CALS News and Announcements

  • University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) trainee Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta has compiled the results from her dissertation research, Gardenroots, the Dewey-Humboldt, AZ Garden Project. In response to interest from gardeners around the state of Arizona, she has been on the road to provide presentations describing the results of her study on metals uptake in garden vegetables.

  • Researchers at the University of Arizona followed up their 2004 sequencing of the rice genome with work on the other important cereal crop - corn.

    It took about 50 researchers - including 10 working full time at the UA - $30 million and four years to produce a blueprint for manipulating the corn, or maize, genome.

  • Rod Wing, director of the Arizona Genomics Institute, said he likes to "surprise people" by telling them the University of Arizona is the largest producer of rice in the state.

    The rice grows in experimental plots in the greenhouses and fields of the UA's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences - an outgrowth of research in Wing's lab to help solve the Earth's looming food crisis by creating new strains of the cereal crops that make up 60 percent of humankind's diet.

  • The Arizona Daily Star's Centennial salute to science in Arizona runs all summer. Each day, for 100 days, we'll record a milestone in the state's scientific history.

    Pima cotton has come to represent the gold standard for luxurious, silklike fabric used in high-end sheets and clothing.

    The evolution of this extra-long-staple cotton is an Arizona success story.

    "A lot of folks think it originated with the Pima Indians," said Jeff Silvertooth, head of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

  • Tucson Village Farm is a working urban farm designed to provide youth with an understanding of sustainable food systems.

    The farm is operational year round and during the summer kids have an opportunity to participate in week-long camps designed to teach healthy food choices.

    Leza Carter, program coordinator and founder of Tucson Village Farm, says TVF is an environment designed to reconnect young people to a healthy food system, teach them how to grow and prepare fresh food, and empower them to make healthy life choices.

  • The UA’s Credit-Wise Cats live by one motto: There’s no crying in finance.

    The organization began with just five members in 2000, and aims to improve the financial literacy of young adults in local schools. The group now includes 15 ambassadors that partner with programs and community businesses to put on interactive personal finance workshops. On Saturday, the Credit-Wise Cats invited 14 high schools in Tucson to take part in a competition that challenged their financial literacy.

  • In the constant search for new crops that fit the area and fill a niche market, a handful of growers in the desert Southwest are turning their attention to an ancient agricultural product with a promising new future.

    With Americans in pursuit of healthier living, there's a growing demand for high-quality olive oil, said Glenn Wright, a University of Arizona researcher with the Yuma Agriculture Center. And it's a crop he thinks would do well here.

    “I think there's a big future here, based on what I know so far.”

  • UA scientists are growing tomatoes that have a high concentration of lycopene, an antioxidant compound. By adding salt to the soil, the tomatoes experience stress, which causes them to produce more lycopene. The study could lead to improved food growing techniques in the U.S. and better nutrition.

    See the WebMD video featuring Chieri Kubota, CALS Controlled Environment Agricultural Center, at

  • The University of Arizona Green Fund Committee has selected 16 projects to receive nearly $400,000 in the coming year that will make the University a more environmentally sustainable institution.
    The Green Fund Committee is comprised of nine UA students responsible for soliciting, accepting, reviewing and funding sustainable project proposals on the UA campus and beyond. The committee received 34 proposals this year from a variety of projects looking for funding for the 2012-13 academic year.

  • The Society for Research on Adolescence, or SRA, has named University of Arizona professor Stephen T. Russell its new president.

    Russell is director of the University of Arizona's Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, housed in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences.
    He also is the associate editor of SRA's Journal of Research on Adolescence and the Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair. The McClelland Institute that he heads is a catalyst for research that addresses social, emotional and physical issues that families face.