(Photo Courtesy: Judy Davis)

The Arizona Board of Regents approved the University of Arizona’s request today to establish a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. The program, which will cut the cost of educating Arizona veterinary students by half and provide a faster pathway to entering the workforce. The veterinary medical and surgical program plans to enroll its first students in less than one year.

The UA program will be founded on three critical pillars underpinning not only the veterinary profession but all of global society as it involves animals: commerce, human-animal interdependence and “One Health”—an approach to treating the health of humans, animals and the environment as interrelated. Not only will the program train DVMs, it will also allow students who do not become DVMs—but who are interested in a successful career in the very large and diverse areas of our economy associated with animals—to get a master’s degree in areas related to the three pillars.

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(Photo credit: Olan Mills Portrait Studio)

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of a very special alumna of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Judy Mellor. Julia “Judy” Mellor passed away on September 11, 2014, in Tucson, at the age of 70.

Judy graduated from the University of Arizona in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics Education. For over 45 years, she served the students, faculty and programs of CALS. She actively recruited students to the College and encouraged more and younger alumni to support CALS and the University. Her involvement in the Annual Homecoming “Dean’s Almost World Famous Burrito Breakfast and Alumni Auction” was integral to its success year after year.

Judy was known throughout the College for her kind heart, volunteerism, and pride in her University.

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The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Entomology will be hosting the Arizona Insect Festival again for its 4th year on campus! The festival will take place on Sunday, September 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of Arizona. There will be more than 20 booths in the Student Union Grand Ballroom, with theme-based, interactive activities and exhibits about the importance of insects in our lives, and exciting University of Arizona research.

The festival will highlight research conducted by UA scientists from a wide range of academic departments including Entomology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Neurobiology. This event has attracted thousands of Tucson residents, students, and children in the past, so the attendees are expected to increase this year. Don't miss out on this fun and free event!  

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Solving global challenges in food security, emerging diseases and biodiversity loss requires evolutionary thinking, argues a new study published online in Science Express that was co-authored by Bruce Tabashnik of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

For the first time, an international team of nine scientists has reviewed progress in addressing a broad set of challenges in agriculture, medicine and environmental management using approaches that consider evolutionary histories and the likelihood of rapid adaptation to human activities.

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As University of Arizona students partake in recreational sports at Bear Down Field, it's unlikely they realize what lies just beneath their feet. Under the north edge of the field lies a million-gallon tank designed to mitigate storm flows and harvest stormwater.

When monsoon clouds roll into town and unleash a downpour on the city, water is filtered into the tank, where it collects and, through a series of pipes, is directed outside of Likins residence hall, draining into the landscaping.

This tank is one of numerous water harvesting features integrated throughout the UA campus.

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The next time you tuck into a salad, thank a honeybee.

"Honeybees are responsible for pollinating agricultural crops that make up one-third of our diet, including fruits and vegetables. They're the cornerstones of heart-healthy and cancer prevention diets," says Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, an adjunct professor in the Department of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona and a research leader at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Pictured left to right, graduate students Kelly Dew-budd, Andrew Kunihiro, and Christopher Shepard. (Photo courtesy: Monique Garcia)

Of the 19 students selected for the prestigious University Fellows award, three are from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Andrew Kunihiro from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Kelly Dew-Budd from the School of Plant Sciences, and Christopher Shepard from the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have received University Fellowships for the 2014 school year. Each student was nominated for the University Fellow Program for their strong academic achievements, research skills and potential as a future University Fellow.

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Dr. Peder Cuneo, Arizona's extension veterinarian, working with students at the Campus Agricultural Center. (Photo courtesy of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been actively developing a program to train veterinarians in Arizona and help improve animal and public health. Thanks to a foundational gift of $9 million from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation, the UA will soon be the home of the state's first public veterinary medical and surgical program to train doctors of veterinary medicine.

The new program, slated to begin in fall 2015, will help address the critical veterinarian shortage in rural Arizona communities and tribal nations, benefit bioscience businesses and promote public health.

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Rapeseed oil plants in Yuma, Arizona. (Photo by Eric Lyons)

Genomics researchers of the University of Arizona's iPlant collaborative, housed in the BIO5 Institute, have helped unravel the genetic code of the rapeseed plant, most noted for a variety whose seeds are made into canola oil.

The findings will help breeders select for desirable traits such as richer oil content and faster seed production. Other potential applications include modifying the quality of canola oil, making it more nutritious and adapting the plants to grow in more arid regions.

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The 160-acre Campus Agricultural Center, located four miles north of the University of Arizona's main campus, is just one of the university's existing teaching and research facilities that will be used for the Kemper and Ethel Marley Veterinary Medical and Surgical Program. (Photo by Judy A Davis)

A foundational gift of $9 million from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation will support the state’s first public veterinary medical and surgical program to train Doctors of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Arizona. The program is targeting a 2015 fall semester launch.

The UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been actively developing the program to address Arizona’s critical veterinary needs, including training more veterinarians, and improving animal and public health. A consultative site visit by the American Veterinary Medical Association occurred in January. A comprehensive AVMA site visit for program accreditation will happen soon.

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Broccoli crowns harvested from a sweet potato whitefly trial. The chlorotic "blanched" crown on the right was harvested from a plant heavily infested with whiteflies. The green "normal" crown on left was whitefly-free. (Photo by John Palumbo)

Agriculture is big business in Arizona, and industry leaders in Yuma County are teaming up with the University of Arizona to arm growers with science and information they need to swiftly tackle threats to their profitability.

The recently launched Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture - YCEDA – will provide the latest research and information in pest management, food safety, plant diseases, water conservation and more.

Yuma, the winter vegetable capital of the world, is home to more than 175 different crops, with an annual gross economic return of $3.2 billion. About 90 percent of leafy greens consumed in the United States and Canada in the winter come through Yuma.

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A Galápagos hawk nesting on Isla Fernandina, Galapagos. (Photo by Noah Whiteman)

Say what you will about the parasitic lifestyle, but in the game of evolution, it's a winner.

Given that about half of all known species are parasites, biologists have long hypothesized that the strategy of leeching off other organisms is a major driver of biodiversity. Studying populations of Galápagos hawks (Buteo galapagoensis) and feather lice that live in their plumage (Degeeriella regalis), a group led by University of Arizona ecologists and evolutionary biologists has gathered some of the first field evidence suggesting that a phenomenon called co-divergence between parasites and hosts is indeed an important mechanism driving the evolution of biodiversity.

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What does it mean to be a "grown-up?"

Once upon a time, a spouse, children and a home were among the most typical hallmarks of adulthood. But that definition may be changing, says one researcher involved in an ongoing University of Arizona study of young adults.

The UA launched the Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students study – also known as APLUS – in 2007, with the goal of better understanding the financial knowledge and behaviors of young adults.

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Those who experience persistent sleep problems after a divorce stand to suffer from more than just dark circles. They might also be at risk for potentially harmful increases in blood pressure, a new study finds.

A growing body of research links divorce to significant negative health effects and even early death, yet few studies have looked at why that connection may exist.

Divorce-related sleep troubles may be partly to blame, suggest the authors of a new study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Health Psychology.

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Li Deng, co-first author on the Nature paper, stands on the deck of the research vessel. (Photo: Sullivan lab)

A fishing expedition of microscopic proportions led by University of Arizona ecologists revealed that the lines between virus types in nature are less blurred than previously thought.

Using lab-cultured bacteria as "bait," a team of scientists led by Matthew Sullivan has sequenced complete and partial genomes of about 10 million viruses from an ocean water sample in a single experiment.

The study, published online Monday by the journal Nature, revealed that the genomes of viruses in natural ecosystems fall into more distinct categories than previously thought. This enables scientists to recognize actual populations of viruses in nature for the first time.

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From left to right, graduate student mentor Roy Ulibari, Sierrane Gatela, and Alexandra Wilcox capture and study desert fishes. (Courtesy: SNRE)

In mid-September of 2013, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced $4.5 million in grants to launch the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at universities around the country, including a $1.5 million grant to the University of Florida for a partnership with institutions across the U.S., including the University of Arizona.

At the University of Arizona, the program is located in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and led by William Mannan, Professor and Chair, Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program, as well as Scott Bonar, Unit Leader of the Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Associate Professor in the Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program.

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Zambia Lion (Photo Credit: Dave Christianson)

Thandi Mweetwa, graduate student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences School of Natural Resources and the Environment, has received the Russell Train Fellowship award from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for her conservation work in Africa.

Mweetwa began research on lion populations in Zambia when she started graduate school at the University of Arizona in January 2014. Her research, titled “African lion demography across two critical populations in Zambia,” is performed under the advisement of Dave Christianson, assistant professor for Wildlife Conservation and Management.

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