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ALRS Fall 2016 Student Retreat

Arid Lands Resource Sciences Students and a few faculty member took time out from their busy schedule to get-together to talk about the state of the program, dissertation preparation and current research at the recent student retreat, September 16, 2016.

Istvan Molnar, ALRS Program Chair summarized the students statistics, fund support, past activities of students which included: 2015 publication, conferences attended, awards and the different financial support of the students. View the power point presentation here.

Other guest speakers were:

  • Janae Gregston, Graduate Student Academic Services: Degree Counselor – reviewed the GradPath Procedures
  • Shelley Lynn Hawthorne Smith (UA Graduate College office of Fellowships and Community Engagement) – related the available Graduate Funding Opportunities
  • Greg Barron-Gafford, Ph.D., Asst. Professor & Associate Director School of Geography & Development – provided the students with an overview of the International Arid Lands Consortium
  • Barbara Hutchinson, Ph.D., Managing Director, Global Rangelands Initiatives –informed the students of an all-expense paid trip to attend a conference in Israel next year- “Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Mission.”  

Caravan for Democracy is a program of Jewish National Fund, whose goal is to facilitate constructive dialogue about Israel and the Middle East on college campuses across America. This program brings Israel to the forefront to address the country's unique contributions to the world, its vibrant democracy and its commitment to peace in the region.

Other Speakers and Topics of Discussion:

  • Ryan Lee- presented the ALRS Student Club Activities
  • Istvan Molnar – spoke about the mentorship program that has been implemented this Fall semester.  This is pairing new students with students who have been in the program for the last 2 years or more.
  • ALRS alumni: Amy McCoy and Adriana Zuniga Teran together with ALRS faculty members, Steve Archer, Michael Bogan, Stuart Marsh, and Christopher Scott offered advice and tips in preparing and writing the thesis dissertation, publications, or reports.

3-Minute Research Talk Challenge

This activity was the highlight of the ALRS Student Retreat that both students and faculty were excited about.  Patterned after the UA Grand Slam, this was a competition for the best 3-minute research presentation by ALRS students.  Competition such this is a great opportunity for students to hone their oral presentation skills and to relate the current research they are doing.  This was the 2nd time that ALRS is doing this 3-Minute Research Talk contest and every one raptly watched and listened to the presentations of the 6 contestants:   


Year in the Program

Saleh Ahmed

1.5 years

Sandra Bernal

4 years

America Lutz Ley

4 years

Yulia Peralta

2 years

Elia Tapia

2 years

Mabel Alsina

>1 year


And the winners are:

FIRST PLACE:       Saleh Ahmed and America Lutz Ley, each of them received $250.00 in prize money. A single winner would have received $300.00.

SECOND PLACEElia Tapia received $200.00 in prize money

THIRD PLACE:        Yulia Peralta received $100 in prize money

 This competition has inspired other students to actively participate in next year’s contest.

 After a long afternoon of discussion and research talks, an early dinner was enjoyed by the ALRS group at Red’s Smoke House and Tap Room on Main Gate Square.

A picture gallery of this event can be viewed here.


Last updated 22 Sep 2016