September 24, 2008
Dear Friend of Idaho State University:
Scientists at Idaho State University are finding evidence that climate change is affecting Idaho. They predict that it is likely to have even greater impact in the future.
"There is a big, red bull's-eye on our area," says biological sciences assistant professor Colden Baxter, Ph.D., "because it is expected to be strongly affected in various ways by changing climate."
Dr. Baxter and four other Idaho State University professors are leading ISU's role in a collaborative climate-change study that the National Science Foundation will fund with a $15 million, five-year grant.
In the sort of partnership that we are likely to see more of in the future, ISU, the University of Idaho and Boise State University worked together to obtain the grant. An integrated team of ecologists, hydrologists and geologists from the three universities will conduct the study.
The project will focus on estimating the impacts of possible climate scenarios on water supplies, biological systems and human activities in the Salmon River watershed and eastern Snake River Plain aquifer.
Idaho State University has decades of experience conducting research in both the Salmon River watershed and the eastern Snake River Plain. That background will provide a long-term perspective on how Idaho has changed, and how it may change as the climate warms.
In other ISU news:
- To address the urgent need for information-technology specialists in the health care industry, our College of Business has launched Idaho's only Bachelor of Business Administration degree in health care information systems management. Graduates will be prepared to work in hospitals, health clinics, physician offices and other health-related organizations.
- On the theme "Connecting Our Past and Preparing for Our Future," the College of Education on Sept. 10–11 celebrated 115 years of preparing professional educators. Rooted in the old Albion State Normal School, Education also marked 50 years as a designated college.
- The State of Idaho has provided funding for ISU's Institute of Rural Health to establish a nationally accredited Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline. Ann Kirkwood, ISU-Boise senior research associate, will lead the project. Trained crisis operators, based at ISU campuses in Boise and Pocatello, will answer calls 24/7. Staffed by master's and doctoral students from our Department of Counseling, it should be operational in September 2009. Idaho's suicide rate is among the nation's highest.
- In Meridian, renovation is continuing on our new health-sciences building in the city's Health-Sciences Technology Corridor. Crews will begin constructing classrooms, administrative offices, clinics and laboratories in October. ISU's Boise faculty and staff are scheduled to move in next August, in time for fall 2009 classes.
The Meridian building will house more than 20 undergraduate and graduate programs, including: pharmacy, physician-assistant studies, nursing, dental hygiene, clinical lab sciences, speech-language pathology, and a human-patient simulation laboratory.
These developments demonstrate the breadth and diversity of Idaho State University's scholarship and service. They demonstrate as well the relevance of our work to Idaho, the nation and the world.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University