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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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Idaho State University Geoscientists Study Volcano Plumes

Work has Applications for Calbuco eruptions

April 28, 2015

Released by Idaho State University
Contact: Shannon Kobs Nawotniak, geosciences assistant professor, 282-4634,

POCATELLO – In the morning on April 23, Idaho State University volcanologists were setting off an artificial volcanic eruption plume in a the ISU Volcanic Simulation Laboratory; later that day, using the knowledge they collected in that lab, these scientists were analyzing Chile’s Calbuco volcano eruption, charting the plume’s characteristics.

ISU geosciences assistant professor Shannon Kobs Nawotniak and geosciences Ph.D. student Meghan Fisher have developed methods of understanding how volcanic eruption plumes behave, using an eruption simulation tank in the lab located in the lower level of the ISU Physical Science Building.

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ISU Receives $179,000 IGEM Grant for Project with J.R. Simplot Company to Use Unmanned Aircraft Systems Sensors to Expand Ag Market Opportunities

April 22, 2015

Released by Idaho State University
Contact: Donna Delparte, 282-4419 or

POCATELLO – Idaho State University received a $179,000 grant from the state’s Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) to pursue a project with the J.R. Simplot Company to use unmanned aircraft sensors (UAS) to improve agricultural field productivity and grower profitability.

“The key competitive advantages of this project are high-resolution, high-speed imaging and analysis compared to other systems,” said Donna Delparte, ISU assistant professor of geosciences.  “We will develop processes and algorithms to enhance UAS-based remote sensing data in ways that improve profitability and sustainability for growers.”

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.

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