On March 11, 2020, Utah State University took action to keep COVID-19 from spreading. Work on this research podcast started the same day.

Presented by USU’s Office of Research, Instead is a digital bridge to span social-distance, allowing you to listen in on conversations with USU researchers and learn how Utah’s researchers move our state forward as new challenges circle the world.

Social distance is nothing new for the program’s host Wyatt Traughber, who grew up in Idaho’s sparsely populated Lost River Valley and moved to Utah for his education in 2013. For more than six years, and while earning a bachelor’s degree in art and a master’s in communication, Wyatt has been buildings bridges between scientists and citizens as the videographer for the Office of Research. Armed with persistence and “stupid questions,” he keeps the conversation light so you can learn while you scrub baseboards, paint walls, walk around the block, or whatever it is you’re doing to stay busy in the quarantine.

A Research Collaboration From Our Recent Guests

On August 11, 2020, Utah State University researchers and Instead guests Jordan Smith, Jessica Schad, and Zach Miller will be presenting at the first Research Landscapes event of the year. The three will discuss the growing pains of rural Utah communities flooded with tourism, how these communities can better manage this influx of people, and the different ways Utah can build the most robust outdoor recreation economy.

Click on the link here to check out the Research Landscapes series and be sure to RSVP for the first virtual event held by USU’s Office of Research.

Jordan Smith
Jordan SmithDirector of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
With the population of Utah growing rapidly, Dr. Smith is doubling down his efforts to ensure the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism improves the quality of life for our Utah residents, and provides outstanding recreational opportunities for tourists.
Jessica Schad
Jessica SchadAssistant Professor of Sociology
Dr. Schad studies the relationship between people and natural amenities. Her work explores the complexities that come along with rapidly changing rural communities. As town residents begin to segregate into “keepers” and “changers,” Dr. Schad searchers to find those connections in the community to bridge the gap between the towns residents.
Zach Miller
Zach MillerAssistant Professor of Environment and Society
Dr. Millers research focuses on park and protected area management, where he uses social science concepts to inform the management of visitor use, enhance strategic communications, and improve human-wildlife relationships.



Join Wyatt Traughber as he learns about Utah & the world through interviewing USU Researchers to find out what’s happening alongside COVID-19. Read a short summary before, during, or after you listen. Learn a little, get informed, and have a good time with us, instead.

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