France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges
The university collaborates with the French academic community to foster best-in-class international research, focusing on the grandest challenges faced by science and society. Our mission spans all disciplines – humanities, sciences, and the arts.
UArizona is the first CNRS International Research Center
At the core of the cooperation is our partnership with the French National Center for Scientific Research, or CNRS, the premier research institution in France. With more than 11,000 scientists and laboratories and offices around the globe, CNRS ranks in the top 4 academic institutions for research worldwide. UArizona was chosen by CNRS as its first International Research Center (IRC), CNRS's highest level of institutional cooperation. The IRC program aims to bridge disciplines to advance and scale up transformative research and revolutionary solutions for sustainability and resilience. Signed into existence on April 14, 2021, the IRC is the heritage and renewal of a rich history of collaboration between the CNRS and UArizona.
In May 2023, we sat down with the Ph.D student Clara Randimbiarimanana to learn more about her research and how it has been enhanced by travel to France with the France-Arizona Institute - CNRS joint Ph.D. program.
In the spotlight: ongoing projects
FA Institute News
WRRC Video - Understanding Our Water Future in Arizona with Sharon Megdal
Robert C. Robbins speaks with Professor Sharon Megdal, Director of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona, about the Colorado River Basin's water crisis and the future of our state. Dr. Megdal explains that our water crisis will not be solved by any one action. It will take a multi-faceted approach beginning with all of us being informed – knowing where our water comes from, knowing who makes water policies and what those policies are, and what we can do in our daily lives to conserve water.
Large-scale agrivoltaics, a solution for the sustainable future of food, energy and water
In September 2022 the IRC science committee met in Paris and identified three global grand challenges for the partnership to tackle: “Habitability in our future: What Makes A World Fit For Life, and How to Keep it That Way“, “Preparedness to Planetary Challenges: Climate change and Health” and “Integrated Food-Energy-Water Solutions at Scale”. Since then, all three axes are being actively developed. A recent workshop was organized, from April 25 to 27, 2023, at the Biosphere 2 Center of UArizona to address the third one, with a focus on “Agrivoltaics At Scale” as one such integrated solution for a just and secure future of food, energy, and water.
New Life: Growth and Collaboration After the Bighorn Fire
In the summer of 2020, the Bighorn fire ravaged the Santa Catalina Mountains, burning over 120,000 acres at the edge of Tucson, Arizona. In the wake of such destruction, it was hard to imagine new life emerging from the ashes. But nearly three years later, as green shoots are starting to peek out their heads even in the most burned areas, so too are new ideas blossoming among ecological researchers. Two of them, Dr. Ben Wilder and Dr. Michael Canva, are gleaning innovative research from the disaster.