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From the President

Energy, Medicine, the Environment and ISU

Idaho State University approaches challenges and solutions in three primary arenas: energy, medicine and the environment. Each of these areas overlap and create new realms for exploration and development.

For instance, in the overlap of medicine and energy you might find our work with producing medical isotopes. Using technologies typically associated with energy ó particle accelerators ó we are finding great promise for imaging and treatment in health. You can read more about Professor Doug Wells and the Idaho Accelerator Centerís work in this issue.

Similarly, we cannot talk about energy needs today without considering the environment. Both the source and byproducts of our energy sources are inextricably connected to the environment. Alternative energy sources, such as those studied at the recently completed Center for Advanced Energy Studies, promise to fuel us for the centuries to come. Alumni like John Prescott recognize this great challenge and want to promote clean, renewable energy sources. Researchers like Professor Tim Magnuson are searching for ways to convert agricultural waste into ethanol, solving concerns about cleaning up pollution while simultaneously producing new energy.

No one can deny the impact the environment has on our health, either. We know that we are only as healthy as the world in which we live, and researchers studying everything from stream ecology to climate change to urbanization find the connections.

It is no mistake that the new national administration is focused on the same areas. These are issues that define our era and will determine how we will thrive or struggle as a nation, a world and humankind in the coming generations. Showing leadership in a time of crisis is what we need to do as an institution. We are realigning the pastís focus on manufacturing and building a base of knowledge through research and development.

That base provides the foundation for economic recovery, too. Both the public and private sectors are deeply interested in what happens in energy, health care and the environment. They want knowledge, technology and human capital. The pressing crises in health care reveal the need to grow the number of people who have a sound education accompanied by experience and insight. Training is not enough; the world needs research to produce true education.

That is what we are doing at Idaho State University. We are driving economic development in the state of Idaho, and contributing to national and global recovery as well.

Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University