Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
New website highlights Utah science

‘We want to engage people who don’t automatically gravitate to science,’ writer says.

First Published Oct 22 2012 01:01 am • Last Updated Oct 22 2012 11:30 am

A multimedia website highlighting science in Utah goes live Monday, providing a new outlet for science journalism.

Explore Utah Science is the brainchild of Salt Lake City writers Julie Kiefer and Kim Schuske, who landed a grant from the National Association of Science Writers to develop their idea for a site that "uncovers science stories that matter to Utahns."

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"In these tough times for media we are providing employment for freelancers out there," Kiefer said of the site at http://www.exploreutahscience.org.

For the inaugural content, Schuske, who left the lab to be a science communicator, has produced a radio piece on managing wolf populations, which may be returning to Utah.

Kiefer profiles Hogle zookeeper Bobbi Gordon with a-day-in-the-life treatment, while arboreal enthusiast Ross Chambless wrote the anchor piece on the pine bark beetle infestation in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Chambless is a recent graduate of the University of Utah’s environmental humanities program and is now the planting coordinator with TreeUtah.

The site will feature fresh stories on Mondays and Thursdays, and some of the material will be pitched to broadcast partner KCPW, 88.3 FM, for airing.

"With the way science literacy is headed these days, this is a welcome development," said Lee Siegel, a U. science news specialist who serves on Explore Utah Science’s advisory board.

Both founders have day jobs doing outreach for U. research units. But the site is structured to be independent, although some of its content will highlight U. science and technology.

"We can’t ignore the University of Utah because it’s such a research power house, but we’ve built in mechanisms to deal with conflicts of interest," said Kiefer, who works for the U.’s Brain Institute.


story continues below
story continues below

Kiefer will avoid editing stories related to neuroscience and Schuske will avoid editing ones connected to the U. biology department, where she once held a faculty appointment as a research assistant professor.

The producers are angling for sponsors to help sustain the site after they exhaust their $35,000 seed grant. So far they have landed Utah attorney Patrick Shea, who has long championed bringing science into the public arena.

Explore Utah Science is divided into sections devoted to news, original topical features, education and the arts.

One of the site’s features is a radio story Schuske produced on paintings by Hogle Zoo’s four orangutans.

"We want to engage people who don’t automatically gravitate to science; that’s why we created the arts page. There are different ways to think about science," Kiefer said.

The main science section is organized around the themes of technology, environment, energy, science and society, health, life and space.

The site also features a blog, a calendar for science-related events (don’t miss Moab’s Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival on Saturday), a Spanish-language section and an e-newsletter. Those who sign up will receive a weekly digest on Thursdays.

bmaffly@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.