The School of Plant Sciences is a vigorous, cutting-edge, and comprehensive academic unit of the University of Arizona, whose scientists are devoted to the study of plants, the organisms that underpin the survival of terrestrial life. Plants are fundamental to all aspects of our existence; they provide the oxygen we breathe, the nutrition we consume, the fossil fuels we utilize, and the infrastructure we inhabit. Given the growth of the human population, and the adverse effects of this growth on the environment, the importance of research and training in the Plant Sciences has never been more critical.
Faculty, postdoctoral associates, technicians, and students in the School of Plant Sciences study how plants grow, how they respond to their environment, how they evolved, how they can be manipulated to enhance their growth and quality, and their fungal, bacterial, and viral interactions. Research is carried out at various levels -- from basic to applied using model plant species, commodity crops, species native to the desert southwest, as well as agents pathogenic to plants. Research activities take place in the laboratory, regulated growth environments, and in the field.
Teaching activities within the School cover a wide-ranging curriculum, designed to provide depth and breadth of knowledge to majors and non-major undergraduate students and to graduate students pursuing MS and PhD degrees. Faculty also actively participate in interdisciplinary research training groups within the University of Arizona.
Through active Extension programs and outreach activities, members of the School are responsive to the immediate needs of stakeholders in Arizona and committed to educating K-12 students about the importance of plants.
In the face of global challenges to increase the productivity and sustainability of agricultural and urban environments, especially in semi-arid regions, the School of Plant Sciences has developed a series of short- and long-term objectives to strengthen our educational, research and outreach activities.