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Angel, J Roger P

Regents' Professor of Astronomy
Regents' Professor of Optical Sciences
Director of the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory
Adaptive optics, instrumentation, extrasolar planets, telescope desing and optical fabrication, geoengineering and concentrating photovoltaic solar energy.

Archer, Steven R.

Please click on the name of each student to know more about their academic backgrounds and research interests.

Saleh Ahmed

M.Sc - Sociology with a major in Environment and Community, Utah State University, USA, 2015

M.Sc. - Spatial Planning with a major in Built Environment, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2008

M.Sc. – Regional Science, University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2007

B.A. - Urban and Rural Planning, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh, 2003

Research Interests:

Omar Yousef



M.S. – Architecture, Design and Energy, University of Arizona, May 2014

B.S. – Architecture, Modern Sciences and Arts University, Cairo, Egypt and University of Greenwich (London)

Advisor: Nader Chalfoun

Elia Maria Tapia



M.S. – Geology, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, SON, Mexico 2013

B.S. - Geology, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, SON, Mexico 2010

Advisor: Sharon Megdal

Garrett R. Smith



M.A. – Graphic Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, 2009

B.S. – Printing Management, Georgia Southern University, 2004

Advisor: Howard (Randy)

Research Interests: Natural resource policy, administration, planning, ecology and wildlife conservation


Simona Seastrand



M.S. – Atmospheric Science, University of Arizona

B.S. – Meteorology/Physics/Applied Mathematics, Northern Illinois University


Research Interests: Climate, Weather Extremes, North American Monsoon system


Ibrahima Sall



M.S – Agricultural and Resource Economics ( expected 2012) - University of Arizona

B.S. – Economics and Management, Specialization in Economics Policy Analysis – Universite Cheik Anta Diop De Dakar, Senegal

Advisor: Stuart E. Marsh and Russell E. Tronstad

Marie Blanche Roudaut



M.S. – Anthropology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, August 2006

B.S. – Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, May 1994

Advisor: Michael Crimmins

Research Interests: Climate studies, natural resource management, environmental policy, and political ecology, and will seek research opportunities to conduct applied and policy-relevant research

Marilen Ann Pool



Advanced Diploma in Art Conservation Techniques, Sir Sandford Fleming College, 1997

M.A. in Museum Studies Anthropology Business Administration, Oregon State University, 1991

B.S. in General Agriculture History, 1985

Advisor: Michael Bogan

Yulia Annahi Peralta Lugo



Maestria – Regional Development, Centro de Investigacion en Alinemtacion y Desarrollo

Licenciatura – Finances, University of Sonora

Advisor: Christopher Scott

Research Interests: Climate change and the main problems found in the rural area of the State of Sonora


Rodolfo Peon



M.S. – Electrical Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, May 2006

B.S. – Electronic Engineering, Instituto Technologico de Hermosillo, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, January 2001

Advisor: James Roger Angel

Research Interests: Exploring a combination of solar power and water desalination technologies, to fully satisfy the water, energy and food needs for vulnerable communities in the Sonoran Desert

Rachel Lynn Murray



M.S. – Environment and Resources, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin

J.D. – University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wisconsin

B.S. – Wildlife Ecology and Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Advisor: Gregg Garfin

Yu Rong Joy Liu



M.S. – School of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2011

B.S. – Forest and Environmental Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, 2008

Advisor: Diane Austin

Research Interests: Forest ecology and soil science. My primary interest is the socio-political aspects of natural resource management, international collaboration, with a focus on forestry and agriculture

Ryan H. Lee



M.A. – Dual Masters of Arts in International Affairs (American University) and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (University for Peace)

B.S. – Environmental Science - University of Arizona

B.A. – Interdisciplinary Studies - University of Arizona

Advisor: Christopher Scott

Millard Keith, III



M.S. – Planning, University of Arizona

B.A. – Media Arts, University of Arizona

Advisor: Gregg Garfin

Research Interests: Connecting climate change science to decision making in public policy. I would specifically like to research the application of public policy to plan and design cities in the desert southwest for changing climate conditions


Erin T. Jordan



B.A. – Botany – Miami University

B.S. – Communication – Miami University

B.S. – Geosciences – Mississippi State University

Advisor: Michael Crimmins

Research Interests: Flood risk and perception in arid lands, North American Monsoon, climate change, science communication, meteorology, climatology


Scott Andrew Jones



M.S. – Natural Resources, Colorado State University, 2012

B.S. – Environmental Science and Political Science, International Studies, California Lutheran University, 2008

Advisor: Steve Archer

Research Interests: Environmental science and conservation, particularly: population ecology, ecosystems ecology, sociology and education


Ivan Gaxiola Camacho



M.S. – Architecture, Design and Energy Conservation, The University of Arizona, 2016

B.A. – Architecture, Autonomous University of Sinaloa, Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, August 2010

Advisor: Nader Chalfoun

Research Interests: Urban heat island mitigation, human thermal comfort restoration and food security advancement in the build environment of arid regions through implementation of green infrastructure as an urban agriculture model.

Drew Eppehimer



M.S. – Justice Studies, Arizona State University, 2015

M.S. – Environmental Science, Taylor University, 2013

B.A. – Spanish, Taylor University, 2012

Advisor: Michael Bogan

Research Interests: Aquatic ecology and ecohydrology with an emphasis on biodiversity of fish and aquatic invertebrates within rivers and streams


Mary Belle Cruz



M.S. – Fisheries, Ministry of Public Education, The Instituto Politecnico National, Mexico, May 1197

B.S. – Marine Food Engineering, January 1994

Advisor: Sharon Megdal

Research Interests: Overexploited Aquifers, Water Recharge Zones, and Public Policies for Water Management


Sandra Bernal



M.S. – Earned 2 credits in Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Arizona, 201-2011

B.S. – Architecture, University of Mexico, 2007

Advisor: Diane Austin

Research Interests: A combination of Border pollution issues (focusing on air) collaborative projects, passive techniques applied to urban planning and architecture towards the mitigation of the effects of pollution.

Saleh Ahmed



M.Sc. – Sociobiology with a major in Environment and Community, Utah State University, USA, 2015

M.Sc. - Spatial Planning with a major in Built Environment, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2008

M.Sc. - Regional Science, University of Karlsruhe, Germany, 2007

B.A. – Urban and Rural Planning, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh, 2003.

Advisor: James Buizer and Tim Finan

We want to share with you the whereabouts and accomplishments of some ALRS graduates in this section.  


Deadlines for Application

For  domestic and international applicants:

  • Fall Semester (August) - December 1st
  • Spring Semester (January) August 1st

Application Procedures

Application to ALRS should follow the procedures as specified by the Graduate College. Detailed information may be found at

Requirements include:

  • A Master's degree

Ladd Keith has accepted a new tenure-track position as Assistant Professor in Planning & Sustainable Built Environments and Chair of the Sustainable Built Environments Program at UA’s College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture starting this fall. He is currently the college’s Director of Academic Initiatives and Student Success and Lecturer in Planning.

Rodolfo Peon-Anaya, ALRS PhD Candidae and Christopher Yazzie, MS Candidate in Chemical &  Environmental Engineering are volunteers in the desalination project at the Navajo Nation's area in Arizona.  

Their more than two years of volunteering work involved supporting design, construction and testing of multiple types of desalination units. These activities were very instructive but they also provided them  with technical challenges that they are now each addressing in their respective thesis dissertations.

Saleh Ahmed, ALRS PhD Candidate spent 4 months in his native country Bangladesh, conducting research on the "Demands for Climate Services in Coastal Farming Communities." 

At the recent ALRS 2017 Student Retreat held, October 5, 2017 at the ENR 2 Building the following students were declared winners:

At the recent ALRS 2017 Student Retreat held, October 5, 2017 at the ENR 2 Building the following students were declared winners:

Elia Tapia attended the WaterSmart Innovation Conference in Las Vegas last October 3-8, 2017.  At that conference Elia received a student scholarship from the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Universities Council on Water Resources.


Rodolfo Peon, ALRS PhD Candidate talked about his desalination efforts as part of the UA Science Café series, Thursday, October 12, 2017 at Borderlands Brewing Company.

Rodolfo volunteered to be part of a partnership between UA engineers and the consulting firm of Apex  Applied Technologies to build a desalination and water-purification system on a refurbished school bus for delivery to the  off the-grid Star School, a charter elementary school located 25 miles east of Flagstaff near the southwest corner of the water-scarce Navajo Reservation.


Revised March 2012

We are seeking highly motivated individuals possessing a Master’s degree to apply for admission and opportunities for two first year graduate assistantships. ALRS is a unique interdisciplinary doctoral program designed to address the complex problems associated with sustainability of arid lands through integration of the physical, social, and economic sciences.

ARL 564 -- The Arid and Semi-arid Lands
Past, present and future of settlement and resource utilization in the world's arid lands; spatial interrelationships of environmental, demographic, socioeconomic and political systems

ARL 565 -- Physical Aspects of Arid Lands  (3 units)
Graduate-level requirements include the completion of an oral presentation of an original research paper on an approved topic.

The UA Graduate College defines the doctoral comprehensive exams as:

Before admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the student must pass a written and an oral Doctoral Comprehensive Examination. This examination is intended to test the student's comprehensive knowledge of the major and minor subjects of study, both in breadth across the general field of study and in depth within the area of specialization. The examination, therefore, should not take place until the student has completed all, or almost all, of their coursework.

In the summer of 2016, when Saleh, a third year PhD candidate in Arid Lands Resource Sciences with a minor in Global Change, spent two months in coastal Bangladesh as part of his pre-doctoral dissertation fieldwork on climate adaptation, he realized that for many local farmers access to climate information is not just an issue to the availability of information, sometimes these can be due to structural challenges, such as illiteracy, or absence of electronic media in the region.


Sent:                     Monday, July 10, 2017  9:16 AM


Subject:               If you get rejected, take it as an oppotrunity for future success

Senior Vice President for Research, Discovery & Innovation, Kimberly Espy, recognized Varady’s recent tenure as interim director of the Udall Center from January 2016 to March 2017 and for his long-standing service to the university at an event early in May held at the UA Union Gallery.

As reported in the UDall Center News website:

Aaron defended his dissertation research last March 1st, 2017.  He passed this oral presentation with flying colors! That is - he passed this requirement of his doctorate degree in Arid Lands Resource Sciences (ALRS), without revisions. 

Adriana Zuniga Teran and America Nallely Lutz Ley are both recent ALRS graduates and currently hold post doctoral positions at the Udall Center. They have both been busy ensuring that their research projects benefit urban and rural communities,

Adriana Zuniga Teran (Spring 2015 graduate)

Adriana Zuniga Teran's dissertation research was featured in the March 09, 2017 UA News, "How your Neighborhood May Impact your Health and Well-Being.  Her research provides insights to how built environments , particularly at the neighboorhood level, affect health and wellness.  Click here for more about her research.

Saleh Ahmed's recent talk at the Science Cafes hosted by the College of Science drew the attention of the University of Arizona's President, Ann Weaver Hart by the letter she sent to him.   A copy of the letter is on the right side, it reads:

Dear Mr. Ahmed:

UA Science Café Series discover the fascinating science happening all around us here at the University of Arizona (U of A). This is organized by the College of Science. Science Cafés bring the community together with a U of A scientists and graduate students in a casual setting. Local community members learn about the latest research being conducted, get to know the faces behind the science, and have opportunities to ask questions and deepen their understanding with increase interactions.

Haury fellow Rodolfo Peon is studying the integration of high-concentration solar photovoltaics, or HCPVs, with desalination technology to provide communities on the Navajo Nation with drinking water and electricity simultaneously. HCPVs use more efficient solar cells than conventional photovoltaics, resulting in the possibility of collecting heat for household applications.

America Nallely Lutz Ley successfully defended her dissertation research, November 21st, 2016 to a pack audience of ALRS and UA students, ALRS faculty, her dissertation committee and her immediate family members.

America entered the Arid Lands Resource Sciences, Ph. D. program in the Fall 2012 semester. All through her 4.5 years in the program she has continuously performed well and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. 

Her many accomplishments include:

The images of the featured students dissertations are interpretive representation of each one's research work.

WELCOME to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Arid Lands Resources Sciences (ALRS)

Adriana Zuniga Teran, 2015 ALRS Ph.D. graduate and currentky Senior Researcher at the the UA Udall Center has been busy writing and publishing several papers:

Recently Anahi Ocampo Melgar, 2014 ALRS Ph.D. graduate, published online a paper in the Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development Journal:  "Scientists, Policymakers, and Stakeholders Plan for Climate Change: A Promising Approach in Chile's Maipo Basin."  Her co-authors are Sebastian Vicuña,Jorge Gironás, robert Varady & Christopher A. Scott.

To read the article:


Second year Ph.D. Student Rodolfo Peon was invited to present his research work at the Arizona Student Energy Conference (AzSEC) on September 16th, which was hosted this year at the Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

 Ladd Keith has been named one of the 2016 winners of the 40 under 40 as selected by members of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

ULI is a member-supported nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to providing leadership in the responsible use of land around globe.

Ladd is the Director of Academic Initiatives and Student Success Organization at the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.  He is also a 3rd year Ph.D. student at the Arid Lands Resource Sciences, Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDP)

Viviana Barquero has recently achieved a full time professor position at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, the second most prestigious University in Mexico. She is working in the Engineering and Sciences Division developing projects on sustainable development and new urbanism. Her research currently focuses on smart and community energy communities which promote the adoption of sustainable energy strategies that enhance the relationship between energy and food production.

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.

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.

The Arid Lands Resource Sciences (ALRS) Student Retreat was held on September 16, 2016 at the Environment & Natural Resources (ENR) 2 Building.  This important and informative event had a number of ALRS faculty in attendance to support our students.


Adriana Zuniga Teran is a 2015 ALRS Graduate.  She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate working at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona.

Marylou Myers, Sr. Program Coordinator
Arid Lands Resource Sciences GIDP
The University of Arizona
1064 E. Lowell Street
ENR2 Bldg., Rm. N231
P.O. Box 210137
Tucson, AZ 85721
Phone: (520) 626-9111

Kelly has a new paper published in the in Water- the Open Access Journal on June 29, 2016

Water 2016, 8(7), 273; doi:10.3390/w8070273

Article: "Public Participation in Water Planning in the Ebro River Basin (Spain) and Tucson Basin (U.S., Arizona): Impact on Water Policy and Adaptive Capacity Building"

Ladd Keith, ALRS Ph.D. Student as well as Planning Lecturer and Director of Academic Initiatives and Student Success at The University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture, has recently secured research funding from the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS).

Pre-doctoral Exploratory Field Visit in Bangladesh (May-June 2016)

Sam Chambers has recently been appointed as Research Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona's. College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture.

Sam graduated from the ALRS PhD program in the Summer of 2015

Thesis: "Corridors and Elk Migration: A Comparative Analysis of Landscape Connectivity Models and GPS Data in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Sam has a Masters degree from Clemson University, South Carolina with a major in Forest Research. 

Starting August 8, 2016, Kelly Mott Lacroix will be a Hydrologist/Presidential Management Fellow working for the U.S. Forest Service in the Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants division of the Washington, D.C. office. She will be working on instream flow science and policy for Forest Service lands in the West.

Barbara Eiswerth completed her  Ph.D.* in Arid Lands Resources Sciences from the University of Arizona.  Soon after she founded a community-based organization that empowers United Nations refugees from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East by creating opportunities for them to use their knowledge and skills from their countries of origin.

Professor Nader Chalfoun and Omar Youssef will be presenting at the 3rd International Conference on Design, Construction, Maintenance, Monitoring and Control of Urban Water Systems, June 27-29, 2016, San Servolo, Venice, Italy.  They will be presenting their latest education curriculum on water in a paper titled:  

"Development of Innovative Urban Water Efficiency Systems and a Four-Legged Education Curriculum Addressing Water Reduction, Harvesting, Reuse, and Energy Generation technologies"

Ruben Dario Mayorga Mera, graduated from the University of Arizona in 1989 completing the Arid Lands Resource Studies Ph.D. program. He was one of the many scholars to participate in the partnership between the University of Arizona and the Federal University of Ceará, which celebrated fifty years in 2016.

   As we learned in the recent ALRS Spring Field trip, Agave is more than just a large succulent plant, it has many uses…

Author: Mayorga, Ruben Dario

Graduated: 1989

Dissertation Title:        Price relationships and market integration: A northeast of Brazil case study.


As the title “The End of Desertification” suggests, this book critically examines the desertification narrative, which is exposed as a public policy construct rather than a sound scientific concept.

The Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Arid Lands Resource Sciences is proud to announce that Fall 2016 incoming student, Rachel Murray is the recipient of the prestigious University Fellows award.  The fellowship is sponsored by the University of Arizona (UA) Graduate College.  The award provides financial support, professional development opportunities, and a richly interdisciplinary community of University Fellows and dist

Conference:         Healthy Buildings America 2015

Venue:                 Colorado University in Boulder, July 19-22

Organizer:           International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate



  • Fernando De Oliveira Mayorga
    December 10, 2015
    Title of Dissertation: “Growth, Equity, and Sustainability: A Case study of the Impacts of Green Revolution Change in Ceara, Northeast, Brazil”
  • Samuel Chambers
    May 13, 2015
    Title of Dissertation: "Corridors and Elk Migration: A Comparative Analysis of Landscape Connectivity Models and GPS Data in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem"

Joy (Yu Rong) Liu is another ALRS student  who is a 2016 recipient of the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) Climate & Society Graduate Fellows Program

Each CLIMAS Climate & Society Graduate Fellows is awarded $5,000 annually.

Project Title: Dryland conservation in China: local incentives drive collaborative action on regional climate adaptation.

Saleh Ahmed is a Ph.D. student in the UA’s Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Arid Lands Resource Sciences with a minor in Global Change. He also is working as a graduate research associate for the International Research and Applications Project (IRAP) to support research efforts to understand different aspects of climate vulnerability and adaptation planning in Asia.

Thesis Title:  Considering climate change through global water initiatives

Author: Arin C. Haverland


Anahi Ocampo Melgar, ALRS Ph.D. student participated in the recent Fourth Plenary Coordination Meeting and Second Participatory Assessment & Knowledge Transfer Workshop in Mier in the Kalhari Desert,  near the village of Askham, South Africa (near the borders of Botswana and Namibia). Please click the highlighted words for picture descriptions and to read more about  Anahi's Travel Report to South Africa

Kelly Mott Lacroix, recent ALRS graduate with WRRC Senior Research Analyst Christopher Jones, Gila County Cooperative Extention Agent were awarded The Freeport -McMoRan Foundation a $26,000 grant.

Omar Youssef’s Presentations  

Omar Youssef current ALRS Ph.D. student has been busy presenting his research work on water and algae as well as designing tools to improve environments and sustainable lifestyles.

Please read more about Omar’s 2 latest presentations below:

The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation awarded $26,000 to Dr. Kelly Mott Lacroix, WRRC Senior Research Analyst, and Christopher Jones, Gila County Cooperative Extension Agent, to conduct their project “Raising Water Awareness in the Globe-Miami Community: Arizona Water 101 and Master Watershed  Steward Educational Program Series.” The Globe-Miami area faces complex challenges in balancing their water supply and infrastructure with current and future demands.

The GPSC Student Showcase 2014 took place on Friday, November 7, 2014, from 9am-5pm at the UA Mall.  This annual event typically takes place starting the Friday of Homecoming Weekend.

The Student Showcase attracts the best of student academic work at the University of Arizona, and thus it is quite competitive.

Arid Lands Research Sciences GIDP takes pride in the achievemnets of its students who sought opportunities to enhance and financially support their studies.

The ALRS students on the last Saturday of April 2014 had their Annual Spring field trip to Avalon Organic Gardens and Tumacacori Mission.  ALRS student look forward to this annual event, because this is one of the few times they can get together to share with each other and some members of their family their interest in the physical aspects of arid lands and sustainability issues.

We want to share with you the whereabouts and accomplishments of some ALRS graduates in this section.  

Nelson is also currently Director for Agriculture and Rural economy for the Millennium Challenge Corporation.  Read more. 

Jelena on site of her field work.

Thesis Title:  Corridors and Elk Migration: A Comparative Analysis of Landscape Connectivity Models and GPS Data in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Author:   Samuel Chambers


Kelly Mott Lacroix, recent ALRS graduate with WRRC Senior Research Analyst Christopher Jones, Gila County Cooperative Extention Agent were awarded The Freeport -McMoRan Foundation a $26,000 grant.




Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. This may be demonstrated by:

  1. Passing the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) (contact the UA Testing Center at 621.7589) or individual department proficiency examination. Online information is available at

On Thursday, October 9, 2014-6:00-7:30 PM, America Lutz Ley is the featured speaker at this event.

The Science Café series at Borderlands Brewing, in downtown Tucson features Carson Scholars, graduate students who are selected by the UA Institute of the Environment. Their research focuses on environmentally related science and solutions.

Omar Youssef, 2nd year ALRS Ph.D. student, who has been active in disseminating information about his water and algae research, was one of the student present at the recent conference of the Arizona section of the American Water Works Association.  The conference was held at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel, Glendale, AZ, May 6 -8, 2015.

Below is a summary of Omar's talk:

Arid Lands Resource Sciences(ALRS)  GIDP for this month of May has a lot of reasons to celebrate!

Thesis Title: From neighborhoods to wellbeing and conservation: Enhancing the use of greenspace through walkability

Author:  Adriana Zuniga Teran


Thesis Title:  Advancing Water Management Through Methods to Assess Environmental Flow Needs and Improve Stakeholder Engagement

Author:  Kelly. Mott Lacroix


Thesis Title:   Exurbia as Physical and Social Space: Landscape Drivers and Ecological Impacts of Amenity Migration in the New West

Author:  Jelena Vukomanovic 


Thesis Title:       Historic Riparian Flora of the Tucson Basin, Arizona

Author: Kathryn Mauz,   2006


The program is organized by the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University’s Washington DC Center from June 21 to 30, 2015. The program is an intense summer institute dedicated to empowering the next generation of leaders in science, technology and engineering in the Americas.

Chirs Scott, Professor and Distinguished Scholar, Udall Center and UA Geography Department, recently announced that America was awarded the "Becas-CONACyT al Extranero program.  This comes on top of three years of full funding from Fulbirhgt that America is completing.

Below is some information of this award:

Stuart E. Marsh, former ALRS Program Chair and now Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE)  excitedly informed us that Stefanie Herrman,SNRE Associate Research Scientist and ALRS 2006 graduate, along with ALRS graduate student Ibrahima Sall’s paper has received the Best Paper of Ecology and Society Award of 2014 (the selection is a result of the votes from the editorial board of the journal).

Dean Andrew Carnie, Faculty Director of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDP) Administration Office recenlty nominated Sandra Bernal, ALRS Ph.D. student,  for the UA Foundation 2015 Outstanding GIDP Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for meritorious performance.

Sandra has been working as a GTA for Dr. David H. Soren, Professor of Anthropology for the past 3 semesters.  Dr. Soren has consistently lauded her performance.

In recognition of this exceptional performance she will receive:

Omar Youssef, first year ALRS students has been actively promoting his research.  He has participated in in several poster sessions and  now he has talks and poster presentations in the next 3 months:

1. AzSEC - Arizona Student Energy Conference  Fourth Annual Student Conference on Renewable Energy Science, Technology, and Policy - Titled "Bio-Adaptive Algae Facade for the EIB," Omar has an abstract and poster presentation on April 20th & 21st, 2015 at the Marriott on Campus.

Thesis Title:       A Model for Sustainable Management of Livestock on the Commons: A Comparative Analysis of Two Types of Apache Indian Cattle Associations

Author: Michael Eugene Norvelle,  1990


This dissertation develops a new organizational model based on sustainability criteria within which the organizational and technical solutions to the problems of management of extensive livestock production systems on the commons grazing lands can be provided.

Linking Edible Arizona Forests on the UA campus (UA LEAF), a university Green Fund project that gets the community involved with planting, conserving, and using edible trees in Arizona. Last November 2014, UA students and community volunteers came together to harvest olives from the UA Campus Arboretum’s historic olive trees to press into olive oil at Queen Creek Olive Mill.

Ryan H. Lee, Arid Lands Resource Sciences Ph.D. candidate is also the UA LEAF* graduate coordinator, who led members in harvesting olives from historic campus trees and have them pressed into olive oil at the Queen Creek Olive Mill in Queen Creek, Arizona.

Other LEAF efforts have focused on fruit harvests in conjunction with the Iskashitaa Refugee Network. Iskashitaa’s  Director & Founder is Barbara Eiswerth, ALRS alumna and adjunct professor with Arid Lands Resources Sciences, as well as a coordinator for UA LEAF.

Amy Eisenberg has returned to Tucson after working with Yup'ik Eskimos of Curyung on the Bering Sea in the bush of Alaska. Her book, "Aymara Indian Perspectives on Development in the Andes," a collaborative cultural and environmental impact assessment project with the Aymara people was recently published. She is a 2002 Ph.D. graduate of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Arid Lands Resource Sciences: Ethnoecology with a minor in American Indian Studies.

Dr. Dryden graduated from the ALRS Ph.D. program in 2003.  The title of her thesis is: "Optimum Gravel Size for Use as a Soil surfac Cover for the Prevention of Soil Erosion by Water." 

The Guadalupe County Chapter holds monthly meetings with guest speakers on native plants and habitats, and the birds, bugs and butterflies that need them.  And last September 9, 2014, Dr. Dryden was the guest speaker at the meeting held at St. John Lutheran Church, FM 465, Marion,Texas.  Read more.



Thesis Title:   Salinity Effects of Guayule Leaf Anatomy and Physiology

Author:          Elizabeth Poscher


Salinity usually reduces plant growth in terms of height and biomass, but can increase secondary metabolite production. This frequently reported observation in guayule (Parthenium argentatum Gray, Asteraceae) was investigated for possible mechanisms.

Thesis Title: Production and Commercialization of Bacanora: An Economic Opportunity for Sonora, Mexico?

Author:       Luis Nunez-Noriega


Simona Renee Seastrand  beat out about 10,000 other civilians to win and be one of 12 nominated for Air Force Civilian of the Year (which has over 120,000 employees but unfortunately she did not win). She won at five levels including 25 Operational Weather Squadron, First Weather Group, Air Force Weather Agency, and Headquarters Air Force A3/5 Division. She also won the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Associate Unit Air Force Civilian of the Year.

Wild mustangs are a potent symbol of pioneer spirit in the old West, writes J. Edward de Steiguer. But with few natural controls on their numbers, the population of almost 100,000 is rising by 20% a year. Now it's up to humans to control their numbers - one way or another.

Published in the Resurgence & Ecologist, 7-August 2014 Read more.

Barron Orr, ALRS graduate 2000 and current ALRS professor & geospatial extension specialist has been selected to participate on a new United Nations panel comprising the world’s top climate and arid lands scientists. The group's charge: to recommend sustainable international policies and practices to combat desertification.  From UA News dated June 3, 2014. Read more.

Incoming, ALRS student, Omar Youssef has been selected as one of the three Richard A. Harvill Fellows for 2014-15.   The mission of the Richard A. Harvill Endowment is to perpetuate knowledge of Dr. Harvill, who served as UA president from 1951 to 1971, a period in which UA began its furious post-war enrollment growth, and the institution took its place among the leading research universities of the west.

Thesis Title: Non-timber forest product (NTFP) extraction in arid environments: Land-use change, frankincense production and the sustainability of Boswellia sacra in Dhofar (Oman)

Author:        Mohamud Haji Farah


Thesis Title: An evaluation of soil erosion hazard: A case study in Southern Africa using geomatics technologies

Author:        Barbara Alice Eiswerth


Please click here to view the photo gallery of the Fall 2013 Welcome Reception

Thesis Title: Plant morphology and gas exchange in Hesperaloe: Influence on its adaptation for cultivation

Author:        Damian Andres Ravetta

Abstract (summary):

Andy Hale lives in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Ph.D. from Arid Lands Resource Sciences in 2011 and now works with local communities and former rebel soldiers to build a sustainable food security and reintegration model through hands on agricultural production and infrastructure development. He is the Country Director, DRC of The Norman Bourlag Institute for International Agriculture.

Please extend your congratulations to ALRS graduates who recently welcomed the new additions to their families!

Abd Salam El Vilaly (ALRS Summer 2013 graduate) and Audra El Vilaly (Geography PhD student) became proud parents of Emil Mohamdy Vilaly who was born on January 31, 2013 Tucson, AZ.

Wiebke Foerch (ALRS Fall 2012 Graduate)  and her husband,  Stefano, are also  parents to Nicola, their son who was born on June 23, 2013 in Nairobi.

Andrew Carnie has appointed Istvan Molnar as Program Chair for Arid Lands Resource Sciences(ALRS) GIDP starting July 1st, 2013. Stuart Marsh has been Program Chair for the last 10 years and in March 2013 was named Director of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE).

Istvan Molnar has been with the UA since 2004.   He is currently an Associate Professor, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, School of Natural Resources and Environment, Office of Arid Lands Studies, SW Center for Natural Products Research and Commercialization.

Steven Amesbury
Ph.D. - Zoology, University of Hawaii, 1975
M.S. - Zoology, University of Arizona, 1969
B.A. - Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1967

She won one of the "2013 Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship" awards.
This will fund her research entitled: "From urban neighborhoods to wilderness: optimizing connectivity and conservation support through design".

Adriana was also named one of the "Outstanding GIDP* GTA for 2012-2013!

Read more of this achievement at:

*Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs

For Adriana Alejandra Zuniga Teran, ALRS Ph.D. Candidate, May 2013 is a very special and memorable month.  Because on this merry month of May she has received 2 awards that make her standout as an achieving graduate student.

Graduate Students:

  • Worried about your future?
  • Thinking about non-acaemic careers?
  • Help is on the way!

The Versatile PhD website demystiifies non-academic career paths and helps you prepare for many possibilities.

The Versatile PhD community was founded by humanities PhD student in 1999 and has since become an important non-academic career resource for graduate students-particularly in humanities and social sciences but increasingly for all disciplines.

One of Stephen Bieda’s long term professional goal is to work for a federal agency to help address climate hazards in arid land regions. And he has achieved this goal with his present employment as Lead Meteorological Trainer and Science Officer, United States Air Force.

Thesis Title:             Flash flood causing mechanisms of the North American Monsoon System in the Sonoran Desert

Author:                      Stephen W. Bieda III

Abstract :

When Chet Phillips was an undergraduate in 2006, he created a  class that helps the campus continue to improve its environmental sustainability.  Read More.


Robert Varady and Joel Cuello recently received the University of Arizona's Global Excellence Awards, presented by the Office of Global Initiatives and the Center for English as a Second Language.

Simona Seastrand, ALRS Ph.D. student has just won the Weather Civilian of the Year, 25th Operational Weather Squadron Member, Forecast Innovation Team, Small Team of the Quarter, First Weather Group award 2013.  Simona is a USAF Science and Operations Officer/Intern, Ph.D. Student 25th Operational Weather Squadron.

Thesis Title:  How do we keep conservation alive when kids have less and less contact with nature?

Author:         Rafael Payan

EPA challenges UA to reduce food waste by 5 percent

This news story was posted by ryan Haaer on January 17, 2013.  ALRS Ph.D. student, Chet Philips was featured in this news story on how Compost Cats, Dining Services, and the Office of Sustainability are teaming up with the EPA for its Food Recovery Challenge project to reduce food waste.

Barron Orr is working to join the missions of NASA Offices of Earth Science and Space Grant with the experience and infrastructure of the Cooperative Extension in order to bridge the gap between geospatial technology and its potential users in the state of Arizona.

Thesis Title:     More Users and More Uses: Choosing Between Land and Forest in Malawi's Protected Areas

Author:           Barron Joseph Orr


Her main interest lies in the theoretical and empirical intersections of political ecology, environmental justice, complex systems science, and participatory research.

The picture featured in this website was taken  in Senegal  for her dissertation work: “Soil carbon sequestration in small-scale farming systems: A case study from the Old Peanut Basin in Senegal.” 


Stuart E. Marsh, ALRS-GIDP Program Chair, is wearing a new hat (of responsibility that is).  With the semi-retirement of Charles Hutchinson, Stuart was recently named Interim Director of the School of Narutal Resources and the Environment (SNRE). 

Thesis Title:  LandTenure and the Peace Process in Mozambique:The Role of Land Dispute Resolution in Critical Resource Areas                           

Author:  Jon Darrel Unruh    


The Arid Lands Resource Sciences GIDP had their Spring Field Trip to Biosphere 2, April 14, 2012.  Attendees included faculty, students, staff and some of their family members. “ Time Life Books recently named Biosphere 2 as one of the 50 must see "Wonders of the World".   This is because real-time research on the future of our planet unfolds in this specially designed mini-world facility. 




Thesis Title: Muddy waters: Case Studies in Dry Land Water Resource Economics

Author: Rosalind Bark


Thesis Title:     Land Use and Vegetation Change in Response to River Basin Development in the      Lower Tana Basin of Eastern Kenya

Author:              John Kaunda Maingi    1998


Thesis Title:    Vegetation distributions in semi-arid environments: Spatial analysis for climate and landscape characterization

Author:           Susan Marie Skirvin      2002


Thesis Title: Production and Marketing of Traditional Herbs: A Plan for Developing Agricultural Opportunities in Indian Country

Author: Anita Lisa Hayden 2001


"Stephen Bieda III, from the 25th Operational Weather Squadron and a Ph.D. Candidate in Arid Lands Resource Sciences at the University of Arizona, has won the Air Force Weather Agency's 2011 Weather Civilian of the Year award.   His expertise in climate and weather forecasting has brought many new innovations and products that have been employed by the Air Force Weather Agency.  The distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Bieda reflect great credit upon himself and has brought the distinct honor of being weather civilian of the year in the field operating agency of the Headquarters U.S.

 Dendrochronology Reveals Planting Dates of Historic Apple Trees in the Southwestern United States

 K.J. Routson, C.C. Routson and P.R. Sheppard

 Journal of the American Pomological Society, 66(1): 9-15, January 2012



Dendrochronology Reveals Planting Dates of Historic Apple Trees in the Southwestern United States

 K.J. Routson, C.C. Routson and P.R. Sheppard

 Journal of the American Pomological Society, 66(1): 9-15, January 2012


Project: Desertfication or Greening?

The overall goal of this project is to develop empirical evidence that can inform our understanding of the interactions among land use, land cover, and people’s livelihoods in the in the face of rainfall variability and unpredictability in two Sahelian countries, Mauritania and Senegal. We will:

(1) use remote sensing techniques to measure land cover changes and map land use,

(2) conduct field surveys to reconstruct land use and management practices employed by natural resource user groups

Stephen Bieda III won the USAF 1st Weather Group's 2011 Weather Civilian of the Year award, which encompassed the 15th Operational Weather Squadron, the 25th Operational Weather Squadron and the 26th Operational Weather Squadron.  The announcement came on January 26, 2012 from Colonel Kay A. Smith, the Commander of the 1st Weather Group.

Archaeologists from the Arizona State Museum, led by Suzanne Fish and Paul Fish, have been investigating the trincheras on Tumamoc, the stone terraces and walls that encircle the peak, and the stone houses and other structures there. Their excavations and data analysis are illuminating the two main prehistoric villages occupying the peak. Read More

 Chester F. Phillips, a Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona, receives the $500 Runner- Up Prize for Best Anger & Revenge Essay for “Heroes and Consequences,” an exploration of his response to his teenage sister’s rape, and a commentary on the meaning of masculinity in American culture:


Chet Phillips is featured in the October 17, 2011 issue of the UA News regarding his work in sustainability projects at the UA:

“Composting for a Cause”

Here is an excerpt from that news item:

ALRS-GIDP had their annual fall reception to Welcome back faculty and students.  The event was held at the Marriott University Park Hotel on September 15, 2011 from 4:00-6:00 PM.  There was good turn out of ALRS faculty members as well as students.  The event was also graced by the presence of recent alumni: Joanne Gallaher and Daniel Higgins and the business staff of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE).

Through the years the GIDP ALRS phd program has seen a number of its graduates successfully make their mark in their chosen fields of research. We are equally proud of the achievements of our current students, and  Nelson Cronyn in particular is one of those students who has been juggling dissertation research along with his most recent appointment as Director of Agriculture, Department of Compact Operations, Millenenium Challenge Corporation, USA. 


2011 Hon Kachina awardee Dr. Barbara Eiswerth is known in refugee camps around the globe for her dedication to – and care for – some of our country’s newest residents

PHOENIX – Tucson’s Dr. Barbara Eiswerth didn’t comprehend her global impact as the founder of the Iskashitaa Refugee Harvesting Network until a recent refugee from an African country halfway around the world met her and exclaimed, “You are THE Barbara?”


  1. ALRS requires that before the first day of classes, there will be a meeting held with each ALRS student, program Chair and program coordinator.

Attainment of a graduate degree in the Arid Lands Resource Sciences GIDP requires outstanding scholarship and demonstration of distinguished research leading to a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to the general fund of knowledge in interdisciplinary science. The degrees are never granted solely as certification of faithful performance of a prescribed program of studies. All degree requirements must be fulfilled. Therefore, the requirements for satisfactory academic progress are outlined below.

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.