our economy.”

    Meet Mike Quist (bit.ly/2MUHBnY), an associate professor at the University of Idaho. Mike spends his time at U of I fishing. OK, that’s a bit simplistic. He actually studies fish, including the best ways to manage our fisheries. Fisheries management can be complicated with the involvement of anglers, conservationists, landowners, tribes and all levels of government. For his part, Mike often evaluates and monitors fish populations. He’s recently focused on studying steelhead trout populations in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more (bit.ly/2BQVRrA).

    Visit our website uidaho.edu/vandaltheory. Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

    Learn about Idaho’s premier research university, University of Idaho, at uidaho.edu.

    More U of I research:
    The University of Idaho Advanced Biofuels Lab is partnering with the U.S. Air Force on a project to commercialize a biofuel that doesn’t freeze at high altitudes and has the potential to be carbon-negative. Read more (bit.ly/2Pq2QQc).

    Postdoctoral Associate Jane Lucas published on Azteca alfari ant nests in trumpet trees. The study found that nursery chambers had fewer bacteria species than the rest of the nest. Learn more (bit.ly/2BR8V08).

    U of I’s Richard Christensen was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy grant to support the installation of a NuScale reactor plant simulator. The simulator is a virtual nuclear power plant control room and will be housed at U of I Idaho Falls. Read more (bit.ly/32RHbEA).


    Music:
    “Young Republicans” by Steve Combs (bit.ly/2PsMCpw) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2Ju7MQb).
    “Springish” by Gillicuddy (bit.ly/2NnjwoX) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2Jsljbd).

    • 23 min
    Episode 2.3: Anastasia Telesetsky — Single-Use Plastics

    Episode 2.3: Anastasia Telesetsky — Single-Use Plastics

    “Someone reported that they were finding…single-use plastic bags in the Mariana Trench, which is one of the deepest places in the ocean, and it’s kind of remarkable just how far it’s traveled. And I’m a believer that this is a particular issue that we have social capital around, and we can actually see changes. That we can see behavioral changes.”

    Meet Anastasia Telesetsky, (bit.ly/2Pufm15) a professor of law at the University of Idaho. Anastasia has focused much of her law career on international and environmental law including work on whaling, sustainable fisheries and climate change. Now, she is tackling a new oceanic plague, plastic pollution. Researchers (bit.ly/2qTUy9f) estimate 8 million metric tons (bit.ly/2Wv6mKR) of plastic enter the ocean every year; that’s roughly the weight of 90 aircraft carriers. To help solve the problem, Anastasia proposes an international ban on most single-use plastics.

    Read more at The Conversation (bit.ly/31UL6ix).

    Visit our website uidaho.edu/vandaltheory. Email us at ucm-itunes@uidaho.edu.

    Learn about Idaho’s premier research university, University of Idaho, at www.uidaho.edu.

    More U of I research:
    Katherine Himes and U of I’s James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research have initiated the Idaho Climate-Economy Impacts Assessment, a two-year project to evaluate the economic impact of climate change on Idaho. Read more (bit.ly/34jpo9J).

    Doctoral student Andrew Maguire was awarded the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology fellowship that will support Maguire’s Arctic research on trees. Learn more (bit.ly/2poBXSb).

    Research at U of I often takes place beyond Idaho’s borders. Check out uidaho.edu/explorers2019 to watch five students who, during summer 2019, investigated everything from antelope diets in Mozambique to the logistics of building a boarding school in Togo.

    Music:
    “Young Republicans” by Steve Combs (bit.ly/2PsMCpw) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2Ju7MQb).
    “Assignment” by BoxCat Games (bit.ly/32VFbLg) via freemusicarchive.org, not modified (bit.ly/2PnTgx8).

    • 23 min

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