The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Office of Arid Lands Studies

The Office of Arid Lands Studies is a multidisciplinary research and development unit that was originally conceived and implemented in 1956. In 2010, OALS merged with the School of Natural Resources to form the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE). The mission of OALS was outlined by former University of Arizona President Richard Harvill in 1968:

“Since its beginnings in the latter years of the 19th century, the University of Arizona has recognized, by reason of its location on the semiarid border of the desert, a special responsibility for basic and applied research relating to problems of the arid and semiarid regions of the Earth.”

The spectrum of OALS activities span –

  • Natural Products Chemistry and Genetics, Economic Botany, and New Crop Development
  • Natural Resources Monitoring and Assessment
  • Water and Land Conservation and Reclamation
  • Decision Support Systems Development
  • Information Dissemination, Knowledge Transfer, and Education
  • Food Security Assessment and Agricultural Monitoring


Four primary divisions within OALS pursue this research

Affiliated Programs include:


For further information about OALS contact:

Barron J. Orr
Professor and Geospatial Extension Specialist
Phone: 520-626-8063