Recent CALS Spotlights

  • While working toward advanced degrees, UA graduate students are producing new knowledge and products and forming companies that address significant challenges facing our state, nation and world.

    These dedicated students engage in groundbreaking research, scholarship and outreach that often begins to have a real impact before they've even left the UA. When they graduate with their advanced degrees in hand, they are poised to continue making a difference in the way we think about everything from science to business and more.

    After graduating, some of these students will continue to work in academia, while others will go into industry or choose to serve their communities in different ways, like joining the Peace Corps. The UA is consistently among the nation's top producers of Peace Corps volunteers.

  • University of Arizona Cooperative Extension is celebrating 100 years of serving Arizonans through programs designed to support agriculture, business, community health, the local economy and more.

    On May 8, 1914, Congress signed the Smith-Lever Act, establishing the Cooperative Extension Service as a national priority. The act created a unique educational partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the nation's land-grant universities to extend research-based knowledge through a state-by-state network of extension educators.

  • In the past, shopping almost always involved loading up the car, heading to the store and scouring racks and shelves for hours.

    Today's shopping experience, however, often looks quite different. Many consumers do research online and know exactly what they want before ever setting foot in a store. Others forgo brick-and-mortar locations altogether, preferring to make their purchase with the click of a mouse instead.

    The changing face of retail – and the growing convergence of the digital and physical shopping experience – was among the major topics of discussion at the University of Arizona's 18th annual Global Retailing Conference, held Thursday and Friday at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson.

  • More than three-hundred Willcox High School students interviewed, got a “job” and then moved from table to table spending their newly earned money, after deducting taxes, on housing, transportation, groceries and, if there was anything left, optional expenses such as clothing and entertainment.

    Just the first step post-job was a rude awakening for many of the students, who did not realize just how much money is taken out of their paychecks for taxes.

    “Their mouths hung open. I think I ruined a lot of dreams,” said Darcy Tessman, Extension and 4-H Youth Development agent for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

  • A half-acre farm has sprouted up on a vacant lot across from the light-rail station in the heart of the nation’s sixth largest city, Phoenix.

    The Phoenix Urban Research Farm is where urbanites – a generation or two removed from agrarian life – go to learn how to garden or even how to start a small farm business.

    The farm, which is helping to meet the increasing demand for locally grown food, is managed by faculty at the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension, part of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

    "You can't just plant on a vacant lot and expect it to grow," said Haley Paul, an urban agricultural assistant. "We're educating people on how to grow food in the low desert."

  • Master Gardener Steve McIntyre had an engineering puzzle to solve: Can you take a parking lot that’s bathed in shade for much of the day and turn it into a garden to feed those in need?

    Yes, you can.

    McIntyre and a small army of UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, turned a parking lot at the Prescott, Ariz. YMCA into a community garden that provided nearly three-quarters of a ton of produce to the needy in 2012.

  • The Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona is pleased to announce that transcripts and PowerPoint presentations from the 2013 Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming are now available online. Materials can be accessed through the program’s website.

    RTIP is a signature program within the UA School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

    Held annually since 1974, the Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming features noted experts in the racing and gaming industry as well as specialists from other fields. Participants represent American Quarter Horse, Greyhound, Racino, Standardbred and Thoroughbred interests, making this symposium the largest industry-wide conference in the world.

  • Invasive and noxious weeds in Arizona are more than just pesky plants – they are downright destructive.

    "We've got all the really nasty weeds in Arizona," said Larry Howery, noxious weeds/range management specialist with the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Cooperative Extension. "Everybody should be concerned. The economic and ecological impacts are tremendous."

    Howery said some non-native plants were introduced as ornamentals, like fountain grass and twisted barrel. Others – like buffelgrass – were introduced as food for livestock. Whether it is buffelgrass, camelthorn, toadflaxes, purple loosestrife, leafy spurge or another type of invader, these weeds threaten agriculture, wildlife and human health by ruining highways and making great fuel for wildfires.

  • As the oldest continually maintained public green space in Arizona, the University of Arizona has again earned the Tree Campus USA recognition for its work promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

    Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors higher education institutions and leaders across the nation for tree care initiatives.

    It is the fifth year the UA has earned the designation. This year, the University once again met the five standards to be honored. Institutions honored must have a committee devoted to tree care, an implemented campus tree care plan with dedicated expenditures, plans to observe Arbor Day and a service learning project involving students.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday awarded a $250,000 grant to the University of Arizona's integrated pest management program for schools so that it can create training materials for educators nationwide.

    Through multidisciplinary expertise, the UA Community IPM Leadership Team, part of Cooperative Extension in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, helps schools implement safe and effective IPM programs that reduce risks from pests, including insects, rodents and weeds, as well as pesticides use in schools, on playing fields and in surrounding areas.

    “IPM is the safest, most effective and most cost-effective way of managing pests while posing the lowest risks,” said Dawn Gouge, principal investigator for the EPA School IPM grant.