Welcome to iGLOBES

Interdisciplinary Global Environmental Studies

iGLOBES is a CNRS - ENS/PSL University - University of Arizona research laboratory, created to establish a hub of collaborative interactions between the French scientific community and UA researchers, fostering innovative interdisciplinary research on global environmental challenges. For more information...


Last session of iglobes seminar series

May 11, 2022 11am-4pm


The last session of the Spring iGLOBES series will feature:


1) Eugenie Clement, Doctoral student in anthropology on "Anti-capitalism and environmental struggles: water ties in the negotiations, tensions and mobilizations in and around the Navajo Nation”

2) Margaux Rolland and Sebastien Roux on "Hunting, fishing and ecology? Hunting – a challenging practice in Pima County (OHMI HUNTAZ project)

3) Sarah Mazouz, CNRS researcher in sociology on "How to integrate race and gender issues in social sciences' field work"

Learn more about Sarah on her Profile page and her latest publications.


Disconnections and reconnections on the Santa Cruz River watershed: 3-months internships coming to an end and preliminary results

mutualism between ants and the barrel cactus

Valentin Brochet, a master's student at ENS, talks about the research he did during his Spring 2022 internship at the University of Arizona:


"The Tucson region is home to a unique cactus: the Fishhook barrel cactus, a plant specific to the Sonoran desert region. Its unique feature is the nectar that it produces year-round at the base of its thorns, attracting several species of ants who, on their end, protect the cactus from predators (mostly stink bugs); a quid pro quo that biologists call mutualism".....read more.

Ethnography of gun shooting: framing and modeling of an American cultural practice

Margaux Rolland is a master's student in sociology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Sarclay. She is doing an internship in Tucson on hunting in Arizona, the OHMI Pima County research project HUNT-AZ:

"According to several articles in hunting magazines, there are five typical-ideal stages that a hunter will go through. The first one is the “shooter” stage, where the joy of hunting is in using the gun and getting better at handling it. So, as a novice, I had to do a trip to the shooting range for our ethnographic study of hunters". Read more...

Energy transitions and reconfigurations of socio-ecosystems

Laetitia Balaresque is a master's student at ENS-Lyon and Gabriela de Carvalho at EHESS, and they are both in Tucson as part of the ENERGON project - Energy transitions and reconfigurations of socio-ecosystems.

In speaking with public and private groups and individuals, their goal is to observe and understand the process of local energy transition towards photovoltaic and solar energy. Arizona is known as the state with the most solar potential in the United States. As Tucson Electric Power (TEP), the major utility provider in Pima County, is committed to increasing their share of renewable energy in its electricity production from 20% today to 70% by 2035, questions remain on how this process will develop. As the regional population grows and climate change exerts its effects in an already very arid zone, the electricity consumption is expected to rise. The territorial, economic and social impacts of the expansion of solar energy and its weight in land dynamics will be more and more present and visible. In their fieldwork, they will study both the production of large solar farms and residential installations.

modeling of life in closed spaces

Elie Danziger is a visiting PhD student from the Collège de France who is at iGLOBES from February 20 to May 12, 2022.

The "lung" at Biosphere 2, University of Arizona
The "lung" at Biosphere 2, University of Arizona

"My project focuses on the modelling of life in closed spaces, and I am conducting fieldwork to compare the way scientists and engineers conceive of and fabricate closed systems across different labs such as the Ecotrons in Europe and Biosphere 2 (B2) which I am currently investigating here in the Sonoran desert. My day-to-day ethnographic endeavor consists mostly in helping out and shadowing as many scientists and technicians as possible, in order to get a sense of the choices that are made in the maintenance of ecological systems that are situated on a gradient, from the most to the less closed." Read further...


Hydeco, a new Labex DRIIHM project led by co-pi François-Michel Le Tourneau and David Blanchon, will be assessing the visible/invisible interface in the interplay between the social and environmental dimensions of socio-hydrosystems. Post-doc Anne-Lise Boyer will be directing a team of French students who will be arriving this  Spring to help gather data for this project. Learn more...


Monitoring Annual Land Use/Land Cover Change in the Tucson Metropolitan Area with Google Earth Engine (1986–2020)

Dubertret, F.; Le Tourneau, F.-M.; Villarreal, M.L.; Norman, L.M. Monitoring Annual Land Use/Land Cover Change in the Tucson Metropolitan Area with Google Earth Engine (1986–2020). Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 2127. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14092127

The Tucson metropolitan area, located in the Sonoran Desert of southeastern Arizona (USA), is affected by both massive population growth and rapid climate change, resulting in important land use and land cover (LULC) changes. As its fragile arid ecosystem and scarce resources are increasingly under pressure, there is a crucial need to monitor such landscape transformations. For such ends, we propose a method to compute yearly 30 m resolution LULC maps of the region from 1986 to 2020, using a combination of Landsat imagery, derived transformation and indices, texture analysis and other ancillary data fed to a Random Forest classifier. The entire process was hosted in the Google Earth Engine with tremendous computing capacities that allowed us to process a large amount of data and to achieve high overall classification accuracy for each year, ranging from 86.7 to 96.3%. Conservative post-processing techniques were also used to mitigate the persistent confusions between the numerous isolated houses in the region and their desert surroundings and to smooth year-specific LULC changes in order to identify general trends. We then show that policies to lessen urban sprawl in the area had little effects and we provide an automated tool to continue monitoring such dynamics in the future.  

No kids, more life? On environmental concerns among childfree communities

Sebastien ROUX and Julien FIGEAC, No kids, more life? On environmental concerns among childfree communities, Mots. Les langages du politique [On line], 128 | 2022

Based on an ethnographic analysis of childfree communities, and on the lexographical processing of Internet posts, this paper analyses the evolution of speech about childlessness in the English-speaking world. Over the past dozen years, environmental fears have progressively emerged as a main concern among the Internet pages and groups that we studied. While childfree communities have been long divided between those who lament their infertility and those who defend a life without children, new “antinatalist” discourses have emerged that place population reduction as a legitimate political aim and/or a valid ethical proposition. Childfree life, seen as neither a curse nor an opportunity, tends to be more frequently associated with an altruistic decision in the face of impending ecological disasters. By describing these discourses, and retracing their evolution and distribution, this paper studies the emergence of new ethical concerns that defend childfree lives as an ecological choice and a new approach to population growth.

Side Effects. Living in Times of Covid-19

Lucine Endelstein, Sébastien Roux, Guillaume Favre, Effets secondaires. Vivre au temps du covid-19Le bord de l'eau, April 8, 2022.

Since March 2020 and the start of the pandemic, we have been forced to live differently. Rather than a passing crisis, we seem to be going through an indefinite and prolonged period of time, where we are adjusting to a familiar, but different world, governed by new health measures that are significantly impacting our daily life.

 Side Effects was born from an initiative of a group of human and social sciences researchers, keen to document this unique period. Separate research was done in Southern France and intersects diverse disciplines (sociology, anthropology, geography, planning…), the different chapters talking about the multiple side effects of Covid on people’s lives. It shows the range of sectors that experienced reduced or no activity: aeronautics, universities, tourism, the arts, etc. Putting forward personal stories, the chapters also allow us to explore often misunderstood lives – which the crisis made even more invisible: migrants, those getting food stamps, sex trade workers….Wanting to make sure there were different points of view, the chapters also take a look at other less fragile configurations (upper management, festival goers), as a reminder that not all are equal when exposed to the virus and that insecurity is, more than ever, a social issue.

 By giving voice to those impacted by the crisis, the different chapters talk to each other – the stories and biographies providing complimentary facets to the Covid period. And Side Effects illustrates the fact that Covid is not a footnote. The epidemic is now part of our lives.

“It’s Not for Everybody”: Life in Arizona’s Sparsely Populated Areas

François-Michel Le Tourneau (2022) “It’s Not for Everybody”: Life in Arizona’s Sparsely Populated Areas, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2022.2035208

Sparsely populated regions (SPRs) have specific features like remoteness and low population densities but also specific identities constructed by their inhabitants based on their relationship with their environment and the consequences to their lifestyles. Although theoretical frameworks have been developed for SPRs, two challenges remain when it comes to applying them to actual places. The first one is identifying them on the map. What would the demographic threshold of “sparse” be? How do we quantify the isolation? The second one is evaluating how SPR features reverberate in the lifestyle and self-image of their inhabitants. What are their views about themselves and their geographical situation? Are they linked? This article attempts to elaborate on both dimensions. It uses the state of Arizona as a test area and proposes an approach that combines quantitative methods and geographic information systems to determine which part of Arizona can be considered an SPR and a qualitative analysis to analyze how this population sees and conceptualizes its lifestyle, as well as how they relate to more densely populated areas, especially on the issue of isolation relative to place attachment and place identity. As a result, this article will offer a better grasp of SPRs in the United States and suggest new trends to be investigated in other geographical contexts.