Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology studies the nature and principles underlying ecological and evolutionary processes, the origin and maintenance of biodiversity, and the diversity and dynamics of the world’s natural systems. Its focus spans from molecular genetics and organismal function as they relate to evolution and ecology to population and community ecology, biological diversity, phylogeny, and macroevolution. Of particular water-related interest to the Department are desert habitats (especially the Sonoran Desert) and the taxonomic groups which inhabit them.
Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
The Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences studies the recognized areas of hydrologic and atmospheric science: catchment hydrology, environmental risk and uncertainty, groundwater modeling, interaction of surface and subsurface hydrology, contaminant fate and transport, weather forecasting, remote sensing, and hydrometeorology. Faculty members collaborate with visiting professors and international communities and offer professional advice to Arizona communities.
Geography and Development
The School of Geography and Development includes water in much of its research on natural and human systems. The school also houses the Graduate Certificate in Water Policy and offers a Water Resources, Politics and Policy research track, which focuses on topics such as comparative and international water law and policy, water and urban growth, water reuse, the energy-water nexus, climate and water variability, paleohydrology, climate change, drought, water resources and sustainability and dryland environments.
The Geosciences department researches past and present water patterns on Earth, including a variety of subjects related to drought, climate, and sea level. Additionally, Geoscience faculty specialize in studying the paleo aspects of water, specifically paleolimnology, paleoclimate, and paleoenvironmental topics. The department is also part of the Research Coordination Network for the Colorado River Delta, which facilitates international research on the variability of the water in the Colorado River and effects on the surrounding landscapes.
Natural Resources and the Environment
The School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE) forms part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and works with water on multiple levels, from measuring the hydrologic flow of a single wash, to conducting large-landscape ecosystem studies. SNRE offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees that encompass wildlife and fishers science, conservation and management, rangeland ecology, watershed management and ecohydrology, and global change ecology and management, multi-day workshops, international initiatives, community programs, and decision support tools that integrate water with other natural resources and with the communities that depend on them. In addition to the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Natural Resources and the Environment, the school is the home to the M.S. in Water, Society and Policy.
Soil, Water and Environmental Science
The Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science (SWES) specializes in soil, sediment, and engineered systems, and the resources that immediately surround them. There are four main areas of research: critical zone science (near-surface environments), water quality and sustainability, pollution dynamics and mitigation, and arid and semiarid agriculture. SWES also has a large and well-known extension program with strong connections to private, governmental and tribal organizations. The extension manages six projects intended as decision support tools for the public on topics such as agriculture, aquaculture, mining, weather, and climate.
Institute of the Environment
The Institute of the Environment (IE) fosters and facilitates cross-campus, community, state, national and worldwide collaborations that help explain and resolve environmental challenges and seize solution-driven opportunities created by such challenges. IE also provides a portal to the internationally-recognized expertise of more than 300 faculty and research staff across campus and to programs, events and projects. Interdisciplinary IE initiatives include the Climate Assessment for the Southwest, Southwest Climate Science Center and Renewable Energy Network.
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
The Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research is recognized worldwide as a preeminent center for the advancement of tree-ring techniques and the broad application of dendrochronology in the social and environmental sciences. Research programs include fire history and fire ecology, multiproxy paleoclimatology, archaeology, biogeography, isotope geochemistry, paleoecology, biogeochemistry, geomorphology, numerical and statistical modeling and even public health.
Southwest Climate Science Center
The Southwest Climate Science Center is one of eight such centers established by the Department of Interior to provide scientific information, tools and techniques that managers and other parties interested in land, water, wildlife and cultural resources can use to anticipate, monitor and adapt to climate change. The center is hosted by a consortium of six institutions around the region. University of Arizona serves as the central location and administrative center.
Water Resources Research Center
The Water Resources Research Center promotes understanding of critical state and regional water management and policy issues through research, community outreach and public education. Faculty and staff partner across campus and with public and private entities in the region and around the world on a range of water management and policy issues, including water governance and planning, competition for water resources and international comparative analysis.
Arizona Cooperative Extension
The Cooperative Extension, an outreach arm of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, serves as a statewide network of knowledgeable faculty and staff that provides lifelong educational programs for all Arizonans. It is part of a nationwide network that helps people solve problems and puts knowledge to use. Water-related programs include aquaculture, watershed stewardship, irrigation water management, onsite wastewater, safe drinking water, smartscaping and turfgrass.
Biosphere 2 serves as a center for research, outreach, teaching and lifelong learning. The facility is the world’s largest controlled environment for studying how ecosystems, water and biogeochemistry interact. The Biosphere 2 Science Program addresses societal grand challenges related to water, environmental and energy management through design of large-scale experimentation such as the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) http://b2science.org/leo/about.
Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions
CCASS brings together the wealth of expertise at the University of Arizona to support sound management choices in the context of global change, linking science, the information needs of managers and decision-making. Areas of expertise include: climate science, modeling, impacts and vulnerability; hydrology, drought planning and water policy; ecology, restoration and environmental mitigation strategies; large-scale ecohydrology research; monitoring and remote sensing; adaptation engineering; and others.
Climate Assessment for the Southwest
Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) assesses the impacts of climate variability and longer-term climate change on human and natural systems in the Southwest. CLIMAS is designed to improve the ability of the region to respond sufficiently and appropriately to climatic events and climate changes.