2020 Carson Scholars Webinar Series


2020 Carson
Scholars Webinar

12 Scholars. Four one-hour webinars.

Watch the series




Intersections of Environment and Justice: From Our Bodies to the Earth

Moderated by Aaron Bugaj, Biosphere 2

The Carson Scholars Program webinar series, Intersections of Environment and Justice: From Our Bodies to the Earth, brings together the expertise of the 2020 cohort of graduate students to discuss the future of food; management and re-use of resources; environmental, health, and social justice; and environmental stresses and climate impacts. In four one-hour webinars, the 12 Scholars detail the challenges facing communities around the world and innovations that could impact the way we interact with the planet and each other.

A special thank you to the individual Carson Scholars Program donors and our University of Arizona sponsors: Biosphere 2, College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Social and Behavior Sciences, and the Graduate College.

Throughout October 2020, the Carson Scholars cohort presented their research on the changes of our planet and the effects on its people.



October 8, 2020


The Future of Food

Recent advances in greenhouse design are paving the way for more sustainable and energy-efficient food production; digital agricultural technologies and their incorporation into farmers' lives are changing the industry in Turkey; and tensions between food availability and access are affecting low-income communities in southern African cities. In this webinar, Carson Scholars from the schools Anthropology, Biosystems Engineering, and Geography, Development & Environment will explore key issues and innovations related to food production, supply and the management of rural and urban food systems, and share their expertise and novel research on the future of food.


Watch the Recording



How (and Why) You Should Tattoo Your Greenhouse with Semi-Transparent Solar Panels
Bekah Waller, Department of Biosystems Engineering

Digitizing Agriculture: Changing Agroecology and Livelihood in Turkey
Ziya Kaya, School of Anthropology

Feeding Hungry Cities: Is Urban Agriculture the Answer to Africa’s Food Security Woes?
Julia Davies, School of Geography, Development & Environment


October 15, 2020


Giving Nature a Break: Paths to Sustainability

As the global population grows and technology advances so does demand for resources, services and products. This comes with consequences: How do we handle waste generated from our consumption habits? How do we make sure future generation have access to vital resources? In this webinar, Carson Scholars from Arid Lands Resource Sciences, Systems and Industrial Engineering, and Chemical and Environmental Engineering will explore the human impact on natural resource’s life cycles, from new technologies to policies, re-use and management.


Watch the Recording



Got Water? The Thirst for Innovation
Varinia Felix, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Turning on the Tap: Building Alternatives to Water Scarcity in Mexico
Mary-Bell Cruz Ayala, Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program

Value Recovery of Hard Drives: Sustainability vs. Security
Hamid Ghaderi, Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering

October 22, 2020


The Impacts of Environmental Injustices on Health & Society

Injustices across race, gender, class, and immigration status - such as differential chemical exposures and colonial land use practices - destabilize the lives and health of historically marginalized communities, impacting people on both the local and global level. In this webinar, Carson Scholars in Public Health, Medical Anthropology, and English discuss how our social systems impact agricultural, urban small business, and mining communities in ways that contribute to ongoing environmental and social inequity.


Watch the Recording



Tracing Pesticides from Womb to Birth in Arizona
Kimberly Parra, Department of Epidemiology

Chemicals at Work: Small Business Exposures in Tucson
Amanda Lee, School of Anthropology

The Environmental Debris of Zimbabwe’s Mining Communities
Lucy Kirkman, Department of English

October 29, 2020


(De)Stressing the Earth and Ourselves

Environmental changes – from soil nutrients that plants use to budget their lives to compromised water quality in large river systems to global warming of the ocean and atmosphere…these can be instigated by both natural and human stresses. In this webinar, Carson Scholars from the departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, and Geosciences will discuss the tools they use to understand environmental stresses and the lives impacted by these stresses.


Watch the Recording



That’s a Spicy Pepper: Learning How Plants Allocate Resources by Using a Local Pepper
Alex Karnish, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Bimmaaxpée/Sacred Waters: Bridging Traditional Understandings and Science to Protect the Little Bighorn River
JoRee LaFrance, Department of Environmental Science

Fats from the Past: Using Fossil Molecules to Understand Changes in Earth’s Climate
Grace Windler, Department of Geosciences



Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation

College of Engineering 

College of Science Galileo Circle

Graduate College

Arizona Institute for Resilience

Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment & Social Justice

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences