University of Arizona - Arid Lands, Water, and People
The School of Natural Resources and the Environment has had a long history of involvement in developing a better understanding of the physical, economic, and societal aspects of arid and semi-arid lands around the world. These activities fulfill the University of Arizona's mission outlined by former University of Arizona President Richard Harvill in 1968:
“Since its beginnings in the latter years of the 19th century, the University of Arizona has recognized, by reason of its location on the semiarid border of the desert, a special responsibility for basic and applied research relating to problems of the arid and semiarid regions of the Earth.”
And most recently the recognition by current University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart that Water and Arid Lands remain an important focus area for the University:
“One important example is the work being done in the UA’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE), which was formed through a merger of the School of Natural Resources and the Office of Arid Lands Studies. Researchers in SNRE are doing work that will lead to innovative solutions for agricultural needs in arid and semi-arid regions around the world, including crop production, water and land conservation and reclamation, and food security assessment. As the International Arid Lands Consortium (of which the UA is a founding member) notes, arid regions already comprise one-third of the Earth’s surface and support more than one-fifth of the world’s population.
Along with the UA’s Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Arid Lands Resource Sciences, which is a close partner, the School of Natural Resources and the Environment has tapped into the unique setting of the University of Arizona to conduct novel and necessary research. These programs create new knowledge and a better understanding of the natural processes that define the Sonoran Desert and other arid and semi-arid regions around the world. This knowledge will allow communities here in Arizona to meet the challenges posed by climate change and other global realities with agricultural practices and policy that will enable economic, social, and environmental resilience in the years to come.”