About SNRE

About Us

Founded in agriculture, rooted in life.

We pursue science that explores and informs how environmental changes impact ecosystems locally and across the globe, and how best to adapt to these challenges.

Our goal is to be a world leader in pursuing science that helps society understand the impacts of environmental change on our natural resources and develop management strategies for sustainable solutions.

Our faculty, students, and staff take great pride in doing problem-solving research, teaching, and Cooperative Extension work that encompasses all aspects of environmental stewardship.

Our research answers important questions about how ecosystems respond to environmental and human pressures. We develop strategies to mitigate these effects and to create and maintain healthy and sustainable ecological systems. We focus on ecosystem function, conservation biology, and natural resource management, on both a local and continental scale. We use cutting-edge monitoring tools and geospatial technologies, such as Geographic Information System mapping, drone and satellite data and modeling, to develop new ways to protect our most valuable resources.

Our undergraduate and graduate programs focus on real-world problems and experiences, preparing students for the demands of leadership in natural resource science and management. If you are a student, you can tailor your degree to suit your interests and career goals. We want our students to gain both the theoretical and practical skills needed to be the resource managers of the future.

The School of Natural Resources and the Environment is unique among our peers in its breadth of focus and depth of expertise. Our teaching and research integrate biology, physical science, resource management, and international resource issues. We are unmatched in the number and diversity of partnerships we have established with organizations in Tucson and beyond and with county, state, and federal agencies. We foster an atmosphere of collaboration and collegiality.

In addition, we are focused on building a diverse and welcoming environment. We are committed to ensuring that our school community respects and embraces diversity, and we encourage and support activities that promote a genuine climate of mutual respect, empathy, and inclusion.

A man stands in the grasslands at the Santa Rita Experimental Range, May 1920


The School of Natural Resources and the Environment was formally established in 1974 (as the School of Renewable Natural Resources), but our roots in protecting the environment and its resources go back more than a century.

The earliest program began in the 1913-14 school year with a Grazing Range Studies course in the Biology Department, and by 1930 Range Ecology had become a department in the College of Agriculture. It later was combined with Botany, and over the years various other subjects were added, including Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Agronomy, and Watershed Management, although under the auspices of different departments.

On Dec. 21, 1974, the School of Renewable Natural Resources was formally created, with eight undergraduate majors – five from the old Department of Watershed Management and three transferred from other departments (Horticulture, Biological Sciences, and Soils, Water and Engineering).

Ultimately, the School of Natural Resources merged with the Office of Arid Lands Studies to become what we have today: the School of Natural Resources and the Environment in the University of Arizona College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences.

In our history, we were known for founding wildland management for sustainable development and food production in arid regions. Today, we are changing arid wildland conservation and management practices alongside our communities to support a climate and economically resilient future.