Research Areas



In order to address Utah's critical water issues, iUTAH has established a statewide network of researchers to explore how variables such as population growth, climate change, and land use affect water sustainability. iUTAH's three research areas focused on:


  • Monitoring the relationship between water and ecosystems
  • Assessing water use behaviors and decisions, and how these influence the urban environment
  • Creating innovative computer models that describe how water demand, infrastructure, and eco-hydrology intersect to affect sustainability

iUTAH Experimental Watersheds:



iUTAH researchers collected climate and water data in three targeted watersheds in Utah to measure aspects of the water cycle in the atmosphere, on land, and in streams along the Wasatch Front.


What is a watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that catches water, stores it, and then releases it. It contains streams and rivers that flow into a single body of water, like a lake or the ocean. As such, watersheds are vital to all life. They provide drinking water, and water for agriculture, industry, and recreation. Because of the importance of water to the state, iUTAH’s research has focused on three of Utah’s most populated watersheds: Red Butte Creek, Logan River, and Provo River, that traverse the landscape from mountain to urban settings.



Research News:


April 10, 2018

Aerial Imagery Gives Insight into Water Trends

iUTAH researcher Bethany Neilson and Tyler King, at Utah State University, have developed a new method to estimate river discharge using aerial imagery gathered from helicopters and drones.   A media release by USU’s Grace Michaelson says Read More...



April 2, 2018

Building Cross-Campus STEM Collaboration in Utah

The iUTAH EPSCoR project has built Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) capacity in Utah through its Research Catalyst Grant (RCG) program. These competitively funded grants targeted faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions Read More...



March 14, 2018

USU's Nancy Huntly Named Ecological Society of America Fellow

iUTAH researcher Nancy Huntly, professor and director of the Ecology Center at Utah State University, have been named a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. She will be one of 28 honorees formally recognized by the ESA, the world’s Read More...



February 23, 2018

Homeowner Preferences Drive Tree Diversity in Salt Lake Valley

iUTAH researchers Diane Pataki from University of Utah and Joanna Endter-Wada from Utah State University have been in the news for their research on tree diversity in Salt Lake Valley.   A media release provided by the University of Read More...



January 31, 2018

Dust on Snow Controls Springtime River Rise in West

  A coating of dust on snow speeds the pace of snowmelt in the spring. Credit: NASA   University of Utah and iUTAH researcher McKenzie Skiles has been in the news for her contribution to research on the effects of dust on mountain Read More...