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ISU, NuMat, Inc., EJ Proprietary Property Company receive $700K IGEM grant for the development of specialized crystal materials

POCATELLO – Idaho State University and partners NuMat, Inc. and EJ Proprietary Property Company have received a $700,000 grant from the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM).

The grant was awarded through the Idaho State Board of Education’s Higher Education Research Council to purchase specialized equipment to use in the development, characterization and fabrication of crystal materials for use in academic, industrial and government settings.

IGEM’s mission is to create new enterprises and high-paying, knowledge-based economy jobs by increasing strategic areas of research and development through targeted partnerships among industry, higher education and government that leverage new and existing resources.


Once installed in the ISU Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering (RISE) Complex in Pocatello, ISU will use the equipment to conduct research, funded by NuMat, which will lead to the development of advanced technologies and the creation of jobs.

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ISU/NASA Develop Tool to Track Cheatgrass, Monitor Potential Wildfire Hazard

POCATELLO – Idaho State University and NASA researchers teaming up with the Bureau of Land Management used satellite imagery to identify increased wildfire susceptibility due to the invasion of cheatgrass on rangelands.The Idaho Disasters III Project Team working at ISU’s GIS TraiISU_NASACheatgrassMapning and Research Center, one of only eight regional NASA DEVELOP Nodes in the United States, created reliable map images that BLM managers can use to identify cheatgrass infested areas. The map covers a large swath of eastern Idaho.

The researchers have been using new imagery collected by the Landsat 8 satellite, a collaboration between NASA and United States Geological Survey, which was launched in February 2013.
“By using Landsat 8 imagery, and classification tree analysis, which is an advanced artificial intelligence routine, we have been able to construct a reliable classification system to identify cheatgrass infestations that is accurate,” said Keith Weber, director of the ISU GIS Center. “This has implications for fire susceptibility. Cheatgrass is driving wildfire on rangelands and we need to identify areas that have heightened susceptibility to wildfire.”

The new maps have a variety of uses. Land managers can use this type of information to plan prescribed fires, fuel treatments, and other wildfire prevention/rehabilitation programs. In addition, the models may be used to assess the overall land health.
“These images are incredibly helpful for us,” said Shelli Mavor, fire ecologist for the BLM Pocatello Field Office. “We can use this tool for burn recovery and habitat restoration. This will also be a very useful tool for sage grouse habitat rehabilitation and planning.”

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Idaho State University Gibson Jack Creek RNA study on how plants process water has implications for climate change, water management

A solar panel sits near the top of a Douglas Fir tree about 70 feet off the ground somewhere on a steep ridge near Gibson Jack Creek, miles from the nearest trailhead.

“You know those things you enjoy as a child sometimes have applications afterwards,” said John Whiting, an Idaho State University geosciences master’s student, who has accompanied a group of ISU researchers to a study site where he climbed the tree and installed the solar panel about a year ago.

“I usually do the tree climbing, because I am most comfortable with it,” Whiting continued, “I am relatively safe and I usually use a harness, but Sarah doesn’t even like watching me install them.”

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Pocatello, Idaho, 83209