Arid Lands, Water & People

The School of Natural Resources and the Environment has a long history in developing a better understanding of the physical, economic, and societal aspects of arid and semi-arid lands around the world.

These activities fulfill the University of Arizona’s mission, as outlined by former university President Richard Harvill in 1968: “Since its beginning in the latter years of the 19th century, the University of Arizona has recognized, by reason of its location on the semi-arid border of the desert, a special responsibility for basic and applied research relating to problems of the arid and semi-arid regions of the Earth.”

More recently, then University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart (2012-2018) noted that water and arid lands remain an important focus for the university and that our work will help allow communities in Arizona to meet the challenges posed by climate change and other global issues.

“Researchers in SNRE are doing work that will lead to innovative solutions for agricultural needs in arid and semi-arid regions around the world, including crop production, water and land conservation and reclamation, and food security assessment,” Hart said. “… the School of Natural Resource and the Environment has tapped into the unique setting of the University of Arizona to conduct novel and necessary research. These programs create new knowledge and a better understanding of the natural processes that define the Sonoran Desert and other arid and semi-arid regions around the world.”

Activities involving Arid Lands, Water, and People

Research: From climate adaptability and sustainability to fire ecology and remote sensing, our faculty conduct research that provides critical and applicable insights related to the Southwest and other arid and semi-arid lands. Learn more about the breadth and depth of our research.

Academic programs: We offer undergraduate degrees and graduate programs that cover issues critical to our unique environment. Emphasis areas related to arid lands, water, and people include:

Research facilities: Here are some of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment centers involved in this field:

Affiliated Programs: These include: