Summer 2018 Mountain Research Grants!

Our Summer 2018 IMR Faculty/Student summer research grants have been awarded, and work is well underway. Congratulations to Hal Snarr, Economics professor at Westminster College, and Julie Norman, who are researching “Minimum Wage Policy Impact on Small Business in Winter Sports Communities.” Congratulations also to Hikmet Loe, Adjunct Faculty, Art History, and Scout Invie, who are researching the cultural history of the mountains around the Great Salt Lake. Details on their research proposals are below.

From “Minimum Wage Policy Impact on Small Business in Winter Sports Community” Abstract:

“Minimum wage requirements are one of the most explicit forms of business regulation. This regulation is intended to aid workers, but what is the impact on small business? Using the different minimum wage standards between Utah ski counties and Colorado ski counties, we will conduct a natural experiment to ascertain the impact of these wage rates on small businesses. We will create two multivariable models to spearhead the analysis. One model will address the impacts during the most recent recession period while the other model will estimate the impact during the recovery period that followed. The results will illustrate how changes in minimum wage rates impact small businesses in counties that depend on tourism and the natural environment for economic success.”

Hikmet Loe and Scout Invie pose this question for their research:

“What can we learn by examining Great Salt Lake’s bordering mountains so that we can gain a richer understanding of the lake’s cultural history?”

Hikmet and Scout propose to “map out the various Native American tribes that have inhabited the lake, creating a succinct timeline and indication of all the mountains that are pertinent to this study,” “create a narrative that ties the inhabitation and use of mountains,surrounding both Lake Bonneville and Great Salt Lake, providing evidence of cultural history through words, maps, illustrations, and possibly charts,” “create a timeline of recreational activities on Great Salt Lake, from approximately 1900–1950, to correlate with a timeline of recreational activities (predominately the ski industry) that developed along the Wasatch Range,” and “create a narrative that correlates the growing activities in the mountains to the assumption that it caused activities on Great Salt Lake to decline.”

We’re looking forward to sharing updates on both these exciting research projects throughout the summer and beyond.



A publication of the Institute for Mountain Research @ Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah

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