A local scientist and non-profit founder will take on a new community role

You can call her Dr. Christina Young, founder of the local nonprofit Moab University, completed her postgraduate program and defended her concept last month.

“I feel so good,” she said.

Young focused her doctoral dissertation on Desert Biographies, promoting science access to science and education in the community through Radio Moab radio interviews, live broadcasts, and this newspaper column. She has taken up a new position as an assistant professor of horticulture and natural resources extension at Utah State University, and will continue to pursue science education in landscaping and natural resource management.

Sitting on a desk in her new office on the campus of the University of Moab in Utah, Young described her new role as a “bridge between the university and the community,” making academic research and findings more accessible and useful to the public. Her own background in desert ecology and biological soil can be applied directly to the needs of the community, and she can communicate with other professionals locally and regionally.

Utah “has a lot of potential for cooperation” because the state of Utah has such incredible scientists and experts in various fields. And then, of course, the whole region – not just one university. ”

The young man had already begun to work as a bridge. A few days after the Park Creek fire broke out, she resumed her new job, and the fire immediately gave her an opportunity to start research.

We received a phone call from someone in the Park Creek community saying, “My whole yard is on fire – what should I do?” “While we were here, I realized that in this semi-arid area, we need to think about techniques to stabilize the soil and go veg. Many existing studies provide information on forested areas or wetlands, but there is not much information on climatic conditions such as Moab.

I have compiled some fact sheets on all the best sciences: I am really thinking about here, in our special area, or on a specific type of soil or mountain slope, and what options are available. Plant and soil stability again in this area ”

In the fall, Young is helping to talk to community members about the effects of the fire and discuss needs and possible solutions with soil science and rehabilitation experts. The team hopes to generate ideas and mobilize tools, knowledge and resources to help property owners implement some techniques. Young people and others follow the results of various techniques to see what works best for them and to inform future projects and fire responses.

She said she is discussing with local public land administrators how to better measure the impact of young goblins on ecological impacts.

“We can count the number of people, but we have no idea how much erosion will occur and things like that,” she said.

At the site, she said she will work closely with the city and county, local food producers, to provide information and research on horticulture, water planning and land use.

“This drought is not a joke,” she said. “So we are in the desert, but where we still live, where there are beautiful flowers, and how can food grow here – how do we balance all these needs?”

Special place

The special character of Moab is youthful love. When she was in elementary school in Montana, she first visited Moab during the weekend, fleeing the long northern summer. She became involved in the search for opportunities to return and began working in Moab in 2011 at the US Geological Survey.

She says of Moab: “I loved asking questions about this place and how it works. “What is this desert doing? And how do even plants live here? ”When she began to ask those questions, she realized that many of them did not have the details, the specific answers – a lot of research had to be done, and it still exists.

“There are some important questions,” said the young man. “When you start going into science, you can look around and come up with a million questions.

In her research, Yang wanted to find some information that would help answer some of the questions. She took the greenhouse samples to the greenhouse, tried to water it, and found out what ingredients and quantities they had extracted.

“[Biocrusts] They sleep when they are dry, and when they are wet they wake up again. And when they do, they “drain” some things out of themselves, and that substance may contain things like nitrogen, phosphorus. ” When it rains and those nutrients are released from the bark, the soil below “where there are plant roots, fungi and microbial communities around the roots,” Yang continues, and who they are can turn nutrients into plants.

Young explored ways in which desert rehabilitation efforts could be more successful, and then selected suitable habitats and conditions for the capture and growth of biocides and native plants.

“Arid lands around the world are declining rapidly due to man-made use and climate change,” he said. In degraded arid lands, nutrients are destroyed by cycling and vegetation, and can lead to erosion, invasive species, and wildfires.

“Dry areas are expanding,” Young said. “It’s very important how they work and then we get them to do what we want them to do.”

“All science is repetitive,” she said. “Science never says, ‘This is true, science says,’ We asked this question, and if we were given statistics, this is what we got. ‘ So my work was another small, hopeful piece of information that inspired us to understand how the deserts will work in the future.

Sharing a miracle

While Young was working with the USSR to study the ecology of scientists, she was amazed at what she learned. The knowledge and perspectives of those who study the landscape and its surroundings give her a deep appreciation for the natural world and a sense of awe and joy. She wanted everyone to reach those understandings, and that science inspired her to start Moab.

It enriches the experience of those around you in your own backyard because everyone has to achieve that.

She began by interviewing scientists on a radio program at the local community radio station KZMU and asking them to explain their research.

She remembers. I personally enjoyed talking to all these people and asking any questions I wanted. She also received positive feedback from the community. People told her that they enjoyed the program and that they were learning from it. Other members of the community cheered and participated, helping to create ideas such as taps, a regular event hosted by a presenting scientist at the local bar, and a screen on a sine, a film screened by a scientist analyzing the famous film through a science lens.

Science Moab launches two new programs. One is an internship program for local high school students, which hosts the first hosts of these first competitions, while high school youth and seniors are paired with scientific advisors. Another is the Guide Science Verification Program, through which you can gain in-depth knowledge of a specific area or field so that local external guidelines can be shared with their clients.

The young man has returned from a leadership role in Science Moab to sit on the board. As the new Assistant Extension Assistant Professor, she will be empowered to support and complement the work of Science Moab. She hopes to reach out to other academic centers, such as Dixie State University, to expand similar science promotion programs to other parts of the region beyond Moab.

Science Center

The young man hopes that the name “Moab” will soon evoke the same sense of respect as the “Galapagos Islands” – people associate the four corners of the region with unique and wonderful opportunities for natural scientific research and discovery.

“The Colorado plateau itself is unique,” ​​Young said. The region is located at the intersection of various desert systems, creating unique ecosystems and endemic species that grow above neighboring regions.

“It is also unique because of its indigenous knowledge and the large number of different ethnic groups and communities in the highlands,” Young added. Both are incredibly unique and unique ecosystems, and then a truly rich cultural space.

Colorado’s Plato is also rich in dinosaur bones and other fossils, which provide research opportunities for paleontologists.

The young man’s commitment to scientific research and communication is based on his own sincere interest and joy in the field. As a child, she did not think she was interested in science until she received a bachelor’s degree. She had to complete at least one science degree to meet graduation requirements, and she thought plant space would be easier. Her education prompted her to change her course, and she eventually moved on.

“I owe a lot to that professor,” she laughed, recalling the plant professor who helped her learn the intricacies and mysteries of how plants work. Even when that excitement ignited, she remembered that she was shocked by science. He taught her how to conduct science faithfully.

“There is only one way to enter science,” she said. You do not have to be the same person to understand the world.

As someone who thinks he doesn’t like science in the background, Young may be desperate to foster dialogue between academic scientists and those who feel like strangers in that field.

“Anyone who gives you information – it’s their job, not yours,” she said. They need to connect with you.

She appreciates every opportunity to gain insight from Western, hypothetical, scientific hypotheses and knowledge examples.

“One of the oldest collections is the indigenous knowledge of the Colorado Plateau here,” she said. There is a lot of understanding that different people have in different societies. The more approaches you receive, the better ideas you will generate.

“It is foolish to exclude different kinds of understanding,” she said.


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