Utah’s Research on Capitol Hill is an annual celebration of undergraduate research, and was held January 29, 2015, in the Rotunda of the State Capitol. It features undergraduate research projects from students studying at the University of Utah and Utah State University. Students of all disciplines share the results of their investigations with legislators. The event is held to demonstrate the importance of undergraduate research and creative work.
Reagan Wytsalucy, senior at Utah State University
Plant Science, emphasis in horticulture and cropping systems
Reagan’s lifelong goal is to revive agriculture on the Navajo and Zuni Reservations. Her project “Reconnaissance sampling for orchards in the Four Corner Indian reservation lands” is the beginning of this dream. She uses climate history, soil and water quality to determine what can be grown on native lands, such as native peach trees, native beans and corn. Reagan plans to carry this project on into a master’s degree at USU, and possibly a PhD.
“The USU College of Agriculture and Applied Science has provided me a lot of opportunities and supported me fully in funding and with expertise.”
Spencer Taylor, senior at the University of Utah
Spencer’s project stemmed from his interest in using illuminated pavement markers to decrease traffic incidents on Utah’s roads. He found these markers—which are LED, solar powered, and self-contained—lend greater visibility around danger areas and are best for nighttime driving. Illuminated pavement markers have been used for over 10 years in the UK, and have led to a significant reduction in traffic incidents in these danger areas. For his project, “Potential for Illuminated Pavement Markers on Utah Roads,” Spencer tested nine different pavement markers for durability and longevity. His goal is to push for the use of these pavement markers in Utah, and to eventually set up a pilot program.
“I’ve always had a lot of ideas. Anytime I’ve shared my ideas with my professors, they have encouraged me to go further in my research and supported me in any way they could. The U is a great place for encouraging ideas.”