Arid Lands Newsletter--link to home page No. 37, Spring/Summer 1995
Conserving Biodiversity



ALRS graduates: The Orr Report

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Barron Orr, a student in the Physical Studies Track of the interdisciplinary Arid Lands Resource Sciences (ALRS) Ph.D. Program at The University of Arizona, has rounded up some current information on three recent graduates of the program for the Arid Lands Newsletter.

Orr reports that Suzanne K. Fish, who took her Ph.D. in December of 1993, currently is an Assistant Curator at The Arizona State Museum, the state's anthropology museum on the UA campus in Tucson. She also is program chair for the 1995 annual meeting of the Society of Ethnobiology, which convenes this March at The University.

Dr. Fish's dissertation dealt with prehistoric agriculture in southern Arizona, especially the diverse irrigation techniques used by the Hohokam Indians. Her research continues in that vein; among her recent publications are "Prehistoric Desert Farmers of the Southwest" in the Annual Review of Anthropology , "Southwest and Northwest: Archaeology at the Juncture of the United States and Mexico" in the Journal of Archaeological Research , and the chapter titled "Archaeological Palynology of Gardens and Fields" in The Archaeology of Garden and Field , edited by N. Miller and K. Gleason.

Maura D. Mack, who took her degree in August of 1993, has worked since October of 1994 with the Arizona Department of Health Services as Southern Arizona Coordinator for the federally funded Statewide Environmental Health Education Project. Her current focus is on assessing community needs in southside Tucson and in the border community of Nogales, with the goal of planning environmental health education interventions for residents, educators, school children, and health care providers.

Dr. Mack, whose dissertation was titled "Income and Nutrition in Smallholder Farm Households in Manabi Province, Ecuador," was a Visiting Scholar at The University's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy during 1994. During her tenure there she helped plan a binational workshop titled "Health and Hazardous Waste in the US-Mexico Border Region" and co-authored, with Robert Varady, the article "Transboundary Water Resources and Public Health in the US-Mexico Border Region" for the Journal of Environmental Health .

Like Dr. Fish, Sadoon J. Younis took his doctorate in December 1993. His dissertation employed single and multiple regression analyses to study the effects of income on food and nutritional status in the arid Middle East.

Although his research interests continue to focus on population growth and the effects of economic development on the environment, particularly in the Middle East, Dr. Younis currently is using cost-benefit analysis to study range management practices in Sonora, Mexico.

Jake F. Weltzin is 1994 McGinnies scholar

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Jake F. Weltzin, a Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate in The University of Arizona's School of Renewable Natural Resources, has been named the 1994 recipient of the William F. McGinnies Graduate Scholarship in Arid Lands Studies.

The scholarship, named in honor of the Founder and Director Emeritus of The University's Office of Arid Lands Studies, was established in 1985 to encourage and support outstanding graduate students whose research interests follow in the tradition of the Carnegie Desert Botanical Laboratory. Weltzin's focus is on terrestrial plant ecology.

"Mr. Weltzin has an outstanding academic and research record and is wholly deserving of this award," commented Dr. Barbara Timmermann, who chaired the scholarship review committee.

The 1994 McGinnies Scholar earned an M.S. in Range Ecology from Texas A&M University 1990, a B.S. in Range and Forest Management from Colorado State University in 1987, and studied abroad at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, in the spring of 1986. As a student at Texas A&M, he was awarded a Regents Fellowship.

Weltzin has worked as a project manager and plant ecologist for Raedeke Associates Scientific Consulting Inc. of Seattle and as a forestry technician with the USDA Forest Service at Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon. He also has participated as a plant ecologist in the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. He is a member of the Ecological Society of America and the International Association for Ecology.

OALS Director visits Cairo

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Dr. Kennith E. Foster, Director of the Office of Arid Lands Studies and President of the International Arid Lands Consortium (IALC), discussed mutual research interests with Dr. Youssef Wally, Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, and Dr. Mamdouh Riad, Undersecretary of State for Afforestation, on a recent visit to Egypt. Dr. Foster traveled to Cairo at Dr. Wally's invitation to explore the possibility that Egypt might join the Consortium. While in Egypt, Dr. Foster visited afforestation projects in the Nile Delta and in areas surrounding Cairo and Alexandria.

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