The Archer Lab is an interdisciplinary research group of faculty, researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students dedicated to the study of grassland and woodland habitats of arid regions. The lab is led by Dr. Steven R. Archer, a Professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, who specializes in terrestrial ecosystem science and plant ecology.
Our lab has a long history of ecological research projects funded by the Federal Government (e.g., NSF, USDA). These projects often span multiple years, are ambitious in nature, require the valuable contributions and expertise of researchers and students alike, and have important implications for ecological research and land management policy. View the Research section to learn more about our current and past research activities.
Undergraduate and graduate students hold a critical role in assisting in the completion of these projects. While involved in our lab, they gain valuable research experience, either in the field and/or in the laboratory. After finishing, our graduate students have continued on to pursue PhDs or land positions as professors or research ecologists. Our undergraduates have participated as either field technicians or interns, as part of the NSF-REU or NASA Space Grant programs. Many undergraduates have gone on to pursue graduate studies or positions in state or Federal agencies (e.g., NPS, USDA, AZGFD, etc.) or private organizations. See the News section to learn more about their recent awards, accomplishments, and job placement success.

More | News


Current | Projects 

AEOLIAN processes
on drylands

& invasive grass

& ecosystem services

Spatiotemporal changes


interactions on drylands


COURSES | Offered 

RNR 200: Conservation of Natural Resources

Savannas, shrublands and woodlands worldwide have experienced major changes over the past century and the drivers are not fully understood. This course examines grass-woody plant interactions in the context of ecosystem dynamics and function and implications for biodiversity, desertification, conservation, global change, and competing land use practices. Students will examine the functional ecology and dynamics of biogeographically diverse savanna, shrubland and woodland ecosystems. Interactions among co-occurring life forms and growth forms will be emphasized with in the context of climate, soils and disturbance.

RAM 619: Ecology of Savannas/Shrublands/ Woodlands

This course introduces students to the roles of various scientific disciplines in conservation biology and natural resource (forest, range, recreation, fisheries, wildlife, and wilderness) management and to the history, mission, and mandate of governmental and non-governmental resource management agencies. Students will explore the history of conservation from ancient times to the present, concentrating on the evolution of conservation perspectives in the United States. The contributions of key conservation leaders over the course of history and their role in the development of landmark conservation legislation and policy will be presented, along with legislation and policy issues affecting renewable natural resources.


Dr. Steven R.


Professor and Lab Director

Dr. Katharine I.


Snr. Research Spec. & Lab Manager