About 50% of irrigation water is wasted according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And with the West being in the midst of a megadrought, this is obviously a concern.
Smart sprinklers which adapt applications to local weather conditions can be part of the solution, but spatial analysis of soil water patterns and grass health hold the key to reducing wasted irrigation water. Despite what most think, applying more water is not always the solution to poor grass health. Says Dr. Kerry, a BYU geography professor, “We generally think; ‘oh, the grass is looking dead, put water on it,’ and that’s not always the solution. Our analysis helps us say; ‘this spot needs more water, but in another place, you may need to apply some fertilizer, or you may need to aerate.’”
Along with her colleagues and students, Dr. Kerry has been involved in research examining patterns in soil moisture and grass health on-campus fields to determine ways Utahns can more effectively use water and combat the ongoing megadrought.
Over the course of a year, Dr. Kerry and her students surveyed fields with moisture probes, electrical conductivity meters, and drones to map the water content and the health of the grass. The results were somewhat unexpected in places. “These surveys are helping us understand what factors are causing the dead grass in different places. Soils are not always wettest at the bottom of slopes and; there are places where there is too much water and grass health is poor.”
She further shared, “We are using spatial analysis to determine optimal irrigation zones and have installed sensors in these zones to tell us about the timing of the irrigation and how much water is needed for individual irrigation events.”
Dr. Kerry concludes, “If you are going to apply water efficiently, you need to know how your field varies spatially. You can determine spatial patterns quite inexpensively.” Her research has shown that simple/inexpensive measures of soil moisture can indicate spatial patterns. She suggests that homeowners with grass take simple measures like touching the ground and mapping out where it feels wet or dry; “That can give you a good indication of where to water or not.”
Dr. Ruth Kerry grew up in the United Kingdom, where she completed her studies, including a Ph.D. in precision agriculture from the University of Reading in 2004. She specializes in soil spatial analysis and land evaluation, and precision agriculture. She was previously an affiliate assistant professor at Auburn University. She and her husband are the parents of five children with her oldest just starting at BYU.
Last Thursday, the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences awarded Geography Alum R. Clayton Brough with the Alumni Achievement Award. Brough is a graduate of the College’s bachelor (‘73) and masters (‘75) programs of geography, though with the ease and eloquence that he delivered his lecture it was evident that he’d had many years of practice in front of cameras and crowds as a schoolteacher and weekend climatologist for ABC 4. Brough shared with us valuable lessons accompanied by entertaining anecdotes of his life, while bringing an encouraging spirit into the room during his lecture “5 Lessons I’ve Learned in 50 Years.”
Lesson 1: Think Carefully before You Agree to the
Wishes of Others
In opposition to the culture of ‘sending
it,’ Brough encourages his listeners to “not push send until you’ve thought of
the end.” Giving us a very real and very comical example of a mistake he made
while here at BYU that led to people believing he had married his sister,
Brough reminded us that even innocent good deeds could not end well if the end
is not thought through first.
Lesson 2: Don’t Leave Home without a GPS Receiver
Throwing it back to the good ol’ days of
no Google, no Siri, and a hard-to-read paper map, Brough related his experience
as a young Geography student to the importance of remembering to take our
spiritual guides with us wherever we go. On an assignment to map Utah County, Brough
and partner accidentally found themselves in the middle of the Dugway Proving
Ground, a military training area where new tactics and technology are tested. Whether
it be the still small voice or the strict direction of Siri, sometimes in life
it takes a couple of wrong turns in life to realize how important it is to have
a way to get back to the right place.
Lesson 3: Nourish a Good and Clean Sense of Humor
A good sense of humor is not just a fun
personality trait, but was extremely beneficial for Brough when he dealt with
negative comments during his time as a forecaster. Brough emphasized the
importance of being nice, and, again, thinking before you send.
Lesson 4: Find Happiness through Serving Others Including Those on
Both Sides of the Veil
The cheerful buzz in the room paused for
just one moment as Brough recalled the cancer diagnosis of both he and his son.
Brough, however, is grateful for the opportunity he had to reprioritize the things
in his life. Cancer caused him to slow down and appreciate his family and the
eternal significance of everything in this life. This focus sparked Brough’s
passion for genealogy and family history work, something he and his wife Ethel
Mickelson now do together.
Lesson 5: If You want to be Successful, Dream Big, Work Hard, and Pray
Brough spent 30 years working with students and in that time learned that we must allow even the youngest students to dream big and think outside the box. Students at Eisenhower Junior High proved to be a testament of that as the holders of seven world records. A feat made possible by a handful of creativity, a spoonful of studiousness, and a dash of daring dreams.
Clayton Brough ended as he started, encouraging us to keep a sense of humor and remember to serve. Brough has since retired and now works at the Counselling Center at Copper Hills High School in West Jordan, Utah.
In 1975, when Robert Clayton Brough was graduating with his masters in geography, BYU was celebrating its centennial birthday. On October 17, BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences will be celebrating the life and achievements of R. Clayton Brough. Though Brough will be receiving an award from the College for distinguished achievements in his studies of geography, majority of Brough’s career was spent as an educator. For over thirty years, Brough taught Taylorsville middle school students geography, journalism, and science. The David O. McKay School of Education has also recognized Brough for the lives he touched throughout his career as a teacher. Brough will be giving his lecture Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 11 a.m. in 250 KMBL.
Brough taught people both in and out of the classroom. While most people use the weekend to relax after a taxing 9-5 week, Brough spent his time out of the classroom informing the people of Utah of the weather. For twenty-eight years, Clayton Brough served the citizens of Utah with a sunny smile as the weekend broadcast climatologist for ABC 4. A bright and lovable TV personality elevated Brough to something of a local celebrity, known best for his weekend spots and special 8-14 day forecast. This two-week glance proved helpful for Utahns in seemingly unpredictable seasonal weather.
Brough’s geographic background no doubt contributed to his success as a meteorologist and climatologist. He has held numerous board positions as a climatologist including the Vice President of the American Geographical Research Corporation of Utah, an organization dedicated to studying regional climates. Brough credits Dr. Richard H. Jackson and Dr. Dale J. Stevens, two BYU alum and geography professors Brough had during his time here as a student, for teaching him how to successfully interact with his students and inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams. Though Brough attributes these professors for helping his teaching career, they’re influence undoubtedly contributed to Brough’s own dedication to scholarly excellence. Years after his graduation, Brough came back to school and researched Utah climate with faculty members at BYU and Utah State University. Since then, he has published multiple scientific articles discussing the climate and geography of Utah. Brough’s degree did not limit his interest to education and climate. With a passion for his faith and family history, Brough has also published more than thirty articles relating to genealogy.
Genealogy is truly a passion of Brough’s. He has served four different times as Chief Genealogist for the Brough Family Organization, one of the world’s largest and oldest non-profit ancestral family organizations and surname associations. Brough has also served as secretary of the LDS Ancestral Families Association and was a member of the International Genealogy Consumer Organization for fourteen years. Of course, Broughs own direct family is of the greatest importance to him. His last night on air he stated that his leaving would fulfil his wish to “conserve my energy, preserve my health, and spend more time with my wife, children, and grandchildren.” Broughs immediate family consists of over a dozen grandchildren, four children, and his wife, Ethel Mickelson, of over forty-five years.
The college is honoring Clayton Brough for his academic achievements, though the rest of his life has truly been a model of the age-old saying “life is what you make it. Not only is Brough a cancer survivor, returned missionary, and an Eagle Scout, his teaching career was uniquely filled with the breaking of numerous Guinness World Records that he achieved with his students and coworkers. Amongst Eisenhower Junior High’s collection of records were World’s Largest Pan Loaf, World’s Longest Paperclip Chain, and World’s Fastest and Largest Human Mattress Dominoes. Eisenhower also held the record for most records held by one group. These record-beating feats were not all fun and games, Eisenhower teachers reported that they taught “teamwork, logistics, [and] problem-solving” to the students. Join us Thursday, October 17 to listen to Clayton Brough discuss his studies, world records, and more in his lecture “5 things I’ve Learned in 50 Years”.
With recent hurricanes and specifically the tsunami in Palu, Indonesia, we’re reminded yet again of the devastating impact that natural disasters have on individuals and families across the world.
BYU Geography professor Chad Emmett is taking action to make sure that no matter how devastating earthquakes and tsunamis can be, lives do not have to be lost in the process.
Evaluate (and recognize) regional risk
Indonesia is at a high risk of earthquakes and tsunamis because of its location on the Ring of Fire where several tectonic plates collide. Add this risk to limited infrastructure and a lack of uniform tsunami education and evacuation plans, and the potential damage is astronomical.
Since the 2004 Aceh tsunami, national and local disaster mitigation agencies across the Southeast Asia country have worked to better prepare Indonesians against tsunami risk by putting up evacuation signs, designating gathering places, building tsunami evacuation buildings, offering training and holding evacuation drills. What hasn’t been done, however, is emphasizing the need for individuals to know the signs of tsunamis and the need for individuals to act on their own to save their lives.
“The tsunami monitors and sirens did not work in Palu,” notes Emmett in regards to the catastrophic aftermath of the recent tsunami. “At the first shaking of the earth, people should have instinctively headed to higher ground.”
Emmett has been involved in research in Indonesia over the past 18 years. While the majority of his studies focus on Christian-Muslim relations and the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Indonesia, more recently Emmett has worked with BYU Geology professor Ron Harris to collaborate on an interdisciplinary study looking at tsunami mitigation and training efforts in the country.
Educating for a better-prepared future
During the summers of 2016 and 2017, Emmett and a group of BYU and UVU students and faculty (funded by Geoscientists without Borders) traveled the more than 9,000 miles to Indonesia to perform critical research and carry out essential education in regards to tsunamis.
With the end of the spring/summer terms comes another inspiring graduating class of Cougars.
The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences boasts some of the best and brightest of the more than 30,000 students who walk across campus each year. This graduation, we celebrate the almost 400 FHSS graduates and their studies, efforts and experiences that are helping families, individuals and communities thrive. From Orem, Utah, to Tokyo, Japan, our graduates act as forces for good across the county and world.
Check out these adventurous, ambitious, and world-changing valedictorians:
Alexander Baxter, a psychology major, loves studying monkeys. As a sophomore, Alexander started working in Dr. Dee Higley’s nonhuman primate research lab. In conjunction with Dr. Daniel Kay, he studied mother-infant attachment and infant sleep development. Alexander went on a summer internship to the California National Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis. While there, he collected data for his own project of studying prenatal testosterone exposure. He loved the experience so much that he spent the rest of his time at BYU in Dr. Higley’s lab, and went on the internship two more times to collect data. Alexander presented his research with Dr. Higley at four professional conferences, six undergraduate research conferences, and published two first-authored research papers in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to studying attachment and social relationships in monkeys, Alexander also studied similar topics regarding humans, under the mentorship of Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad. Through the connections he made on his internship, Alexander was accepted into the biological psychology PhD program at UC Davis, and will continue doing research at the Primate Center. He is grateful for Elizabeth Wood, his lab manager and friend, and for Dr. Higley, his mentor. He will always remember Dr. Higley’s most important lesson: the people you work with are more important than the data they help you collect.
Berklee Annell Baum is a teaching social science major with minors in both history and teaching English as a second language. She grew up in Orem, Utah, and served a mission in Los Angeles, California. Berklee has always had a passion for learning about history and culture. During her education at BYU, she participated in a social work internship in Italy and was able to do historical research in Germany, Poland, and Austria. She was a member of Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society, which gave her
BYU is famous for many things: Cosmo the Cougar, being ranked the number 1 “Stone Cold Sober” school 20 years running, and our awesome chocolate milk. Our amazing graduates however, trump all. The graduating class this year is one of the school’s biggest, which the majority of the females being returned missionaries. From undergraduate research in Thailand to managing a neuroscience lab, FHSS boasts some of the most accomplished graduates. Check out our incredible valedictorians:
Boone Robins Christianson, of Provo, had no idea what anthropology was when he declared it as a major his freshman year. He wants to thank his parents Marlin and LaDonn for supporting him even though they were equally confused about what he could do with the degree. Throughout his time at BYU, Boone has spent the majority of his studies researching African agricultural development, including conducting research in Malawi and Namibia. In addition, he speaks Otjiherero, a rare language spoken by small groups of people from those countries. Despite his successes in anthropology, Boone has decided to pursue a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and will begin his pursuit of this degree at Auburn University in Alabama this upcoming fall. Boone has enjoyed being involved in intermural sports, the Diction Club, and being an active participant in his LDS campus wards. He loves spending long hours playing Boggle and eating cereal.
John Frederick Bonney, an economics major, is the son of Philip and Georgia Bonney. He grew up in the US, Senegal, and Italy, and served a mission in the Netherlands. John has thoroughly enjoyed working with faculty at BYU, performing research in areas including behavioral, educational, and familial economics and teaching other students about applied econometric research. He is grateful to the economics faculty for their stellar instruction and would specifically like to thank Drs. Lars Lefgren, Joe Price, and James Cardon for allowing him to enhance his learning through research and teaching assistantships. While attending BYU, John has also completed four internships during which he designed market research and forecasted models currently in use by multiple Fortune 500 companies. Within the community, John has enjoyed serving through educational organizations like Alpha and Project Read. John is happily married to Amanda Bonney, who is graduating with a Master of Accountancy. After graduating, John will continue his passion for economic research as a pre-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago.
Grayson Morgan, a geography major with a geospatial science and technology emphasis, is the second child born to Daniel and Michelle Morgan and grew up in Beaufort, South Carolina. Geography has surrounded him his whole life, but it wasn’t until his freshman year that he realized that it was exactly what he wanted to do. During his short time at BYU, Grayson has come to thoroughly enjoy his encounters with the various Geography Department Professors, secretaries, TAs, and fellow students. Certainly, much of his learning could not have taken place without their generous help and overwhelming kindness. His family means the world to him and he would like to thank his wife, parents, siblings, and extended family for their support. Grayson loves serving others, BYU sports, playing with his two-month-old daughter, and learning new things. He is excited to continue learning this fall as he begins a master’s degree and eventual PhD program in Global Information Systems/Remote Sensing at the University of South Carolina.
Kaytlin Fay Anne Nalder, a history teaching major, grew up in Alberta, Canada. She is the sixth of seven children born to Byron and Deanne Nalder. Her love for history began in high school, but it wasn’t until she came to BYU that she considered majoring in it. While at BYU, Kaytlin was able to work as both a teaching and research assistant for Dr. Underwood, a job which was one of the highlights of her undergraduate experience. She was also the recipient of two history paper awards including the De Lamar and Mary Jensen Student Paper Award in European History and the Carol Cornwall Madsen Student Paper Award in Women’s History. Kaytlin enjoys skiing, reading, cooking, crocheting, and spending time with family and friends. She would like to thank all of the wonderful mentors and professors she was privileged to work with during her time at BYU, as well as her family and friends for their support and encouragement.
Marissa Skinner, a family life major with an emphasis in Human Development, is the daughter of Terry and Lottie Anderson. Although she grew up in Salt Lake City, she is a Cougar fan through and through. She discovered her passion for human development simply by taking a general class and has been hooked ever since. During her time at BYU, she served as a council member for Y-Serve, served a mission in the Philippines, and worked closely with many professors to conduct research projects regarding the topics of gender-socialization and moral development. Marissa also conducted two research projects that she presented at conferences on campus. She is so excited to implement what she has learned in her program and hopes she can make a difference because of it. She would like to thank her husband, family, and faculty members for pushing her out of her comfort zone and helping her reach her goals.
Reed Lynn Rasband, a political science major, is the son of Kevin Rasband and Heather Watts and is the oldest of eight children. He grew up raising sheep in Brigham City, Utah and served a mission in Rancagua, Chile. As an undergraduate, he was able to carry out research for his Honors thesis in Thailand, additional research in the United Kingdom, and an internship with a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. He worked for four years as a teaching and research assistant in the Political Science department. He has also served as the President of the BYU Political Affairs Society, as Editor-in-Chief for the undergraduate journal Sigma, and as a volunteer with two organizations serving the Utah County Latino community. This fall, he will begin work on a Ph.D. in political science, focusing on ethnic and migration politics in the hopes of finding ways to improve intergroup relations around the globe. He is incredibly grateful for the continuing support his family provides him, as well as for the excellent mentorship he has received from BYU faculty.
Charlotte Esplin, a psychology major with a clinical emphasis, grew up in Basildon, Essex, UK. After serving a mission in the Utah St. George Temple Visitors’ Center, Charlotte came to BYU. The first to attend a university in her family, Charlotte has embraced academics and all that a university life has had to offer. While at BYU, Charlotte has worked as a teaching assistant for multiple psychology classes, and has performed quantitative research into how personality variables affect marital outcomes with Dr. Scott Braithwaite. This research has resulted in various articles,
In the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, we have many remarkable students, young people who stand out in different ways. Jacob Fisher, one of our Econ students, recently won a Wheatley Institution award for his writing skills, for example. Ryan Shields, from our geography department, is student who embodies BYU’s motto to “enter to learn, go forth to serve” because of his passion for his major and his extra-curricular involvement in geographical activities. We recently had the opportunity to speak with him about his experiences at BYU:
Ryan: I have always had a natural aptitude for geography and passion for global affairs. Growing up in rural Nebraska, I did not have a lot of global exposure so maps were a big part of how I experienced the world. As I learned more, the dots on [the] maps eventually became more to me than just locations of cities. They represented people and that helped me to relate to my brothers and sisters across the globe. I started to better understand what life was like for them and how it was similar and differed from my own life. When I found out there were many geography career fields that would allow me to use that perspective and passion, I knew geography was the right choice for me.
FHSS: Was there a particular experience that led you to it?
Ryan: When I started at BYU, I declared as a Chemical Engineering major. I had worked in an oil field for a summer after I graduated high school and thought a career as a petroleum engineer might be a good fit for me. I took one class and realized that was not going to be [the case]. I started browsing the major catalogue and came across geography and was surprised at the diverse career paths in that field.
FHSS: What are you involved in (i.e. extracurricular activities)?
Ryan: Attend lectures on campus, search for groups that share common interests and career goals. Most groups will have a Facebook page or a website where you can contact them. Just ask for opportunities!
FHSS: What do you like to do outside of school?
Ryan: I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working on cars and motorcycles. I also manageThinkSpatial (the cartography service at BYU) and work for the BYU Police Department’s security division. I’ve worked crowd security for multiple special events and dignitary/VIP protection for religious leaders, ambassadors, and other foreign dignitaries from around the world.
FHSS: Random fact or story about yourself?
Ryan: I’ve skydived, visited 18 US States, and traveled outside the mainland US every year since I started attending BYU.
William K. Wyckoff, a geographer from Montana State University, will give this year’s Chauncy Harris Lecture. The lecture will take place on Thursday, November 16, at 11 a.m. in 250 SWKT. He will speak on “Producing Public Geographics: Creating a Field Guide to the American West.”
Dr. Wyckoff studies the cultural and historical geography of the American West. The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences and its Department of Geography hold this lecture annually, named after Chauncy Harris. Harris graduated from BYU in 1933 with degrees in geography and geology; he was 19 years old at the time. He went on to earn his postgraduate degrees from Oxford and the University of Chicago, later becoming a professor who specialized in urban geography and Soviet geography.
Harris also developed the multiple nuclei model, which theorizes that a central business district is a city’s first core, but that new nuclei develop as various activities spread throughout the urban area over time.
It’s that time of year again, where we get to dress up as our favorite characters, monsters, or people. There are so many options that it can be hard to pick your costume. To remedy that, here are costume ideas based on your FHSS major or minor.
Last year, History professor Ed Stratford hosted two “dead debates,” which were fun events in which various professors acted as “resuscitated” dead U.S. presidents and queens and debated modern political and gender issues. Watch this “Between Two Ferns” parody trailers for the Dead Queens Debate for costume ideas:
Abraham Lincoln or any current or past American president are just a few of the options available for political science students. Here are instructions for creating President Lincoln’s famous stovepipe hat.
For updates on the political science department, check out their blog.
Halloween doesn’t have to be hard; there are a plethora of people you can dress up as. So why not show some academic pride and dress up as someone from your major or minor?
Autumn is well under way, but there are still a few weeks left in BYU’s own farmers’ market. While students might not necessarily think of that market as important to their experience here, it can in fact provide them with multiple benefits, not the least of which is a greater sense of community. Research is beginning to show that that sense has started to erode with the explosion in popularity of online shopping, and is something that many scholars, including Professor Michael R. Cope, in our department of sociology, have studied. In that sense, farmers’ markets in general could be seen not only as a boon to students, but also a solution to societal problems.
Benefits to Students of Farmers’ Markets
connecting with your local community: You see other students on campus every single day, but you might not often get the chance to interact with local families and businesses. This is one way to immerse yourself in the experience of college life, a period most often experienced only once in a lifetime.
getting access to fresh produce: Now that you’ve been back at BYU for a month, you’re probably ready to eat something besides ramen or spaghetti. Give your physical health a boost by adding fresh produce to your diet.
experiencing local culture: In addition to offering produce, the farmers’ market includes booths for baked goods and arts and crafts. There are often live music performers present, so you can also become more familiar with the local music scene. It’s a way to “live in the experience,” as Michael Featherstone, an alum of our Economics department, said in their most recent magazine.
making grocery shopping fun
making a difference in the community
BYU’s Farmers Market takes place every Thursday afternoon through October 26 in the south parking lot of the LaVell Edwards stadium.
What other value do farmers’ markets provide?
The Sociology Behind Farmers’ Markets
“As our local communities increasingly shed their traditional production and consumption functions,” said Professor Cope in a 2016 study, “they may also increasingly fail to imbue their residents with identity and connections to larger social realities.” In other words, the less goods a community produces and the fewer goods bought within that community, the higher the likelihood that its residents will feel “hyper-individualized.” The good news is that research strongly suggests that farmers’ markets tie communities together as civic-minded people converge. The Local Food Movement (LFM) is a project that champions that cause and backs many of the 8,000 farmers’ markets around the country. It aims to help communities develop more self-reliant and resilient food networks, improve local economies; and have an impact on the health, environment, community, or society of a particular place.
From a sociological standpoint, their objectives are admirable, possibly even necessary. The bad news: despite that, farmers’ markets aren’t always inclusive. The number of female shoppers is significantly higher than the number of male shoppers, and shoppers are disproportionately white and highly educated. But it’s important not to view the LFM as an egalitarian movement taking on the Goliath of agribusiness. Instead, Wheaton College sociologist Justin L. Schupp suggests that “the more interesting prospective framing of the LFM could have the movement admitting its potential for intra-group stratification while working further toward its stated goals of the democratization of food access.”
Vendors and shoppers at farmers’ markets have the right idea, but they would increase their community impact if they operated in more low-income neighborhoods and attracted a wider variety of people.
The Geography Behind Farmers’ Markets
Common sense tells us that farmers’ markets bring communities together, but it doesn’t fully explain how or why that happens. Interacting with other people fosters a sense of community, but can geography teach us something about farmers’ markets as well, their benefits to students, and their role in creating more unified communities? While shoppers can find farmers’ markets all across the United States, there is geographic disparity in their distribution. There are higher percentages of farmers’ markets in communities in California, New York, and Midwestern states than in southern states; farmers’ markets are also more common in urban areas than in rural areas. Are those communities more tight-knit or egalitarian? Do many students shop at farmers’ markets?
While research doesn’t yet point to direct answers to those questions, it does show that those who do shop at those markets tend to not visit the markets nearest to their own homes, and that the LFM has a ways to go in terms of helping to establish farmers’ markets in more low-income and ethnically-diverse neighborhoods (Schupp, 2016).
The Status Quo of Farmers’ Markets
Be that as it may, farmers’ markets continue to grow not only in number but in symbolic value. From 1984 to 2001, farmers sold goods in a large market at the base of the World Trade Center, but the morning of 9/11 was the market’s last day of operation — until June 20, 2017. The newly reopened market is located next to the Oculus. Security is tighter than you’d find at another farmers’ market, but vendors are fairly optimistic about its future.
In fact, the entire future of American farmers’ markets is bright. The number of markets has boomed since the 1970s, and it doesn’t look like they’re going out of style anytime soon.