Ecology Management and Restoration of Rangelands
This program addresses both consumptive and non-consumptive uses of natural resources on rangelands, while considering the unique blend of biological and political constraints that occur across Arizona's watersheds. Outputs include teaching in the Range 101 and rangeland monitoring workshops, offering independent studies to help undergraduates study for the annual Undergraduate Range Management Exam (URME) and to address their career goals, and participating in the CALS Annual Career Development Event (CDE) Day. Contact Dr.
Research and education on rangeland resource planning methods, analysis procedures and vegetation monitoring techniques furnishes the ecological and technical basis for management planning and implementation on rangelands. Short-term outcomes include increased monitoring skills and ecological knowledge demonstrated by land managers including ranchers, an increased reliance on vegetation monitoring in management and an increased understanding of the role of science in rangeland management.
Ranching in Arizona continues to be a primary land use and provides the number one agricultural product in the state comprising at the gate revenue of around $800,000,000 annually. Additionally, ranching is a cultural and community resource that is becoming important as a mechanism to maintain open space through the concept of working landscapes. Our approach has been to focus efforts on capacity building among local ranchers, agency personnel and other community leaders to identify and address issues related to grazing management and monitoring in riparian areas.
Animal foraging behavior and distribution problems are a major source of controversy on public and private rangelands throughout the western United States. Research and extension in this area has been to be part of multi-state, interdisciplinary teams in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. Research and extension projects are designed to elucidate the underlying causes of animal distribution patterns (i.e., learning and genetics) and to explore how livestock can be used in targeted grazing projects to manage invasive plant problems and provide ecosystem services.