Recent CALS Spotlights

  • Kejun Li asks a question: What does a credit card have in common with tree rings?

    The answer is in Li's art — spiraling, archival digital-art prints he created by smearing an expired credit card in the style of Chinese brush paintings. The prints directly mimic the cross section of a tree and its rings in a way that is so striking and precise that people have asked Li, a graduating University of Arizona Master of Fine Art student, whether his works are actually X-rays.

  • When people hear the word "retail," they might automatically think of a brick-and-mortar store with a clerk behind the counter. But retail today is more than that – much more – says Joan Sweeney, interim director of the UA's Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing.

    "Retail is everywhere," Sweeney says. "Retail is the engine of American business. We're a consumer society, and two-thirds of the U.S. GDP flows through retail.

  • The world today is more intimate and tightly wound together than ever before. Organizations are linked together in a variety of ways, allowing relationships to form and resources to be exchanged.

    Matt Mars of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Judith Bronstein from the UA College of Science have teamed up to better understand the natural properties of the networks that tie together human actors and organizations. The U.S. Department of Defense is interested in their research as a way to analyze terrorist networks.

  • A veterinary medical education program unlike any other in North America is being created at the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with an innovative curriculum that will create jobs, student opportunity and build the state’s economic prosperity.

    "We’re going to break the mold and create the first of a (new) generation of veterinary education programs designed for the 21st century," said Dr. Bonnie Buntain, the new coordinator of the UA’s Veterinary Medical and Surgical Program.

  • See Me Smoke-Free, the first multibehavioral mobile health (mHealth) app designed to help women quit smoking, eat well and get moving, is now available for free at the Google Play Store.

    The Android phone app, officially released March 30, uses guided imagery to help women resist the urge to smoke, while encouraging them to make healthful food choices and increase their physical activity. The app can be downloaded at

  • "Beyond the Mirage," an entry from the University of Arizona, was selected Wednesday as the winner of the New Arizona Prize: Water Consciousness Challenge, receiving the competition’s $100,000 grand prize.

    "Beyond the Mirage" aims to raise awareness and understanding about Arizona's water supplies, demands and challenges. It was developed collaboratively by a creative team from the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which includes the Communications and Cyber Technologies Unit and Water Resources Research Center, along with Arizona Public Media and marketing professionals.

  • UA startup company GlycoSurf has finalized an exclusive license agreement for a new chemical synthesis technology, which was created at the University of Arizona. 

    Prominent UA researchers Jeanne E. Pemberton and Robin Polt, both with the UA College of Science, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, along with Raina M. Maier of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, and UA researcher Cliff Coss, originally developed the technology through the course of their research at the University, and it is now poised to enter the marketplace. Pemberton, Polt and Maier also are members of the UA's BIO5 Institute.

  • Robert Collier, professor of animal and comparative biomedical sciences at the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and graduate student Xavier Ortiz are attempting to answer the question of cost-effective cooling for heat-stressed dairy cows.

    As the climate gradually warms, issues related to heat stress in cattle increase demand for new and more efficient approaches to cooling as the hot summer months cost the U.S. dairy industry close to $900 million each year.

  • Most dog owners will tell you their furry friends make them feel good emotionally. But the health benefits of owning a dog may not end there.

    Researchers at the University of Arizona are recruiting participants for a study exploring whether dogs can improve human health by having a probiotic effect on the body. The research will focus specifically on dogs' effect on the health of older adults.

    "We've co-evolved with dogs over the millennia, but nobody really understands what it is about this dog-human relationship that makes us feel good about being around dogs," said Kim Kelly, an anthropology doctoral student and one of the primary investigators on the study.

  • California wildlife officials this year have been urging the public to get rid of their bird baths and feeders.

    The reason? Rising concerns that non-native pigeons are spreading an infectious disease (avian trichomoniasis) believed to be killing band-tailed pigeons, the state's only native pigeon species.

    Elsewhere, bird flu is a rising concern. The U.S. government this month confirmed a case of bird flu — the H5N2 strain — in Arkansas, noting that the disease is threatening the poultry industry in the Southeast. The H7N9 strain, which may cause illness in humans, was found in Canada earlier this year. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed H5N1 in wild duck in Washington state in January — the nation's first confirmed case in a bird.