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About ALRS

The Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at The University of Arizona leads to the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Arid Lands Resource Sciences (ALRS). The program prepares students for careers in both academic and non-academic settings. Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, The University of Arizona provides a unique interdisciplinary environment as well as a natural living laboratory for the study of arid and semi-arid lands. These dynamic lands encompass nearly one-third of the Earth’s total land surface and embody one-fifth of its total population. Increasing pressures on these considerable and important regions demand increased attention be given to the ecological, economic, and socio-cultural factors that affect them. ALRS is a unique interdisciplinary doctoral program aimed at addressing the complex problems of sustainability of arid lands.

ALRS has created an exciting environment in which to pursue unique research interests through a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum that is individually tailored to meet each student’s particular focus. Indeed, the opportunity for students to develop their program of study based upon their interests is noted among our students as the program’s greatest strength. Because the sustainable use of arid lands cannot be adequately understood or achieved through the tools available in any single discipline, students in the ALRS program are trained in two or more of the physical, biological, resource, agricultural, and social sciences as they specifically relate to each student’s area of study.

The interdisciplinary nature of the program is reflected in the involvement of over 60 faculty members from 19 departments across campus. The ALRS program is designed to serve both students proceeding directly through graduate work and more significantly, non-traditional students who bring knowledge of real-world applications to their graduate studies. Recruitment and admissions target self-directed and highly motivated students who have well informed research interests and clear career objectives. ALRS has traditionally attracted a high proportion of international students who enrich the graduate experience and enhance the exploration of innovative solutions to the problems faced by arid lands around the globe. Having brought worldwide recognition to The University of Arizona, the ALRS student body is presently comprised of 16 students from 4 different countries.

The breadth of research opportunities ALRS PhD program provides can be recognized through the research performed by its graduates and current students. Some of these areas include international development; famine, famine early warning systems, and food security; land use, history, change, degradation, desertification, management, and policy; sustainable agriculture and farming systems; remote sensing and spatial analysis; carbon sequestration; political-ecology of natural resources; ethnoecology and other ethno-sciences; economic and agricultural policy and development; economic botany; borderlands issues; globalization; civil conflict; and urban development as they relate to the arid and semi-arid lands of the world.

The Arid Lands Resource Sciences PhD program invites highly motivated and self-directed students with innovative research interests to apply to the program. To learn more about the ALRS program, please review the contents of our web-site, and do not hesitate to contact the ALRS Program Coordinator at The University of Arizona, Current ALRS students, or the ALRS affiliated faculty.

Arid Lands Resource Sciences
Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs
ENR Bldg 2, Rm. N231
1064 East Lowell Street
PO Box 210137
Tucson, Arizona 85721

Phone: 520.626-9111


Last updated 1 Oct 2019