Recent CALS Spotlights

  • Car and truck exhaust fumes that foul the air for humans also cause problems for pollinators.

    In new research on how pollinators find flowers when background odors are strong, University of Washington and University of Arizona researchers have found that both natural plant odors and human sources of pollution can conceal the scent of sought-after flowers.

    When the calories from one feeding off a flower fuels only 15 minutes of flight, as is the case with the tobacco hornworm moth studied, being misled costs a pollinator energy and time.

  • University of Arizona researchers are playing a leading role in an unprecedented effort to save America's most iconic butterfly, the monarch.

    Due to loss of habitat for milkweed – the sole food plant of the caterpillars – populations of this important pollinator have plummeted in recent years, leaving the monarch in dire straits.

    Laura Lopez-Hoffman, an assistant professor in the UA's School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and Gary Nabhan, who holds the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the UA's Southwest Center, are helping bring together researchers, agencies, non-governmental organizations and grassroots movements to design and implement a recovery plan for the butterflies.

  • Antibiotic resistance in humans is a growing health concern, and scientists are now looking at how water and soil in the environment might contribute to people becoming immune to life-saving antibiotics.

    Experts will discuss this issue at an upcoming University of Arizona workshop, which will tackle the hot-button topic of antibiotic resistance in agriculture.

    "Antibiotic Resistance in Agroecosystems: State of the Science" will be held Aug. 5-8 at Biosphere 2, and aims to bring together microbiologists and chemists to identify the most effective methods to track antibiotic resistance in the environment.

  • E-commerce has exploded in the past ten years, as more people go to the Internet to buy and sell goods and services. Technology has driven much of that shift.

    In coming years, changes will continue to occur, not online however, but in brick and mortar stores, according to Anita Bhappu, an associate professor of retailing and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona.

    "The key thing has been about seamless integration across channels," Bhappu said. For those big retailers who have both physical stores and online marketplaces, " they can meet their consumer in whichever place the consumer is at, and can follow them through their path to purchase."

  • Psychologists often focus on role of mothers in children’s development. Writer Paul Raeburn asks: when it comes to raising children, what does dad have to do with it?

    Dads are not just a second-income in a family, he says, but their role in children’s psychological development has been overlooked. Raeburn’s book “Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About the Overlooked Parent”, delves into the effects an active, present father has on his children. He found recent research that suggests that fathers’ love and involvement is a crucial factor in children’s well-being, particularly in his sons’ and daughters’ teenage years.

  • Vivianna Pardini was 15 years old when she got pregnant. Three months into her pregnancy, she heard about Marana High School's Teenage Parent Program, or TAPP.

    TAPP is a day care center tucked away in a corner of Marana High. It provides care to babies and toddlers when their teen parents, mainly moms, are in U.S. history and geometry classes. But it’s far more than a day care facility. TAPP is where young people like Pardini learn how to be parents.

    Pardini is now 18, and just finished her junior year at Marana. Over the past few years she’s been able to go to classes, while her daughter Yasleen has spent her days at TAPP. The daycare facility is located in Marana’s campus – and the goal is to help teenage moms get their high school diploma.

  • Peter Warren spends much of his day answering serious questions about insects and horticulture for the Pima County Cooperative Extension at the University of Arizona.

    Questions such as:

    “How do I keep kissing bugs out of my house?”

    “How often should I water my new Meyer lemon tree?”

    And, “What the heck is this bug and how do I kill it?”

    So, we decided to ask him a few not-so-serious questions about his job and what makes him tick.

  • Peak tomato season — July through September here on the East Coast — is almost upon us, and the anticipation is palpable. Before we know it, those super sweet, juicy fruits, grown outdoors under the hot sun, will be back in abundance..

    We tend to fetishize summer tomatoes, especially heirloom varieties like Brandywine and , and regard them as the pinnacle of tomato flavor.

    But according scientists who specialize in growing food in hydroponic greenhouses, some tomatoes bred for the indoors are now just as flavorful as the ones grown outdoors in perfect summer conditions.

  • As part of statewide visits, University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart toured the U.S.-Mexico border region of Santa Cruz County, affirming the UA’s commitment to Arizona as the state’s land-grant university.

    Hart's daylong visit included meetings and interaction with community college transfer students, families, extension specialists, agriculturalists and education board members.

    The trip coincided with the 100-year anniversary of the UA's Cooperative Extension, established in 1914 and responsible for translating research into community solutions and economic impact, helping to shape the Arizona of today.

    Cooperative Extension, a program of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has helped grow Arizona's agriculture to a $16.2 billion industry. In 2013 alone, Cooperative Extension served more than 585,000 Arizonans.

  • Kevin Fitzsimmons, Cooperative Extension specialist from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award Apr. 21, 2014. This national honor was given in recognition of Fitzsimmons’ extensive volunteer efforts with Winrock International, a non-profit volunteering organization.

    The award was established in 2003 and is given annually to around 100 individuals, groups and families who have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering like Fitzsimmons.