The University of Arizona is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the science of adaptation to climate change, and associated research and outreach to understand climate change, its observed and potential impacts, and possible responses.
Soil, Water, and Environmental Science
This department addresses the management of soil and water resources primarily in the context of terrestrial ecosystems and their sustainable management with good land and water stewardship. These ecosystems include agricultural, urban, industrial and native systems. Critical zone science encompasses the breadth of the programs in the SWES Department. The critical zone is the most heterogeneous portion of the Earth, including land surfaces, vegetation, and water bodies, and extending through the pedosphere, unsaturated vadose zone, and saturated groundwater zone.
The SWES department integrates fundamental physical, chemical, and biological science with an understanding of managed terrestrial ecosystems and strives to bring science to bear on practical problems and issues, like climate change, in a sustainable manner. For instance, the Climate Science Applications Program is a Cooperative Extension program housed in the SWES department that is focused on bringing climate science research and applications to the people of the state of Arizona and the broader Southwest region including New Mexico, southern California, and northern Mexico. The program works to develop and coordinate outreach activities and applied research between the climate research community at the University of Arizona and a wide group of climate science user groups throughout the Southwest.