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An analysis by UA research scientist Phil Rosen found 50 percent declines in eight snake species and a half-dozen lizard species at Organ Pipe Monument, about 140 miles southwest of Tucson. Climate, he said, could be a factor.
Citizen science is in action at Tumamoc Hill, where hikers are helping researchers track changes in plant life. Gary Nabhan, a research scientist at the UA's Southwest Center, is overseeing the project.
A newly designed solar vehicle competed in the Shell Eco-marathon in the Urban Challenge category, which required team members to design a conventional-style car. They built the car from the ground up and included suspension and reverse gears in its design.
Seafood is surprisingly important in maintaining food security around the world, either through direct consumption of fish products or as a commodity, according to a paper co-authored by Rafe Sagarin, assistant research scientist at the University of Arizona. The paper, “Sustainability and Global Seafood,” was published in the Feb. 12 issue of Science. Potential exists for seafood to be even more important for food security, but governance failures--inefficient trade, ineffective environmental regulations, or failure to control open-access to fishery resources—result in the inability of countries lead to sustainably capture the benefits from seafood that they might, Sagarin said. Aid directed specifically at improving fisheries management (for example, exporting expertise on how to make aquaculture facilities more sustainable) could be very helpful in creating opportunities for greater food security through seafood consumption.
Sharon Megdal, director of the UA's Water Resources Research Center, says the cost of treating and delivering water to Arizona communities is likely to increase in the coming years.
With a disappointing monsoon season, drought conditions have spread to every corner of Arizona, causing poor ranchland conditions and forcing many ranchers to sell livestock. While El Niño is partly to blame for the lack of summer rains, it may also bring wetter-than-average conditions to parts of the Southwest, particularly the southern portions.
Gregg Garfin, deputy director for science and outreach at the Institute of the Environment, discusses bark beetle infestation in the Southwest in a sidebar to the Financial Times' article, Record drought takes its toll on Arizona.
A team of scientists lead by a University of Arizona professor is working to develop a theory for predicting plant growth that ultimately will help farmers, foresters, land managers, and researchers anticipate how plants will respond to shifts in climate. The project is funded by a three-year, $737,500 National Science Foundation grant.