Welcome to IGLOBES

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...



NEXT SESSION OF iglobes 2023 social sciences lecture series

Date: April 5, 2023

Time: 1-2pm

Location: Marshall building, 845 N Park Avenue 5th floor Marshall building room 531

See topics for next sessions and download the full program....



As communities tried to make sense of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, media outlets around the world reached for illustrative examples of past pandemics. In Qatif, a city on Saudi Arabia’s Persian Gulf coast, memories of a 1970 quarantine surfaced in local media as the pandemic unfolded. This presentation investigates why COVID-19 prompted public remembering of a state-imposed cholera quarantine in Qatif in 1970 by reconstructing formative assemblages of disease and popular politics in postwar Arabia.

Laura Frances Goffman is an Assistant Professor at the School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on the intersections of public health, empire, state building, and social change in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula. She is committed to bringing the Gulf region into discussions of world history, especially narratives of how migration, gender, citizenship, and state formation intersect with the movement of disease.

what does arizona sound like?

March 17, 2023

Listening to the surroundings rather than looking at the landscape. That is what Anne Sourdril, CNRS researcher and ethnologist, and Luc Barbaro, ecologist, are doing while traveling around Southern Arizona, capturing human, animal and meteorological sounds. They are using the concept of soundscapes to study ecosystems, the impact of human noise on fauna, as well as the relationships that tie the people to their environment.

Discover the 2nd short documentary done in Arizona by CNRS Journalist Sonia Collavizza on Anne and Luc’s research project, broadcasted on CNRS Le Journal and YouTube (in French).

With the participation of Anne Sourdril (CNRS), Laboratoire dynamiques sociales et recomposition des espaces (LADYSS), Luc Barbaro, Dynamiques et écologie des paysages agriforestiers (DYNAFOR), Laura Couchman, Tucson Audubon Society and Carolyn Shafer, Patagonia Area Resource Alliance (PARA).

Visit of Tres Rios Water Reclamation Facility

March 16, 2023


IGLOBES visiting scholars Marine Bobin, Anne-Lise Boyer, Arnaud Buchs, Sophie Guiraud, Gabriel Guyader, Hanan Sfalti and Pauline Urbain, took a field trip to the Tres Rios WRF.

In Tucson, the Treatment Division operates and maintains the 7 treatment facilities that receive, treat, and dispose of over 62 million gallons per day of sanitary sewage. The Tres Ríos treatment plant treats approximately 30 million gallons of wastewater per day. It underwent a major upgrade and expansion and will be able to handle the projected population needs to the year 2030, while operating 24-hours per day, 365 days a year. 

arizona's disappearing rivers

March 3, 2023

Sonia Collavizza, CNRS Reporter, came to IGLOBES last fall to film several research projects, specifically those focused on water issues. 

France is currently suffering from an unprecedented winter drought while other regions of the world have been dealing with extreme lack of water resources. The documentary brings you to Arizona where a mega drought has been on-going for the past 20 years. At the University of Arizona, American and French researchers are studying the intermittent rivers: fragile streams that are no longer flowing continuously. See the documentary on  CNRS Le Journal or YouTube

With the participation of: Anne-Lise Boyer (CNRS), Labex DRIIHM (EVS), CNRS/Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Larry Fisher (University of Arizona), Observatoire Homme-Milieux International (OHMI) Pima County, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, Cienega Watershed Partnership, Dennis Caldwell (Caldwell Design), Cienega Watershed Partnership, Ian Tomlinson (propriétaire de Vera Earl Ranch).


studying pima county soundscapes

Visiting researchers Anne Sourdril and Luc Barbaro made the front page of the Green Valley News on their OHMI project SONATAS – Listening to the SOunds of NATure to understAnd environmental changeS. 

The multidisciplinary research OHMI project aims at grasping (i) how local communities and people perceive their landscapes and ecosystems in a context of strong mutations of societies and their environment; and (ii) how they think about adaptation to environmental changes through their immediate sound environments, or soundscapes. The project is located in Pima County which is confronted with multiple sociological and environmental changes, including climate warming, water scarcity and uncontrolled urbanization. Sonatas aims to understand through sounds experiences and perceptions how the environment is locally conceived by local communities and whether it is seen as changing or immuable. Our objective is to explore how different types of ecological knowledge coexist within those communities in the context of major mutations and how people could collaborate together to face those changes.

Climate change and impact on behavior

Credit: Anne-Lise Boyer
Credit: Anne-Lise Boyer

Financed by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) with the support of the ANR project led by Sabrina Teyssier, Boris Wieczorek’s doctoral thesis “Changing norms and disparity when confronted with climate change” is looking at how social norms can be used as a mechanism to promote cooperation between individuals in situations where personal and community interests are in conflict, with a specific focus on environments that are threatened by climate change.


Two research laboratories are involved in Boris’ project: Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL, France) and Interdisciplinary Global Environmental Studies (iGLOBES, University of Arizona). After researching behavior changes in controlled environments, the project is now concentrating on water issues in the Tucson region.

Energy transitions and reconfigurations of socio-ecosystems

Credit: N. Montes de Oca, 2022
Credit: N. Montes de Oca, 2022

The ENERGON research project, funded by the CNRS and INEE through the Labex DRIIHM, is an interdisciplinary and multi-site project, which relies on the network of Human-Environment Observatory (OHM), in place since 2007. Led by the OHM of the Provence Mining Basin, the project’s objective is to question the conditions of energy transitions in 6 different observatories and locations.

If climate change is a major element of global proportio with local repercussions, the resulting injunction on energy transition is done in different manners, depending on the territory. Studies on the local impact of energy transitions are mainly very limited and sectorial in nature. The challenge of this project, at the heart of the OHMs, is to go beyond this barrier, by intersecting social, technical and environmental dimensions specific to each socio-ecosystem. Learn more...


The relationship between societies and their hydrosystems can be understood as a series of connections and disconnections that occur in all domains (e.g., hydrological, geomorphological, ecological, etc.) and dimensions (e.g, longitudinal, vertical, lateral). The use of watercourses and water resources creates material and symbolic connections which leads water stakeholders to also consider the sociological and political, aesthetic and spiritual dimensions of the socio-hydrosystem. However, the development of physical (e.g, dams) and social  infrastructures (e.g, waterbodies are so artificialized that local residents forget about their existence) generates important disconnections. As a result, recent water and environmental policies emphasize the importance of connectivity between the various elements and compartments of socio-hydro-systems and focus especially on reconnection at all levels. Learn more...


DID CLIMATE CHANGE kill life on mars?

October 10, 2022

Credits: Boris Sauterey and Regis Ferrière
Credits: Boris Sauterey and Regis Ferrière

Regis Ferriere, Director of iGLOBES,  Boris Sauterey, Benjamin Charnay, Antonin Affholder and Stephane Mazeret just published an article in Nature Astronomy, "Early Mars habitability and global cooling by H2-based methanogens" :

"We find that subsurface habitability was very likely, and limited mainly by the extent of surface ice coverage. Biomass productivity could have been as high as in the early Earth’s ocean. However, the predicted atmospheric composition shift caused by methanogenesis would have triggered a global cooling event, ending potential early warm conditions, compromising surface habitability and forcing the biosphere deep into the Martian crust..." 

Daniel Stolte  of University Communications wrote an article in UA News under the title "Life may have thrived on early Mars, until it drove climate change that caused its demise".

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.