Arid Lands & Resources

One-fifth of the world’s population lives in arid lands, which encompass nearly one-third of the Earth’s total land surface. Arizona Environment facilitates interdisciplinary research and solutions to the complex interactions between ecological, economic and socio-cultural factors that put pressure on arid lands.

The UArizona provides a unique interdisciplinary environment for researchers and students to engage in the study of arid and semi-arid landscapes, and has created a collaborative environment rich in faculty expertise in the physical, biological resource, agricultural and social sciences. Arid Lands research encompasses an array of topics including international development, famine, food security, land use, land degradation, political-ecology, agricultural policy, borderlands issues and urban development. The Arid Lands Resource Sciences graduate program has over 60 affiliated faculty from 19 departments who are committed to enhancing our understanding of arid lands and to find innovative solutions faced by arid lands around the globe. 



Research Spotlights in Arid Lands & Resources

Stefanie Hermmann

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Hermann investigates techniques for incorporating local land user perspectives in assessing and understanding land degradation in drylands of the developing world.

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Don Slack

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Slack’s work focuses on the cultivation and processing of sorghum in arid regions for use in ethanol production.

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Neng Fan

Systems and Industrial Engineering

Fan works on sustainable techniques for optimizing the biomass supply chain and feedstock logistics for the production of biofuels and bioproducts made from guar and guayule (a natural rubber suitable for growing in arid environments).

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William Smith

School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Smith is developing remote sensing techniques and strategies for monitoring the spatiotemporal dynamics of dryland ecosystem structure and function.

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