Recent CALS Spotlights

  • The year 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which created the national Cooperative Extension System, a unique partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the nation’s land-grant universities that extends research-based knowledge to youth and adults through a state-by-state network of extension educators.

    The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, celebrated its centennial locally through a year-long series of commemorative events and activities during 2014. Each celebration highlighted Extension’s past while focusing on the application of UA Cooperative Extension’s educational programming into the future. The last two major events took place at the V Bar V Ranch in northern Arizona and at the Phoenix Zoo.  In addition, an exhibit at the UA Science Library on the UA campus will continue until March 11, 2015.

  • This winter, 288 students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will be walking in the 2014 UA CALS Winter Commencement, to  be held in Centennial Hall on Saturday, December 20, 2014. Out of these 288 students, 233 are undergraduates and 55 are graduate students.

    Even though the winter commencement has siginficantly fewer graduating students than its spring counterpart, this class is still widely diverse. The fall 2014 graduating class includes students in at least one of every major offered in the college, ranging from retailing and consumer sciences to agricultural education to microbiology.

  • The University of Arizona enjoys a reputation for having a beautiful campus paired with a great setting and ideal weather. At a time in the spring when much of the country is still covered in snow, students can stroll to class in flip-flops, under a grove of citrus trees in fragrant bloom. The fruit these trees produce goes largely unnoticed and unused.

    While the primary function of these trees — almost 8,000 of them — is to provide beauty and shade, they serve an additional purpose: Many produce food in the form of fruit such as citrus, figs and pomegranates.

  • Among the most pressing issues facing the world today is how to grow enough food to feed a human population that will expand by more than two billion in the next 35 years without exhausting resources and destroying the environment.

    Rice will play an essential role in the quest to solve this "9 Billion People Question." Rice is, and will continue to be, the primary source of food/calories for half the world and many rapidly growing regions.

    The University of Arizona is home to innovative research and scientists committed to forging new paths to make sure that a crisis is averted and the situation is improved for future generations.

  • Jessica Fish, a postdoctoral research associate in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant at the beginning of fall semester 2014 for her research on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ and minority teens.

    The NSF Grant is funding Fish’s two-year project on alcohol use in LBGTQ teens titled, “Sexual Minority Youth Alcohol Use: Risk and Protective Factors.” Fish will analyze how interpersonal relationships and developmental contexts of LGBTQ teens influence their use of alcohol. The overall goal is “to disseminate and apply these findings in ways that will help inform prevention and intervention strategies aimed at reducing LGBTQ youth and young adult alcohol use,” Fish explained.

  • The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Research Office hosted its inaugural “CALS Poster Forum” on Monday November 10, 2014 in the University of Arizona’s Student Union Ball Room.

    The goal of this event was to showcase all research in the college, including research conducted in academic departments, centers, institutes and Cooperative Extension, and to foster collaboration. All CALS faculty, specialists, agents, directors and students were encouraged to submit and accompany a poster that would be displayed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • What if your social media network — the actual interface, not your followers — could tip you off to a personal risk for developing a preventable medical condition, then help you figure out ways to improve your lifestyle?

    University of Arizona computer science and nutritional science researchers are working on that exact issue, determining ways to enhance artificial intelligence capabilities to predict certain chronic, yet preventable, health conditions based on a person's social media activity.

  • Dogs are more than just man’s best friend. Researchers are looking at how the contribution of their gut bacteria might be making their owners healthier.

    Dr. Charles Raison, a professor of psychiatry and CNN mental health expert [and also a professor in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences], is investigating whether owning a dog provides health benefits to the owners through positive changes in their microbiota.

    Throughout an individual’s life, the microbiota — or bacterial community — play an important role in maintaining health and well-being. Beneficial bacteria cover human skin and line the gastrointestinal tract, helping to digest certain foods, prevent inflammation and keep disease-causing bacteria from taking root.

  • P. Andrew "Andy" Groseta, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumnus of the Year, is a third-generation Arizona rancher who has reached pinnacles of success in his ranching career, industry leadership roles, and service to the community and his alma mater.

    A partner in Headquarters West Ltd., a statewide agribusiness firm, Groseta has served as president of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

    Groseta was selected in 2008 by then-President George W. Bush to attend the inauguration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as a member of the U.S. presidential delegation. He represented U.S. cattlemen in resolving the U.S.-Korean beef trade issue, allowing U.S. beef back into South Korea.

  • The CALS Communications and Cyber Technologies (CCT) team recently completed a three-month email upgrade that involved migrating over 1,000 @ag and @cals email accounts from their College of Agriculture and Life Sciences server in the Forbes building to the UA campus-hosted email system. All CALS employees can now benefit from the increased server space, server administration and 24/7 desktop support.

    Managing the CALS email server was an around-the-clock operation and migrating this service to UAConnect allows CCT staff to offer an expanded suite of services to clientele throughout the college. The CCT team intends to use this opportunity to spend less time on commodity IT and to refocus their efforts on developing high-quality applications, multimedia and supporting infrastructure.