Environment and Resilience Teams

The Arizona Institutes for Resilience (AIR) supports interdisciplinary faculty, students, and campus entities focused on environmental challenges and solutions. Among these, AIR helps to coordinate research efforts and student engagement with a focus on environment and resilience. When possible, AIR also seeks to provide seed funding to initiate Vertically Integrated Projects (VIPs) that fall under the umbrella of environment and resilience, wherein students become integral to authentic discovery and knowledge development within and across world-class UArizona disciplines. The goal is for these VIPs to be a cornerstone methodology within a cohesive program inspired by the value of authentic student engagement as well as by developing resilience-oriented solutions, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and other frameworks for approaching global grand challenges. The VIPs will provide project-based research experiences across a diversity of environment options and showcase an explicit coordination and support of programs and pathways for all students.

Included in the inaugural 2021 portfolio of Environment and Resilience VIPs are eight receiving AIR seed grants for student support — focused on increasing the accessibility of research opportunities for underrepresented groups — and spanning a broad range of fields. This interdisciplinary cluster of VIPs investigates ways we may increase our environmental and/or social resilience, particularly with accelerating changes to climate and ecosystems.

Integrated Climate Research: Ecology, Water, and Weather (ICREWW) seeks to address the question “How do climate variables change over time and affect one another?”
Martha Whitaker, Hydrology and Atmospheric Science, College of Science

The Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill leverages its long-term (greater than 100 years!) urban field station to research the dynamics of how life adapts and responds to aridity and climate change variability.
Benjamin Wilder, Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, Arizona Institutes for Resilience
Charlotte Brown, Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, Arizona Institutes for Resilience
Anna Seiferle-Valencia, Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, Arizona Institutes for Resilience
Deborah Goldberg, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Science
Judith Bronstein, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Science

BEST-CLIM: Best Ecosystem Structure for CLImate Mitigation looks at the interaction between climate and arid landscapes: the team assesses the best vegetation structure and density for maximizing arid environments’ abilities to contribute to climate cooling.
Flurin Babst, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Don Falk, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
William K. Smith, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
William van Leeuwen, School of Geography, Development, and Environment, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Assessing Resilience of Arizona Grasslands to Changes in the North American Monsoon (also known as RainManSr) seeks to fill a knowledge gap by researching the impacts of extreme drought on rangeland ecosystem services.
William K. Smith, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, College of Agriculture and  Life Sciences
Joel Biederman, Southwest Watershed Research Center
Yang Song, Hydrology and Atmospheric Science, College of Science
Nate Pierce, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Fangyue Zhang, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The Tucson Bee Collaborative investigates specific species — native bees — impacted by threats such as climate change and works to increase knowledge and awareness of these bees to advance conservation efforts.
Wendy Moore, Entomology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Kimberly Franklin, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Jennifer Katcher, Pima Community College
Gene Hall, CALS Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The Coral Reef Resilience VIP uses the unique Biosphere 2 research facility to mimic the effects of a warming climate on coral reefs and, specifically, to understand the interaction of living and nonliving factors on the physiology and health of corals.
Jeremiah Hackett, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Science
Diane Thompson, Geosciences, College of Science
Laura Miller, Mathematics, College of Science

Heat, Housing, and Health+: Understanding Vulnerability and Building Resilience within Manufactured Housing Communities (H3+) investigates indoor consequences of rising temperatures — the unequal risks of heat to mobile homes residents.
Margaret Wilder, School of Geography, Development, and Environment, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Mark Kear, School of Geography, Development, and Environment, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Ladd Keith, College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture
Patricia Solís, Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, Arizona State University
David Hondula, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University

The Redox Flow Batteries (RFBs) for Long-Duration Energy Storage VIP seeks to develop a new technology for Redox Flow Batteries that would allow long-term energy storage to be possible, thereby addressing a major challenge for current renewable energy systems — an important and innovative solution in the face of climate change.
Thomas L. Gianetti, Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science, College of Medicine - Tucson
Jules Moutet, Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science, College of Medicine - Tucson

Agrivoltaics: Food, Energy, and Water Solutions investigates how to best grow food and produce solar energy in the same location to maximize food and energy production and minimize water usage.
Greg Barron-Gafford, School of Geography, Development & Development, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences