External Engagement


iUTAH’s external engagement programs advance our goals of promoting a diverse, well-prepared STEM workforce and a scientifically literate public regarding water issues in Utah. We support citizen science, museum partnerships, public radio series, school programs, teacher trainings, and other outreach activities to engage Utah residents in the science and sustainability of water resources.




While iUTAH maintains an outreach staff of its own, much of our work is accomplished through partnerships with existing educational entities. This allows us to reach audiences that other groups have already built, while contributing our resources to enhance those organizations’ programs. For example:


  • iUTAH’s citizen science program:
    Utah Water Watch, educates and engages citizens in the monitoring of Utah’s streams and lakes through a collaboration with USU Water Quality Extension and the Utah Division of Water Quality.



  • Student Engagement:

    Public school students from grades K-12 have learned about water through activities developed in partnership between iUTAH, university faculty, and school districts. For example, 4th-graders at Rose Park Elementary School were able to take part in a weekly Jordan River monitoring program funded by iUTAH in 2015, and students from around the Salt Lake metro area are visiting the University of Utah to learn about Red Butte Creek. One of our programs, iUTAH Water Girls, encourages middle school girls to remain involved in science by engaging them in a water-focused field course led entirely by women scientists. Another program, using Water Runs Through This Book brings author/educator Nancy Bo Flood into libraries, classrooms, museums, and teacher workshops in Utah.


    Public school teachers learn about water research, and how to incorporate it into their curricula, through the weeklong iUTAH Summer Institute, a partnership with the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah. Another partnership with the Natural History Museum of Utah, Taking Learning Outdoors, helps elementary and middle school teachers gain confidence in using the outdoors as a classroom setting for student learning across the curriculum.


    iUTAH’s outreach staff participate in community and educational events across the state in partnership with programs such as Weber State University’s Intermountain Sustainability Summit, Utah State University’s “Science Unwrapped” family-oriented science series, and the GIS Day event at Utah Valley University.


EOD Innovation Awards

iUTAH’s Education, Outreach & Diversity Innovation Awards program was developed to expand iUTAH’s external engagement efforts in Utah.  The program provides small grants that allow schools and nonprofits to increase their outreach capacity on water issues. For example, in 2015 the awards supported new educational materials at the Natural History Museum of Utah; The Leonardo, Salt Lake City’s downtown science and technology museum; and the Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History at Southern Utah University. Also funded were The Source radio series on Utah Public Radio, the iUTAH WaterGirls program developed by Salt Lake Community College, and public school programs at Salt Lake City’s Rose Park Elementary School and the University of Utah.



External Engagement News and Highlights:

December 3, 2015

2015 Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium Honors

The 9th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium took place on November 18 - 19, in West Valley City, UT. This year’s conference included water quality experts, policy makers, environmental advocates, industry, academics, students, Read More...



June 9, 2015

Learning What People Want to Know About Water

iUTAH and USU’s ENVS 6410 Translational Ecology course are developing a web page that will help people find answers to the questions they have about water sustainability in Utah. At Science Unwrapped they asked people to take a survey that Read More...



June 2, 2015

Incubating Transformations

Michelle Baker, Jeff Horsburgh, Dan Bedford, Rita Teutonico and Stephanie Mitts participated in the NSF Incubating Transformations event on April 15, 2015. They presented on the importance of EPSCoR in transforming the research culture within the Read More...



May 13, 2015

Taking Learning Outdoors Workshop

March 14 marked the day of iUTAH’s spring Taking Learning Outdoors Workshop at the Ogden Nature Center.  Teachers investigated and measured water quality from various water bodies around the property, honed their bird watching skills, Read More...



March 11, 2015

iUTAH at Science Unwrapped

This month’s Science Unwrapped tackled the topic of Utah wetlands and the invasive Phragmites plant. iUTAH had a booth at the event with a simple experiment to explain the importance of wetlands in the Great Salt Lake ecosystem. We demonstrated Read More...