Hear from our presenters first on INSTEAD

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.

Join USU’s Office of Research Zoom event here: https://usu-edu.zoom.us/j/97993914026.

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.

About Research Landscapes

Evidence-based insights on Utah’s land, water, and air.

We have to know the problem to solve the problem, and Utah State University Research Landscapes is about delivering new and important knowledge to problem solvers in the state. These events provide an entry-point for state and community decision-makers across the Wasatch Front to connect with the researchers who are investigating the most critical issues facing Utah.

With a focus on the state’s most important shared resources — its land, water, and air — each Research Landscapes event features the latest findings by USU researchers, as well as highlights of work being done by other individuals and groups across the state. Our feature presenter discusses the context and connections surrounding the issue, including what has been done in similar circumstances elsewhere, while also recognizing what makes Utah’s circumstances unique.

As our experts develop and detail our challenges, attendees can gain greater clarity for creating solutions. And the events are structured in such a way to encourage conversations and collaboration, with time set aside for a networking social and various opportunities for attendees to engage with researchers.

As the state’s land-grant institution, Utah State University is uniquely situated in the state to help solve Utah’s landscape challenges. To fulfill our statewide mandate, we support networks of bright and committed researchers to respond to state and industry challenges and to provide tools to help optimize our use of Utah’s valuable, but limited, resources.

Ultimately, the purpose of the Research Landscapes initiative is to strengthen the connection between researchers and Utah’s decision-makers, and to create an opportunity for further conversations in the future.

Who should attend

The event is free and open to the public, and anyone is welcomed. Content will be directed toward local and state leaders and community stakeholders who are concerned about and tasked with developing solutions for managing Utah’s shared resources.


Because we want Research Landscapes to be valuable to you, through this symposium series, we plan to deliver on three elements at each presentation: context surrounding land, water, and air; connections between different types of research and researchers; and conversations among experts about these issues.

  • Context

    It’s vital to understand an issue, as well as the context surrounding it, both in time and space. What’s been measured before? What’s being done elsewhere? What are we looking to next? At Research Landscapes, we will provide a curated overview of research that is current, relevant, and significant; importantly, we’ll also provide context — important glimpses of what’s critical in the discipline, in Utah, and around the world.

  • Connections

    None of Utah’s challenges exist in a vacuum, and none of USU’s research lives in a vacuum, either. That is particularly true of issues concerning land, water, and air. We want to provide you the starting links to an entire network of experts — inside and outside of USU — in these critical areas. We’ll highlight other researchers you can connect to who are tackling these issues from different perspectives and disciplines, or those who have crossover with other critical issues.

  • Conversations

    Finally, we’ll begin and conclude each Research Landscapes event with a core tool of collaborative problem solving: conversation. We’ll hold a networking reception where you can meet other USU researchers, policy makers and experts to ask them your specific questions about Utah’s shared resources, and each event will end with a Q&A session.