News & Events

A Frontier in the Jungle

July 2, 2018 in Washington DC

The Embassy of France in Washington DC put on a screening of the French documentary "A Frontier in the Jungle," the 2015 320 km trek along the border between Brazil and French Guiana  during which three scientists, accompanied by a group of French Foreign Legion soldiers, took a harrowing 6 weeks to find the "seven stones" of the border and collected important data about the ecology and the history of the area. See program information.


It was followed by a discussion with François-Michel Le Tourneau,a CNRS researcher and the UMI Deputy Director who initiated the project and Thomas E. Lovejoy, U.S Science Envoy in charge of wildlife and biodiversity conservation. 

Mining territories and migrations on the Arizona-Sonora border: field trip to Mexico

May 28 - June 6, 2018

Claude Le Gouill and Anne-Lise Boyer came back from a field trip that took them to the mining towns of Cananea and Hermosillo, the capital city of the Mexican state of Sonora. They met with professors and students of the Instituto Technologico Superior de Cananea and the University of Sonora to pursue their survey on how the mining industry contributes to binding Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico.


The case study of Cananea is quite interesting in that the city’s mining heritage is strongly intertwined with the history of the American Southwest. Located below the open-pit, the city still shows the legacy of the company town built at the beginning of the 20th century by W.C. Greene, a rich investor from New-York. Today, the Cananea mine, operated by Grupo Mexico, attracts workers from southern Mexico and engineers from North America and Latin America who come for short periods. 

Mining territories and migrations on the Arizona-Sonora border

May 24, 2018

The State of Arizona in the Southwestern United States and the State of Sonora in Northern Mexico share a common mining heritage. Thanks to funding from the Pima County Observatory, Anne-Lise Boyer and Claude Le Gouill are exploring how mining activities are shaping the borderlands. First stop in their field trip: the University of Arizona Department of Mining and Geological Engineering. Founded in 1888, it is one of the oldest departments of the University and at the core of the mining industry’s development in the region. 

A study in environmental health communication

April 15 - May 19, 2018

For a research project on environmental health communication in the public and media sphere, French visiting scholar Brigitte Juanals (Aix Marseille University) accompanied by Jean-Luc Minel (Paris Nanterre University), conducted a dozen interviews with UA researchers from different fields (College of Public Health, Arizona Prevention Research Center, Environment & Policy Department, Center for Digital Society and Data Studies, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences). 


Following-up on these interviews, a research project is in the works focused on the media  coverage of Biosphere 2. partnering with Biosphere 2, Center for Digital Society & Data Studies, School of Journalism and the UMI iGLOBES.

2018 Pima County Man/Environment Observatory Workshop

April 12, 2018, Marshall Building, room 531

Among its research programs, the Observatory funds studies about the Man/environment relationship in Southeastern Arizona, focusing especially on the changes that might occur with the possible opening of the Rosemont mine. See program and list of presenters.


The workshop was designed to present on-going and recent projects funded by the Pima County Observatory, as well as promote contacts between French and UA researchers and disseminate information about the possibilities of funding for UA/France collaboration available under the iGLOBES research center

What can the sounds tell us about Pima County?

April 8-18, 2018

As part of the Pima County Observatory, French visiting scholars Anne Sourdril and Luc Barbaro did recordings of acoustic landscapes, ranging from peri-urban to protected natural areas. 


To the left, a photo by Anne of a male western bluebird taken at Rose Canyon Lake, Mount Lemmon Arizona.

Official visit of the Counselor and Attachés for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States

April 4, 2018

The UMI welcomed Dr. Minh-Hà Pham, Counselor and Pierre Michel, Attaché, for Science & Technology at the Embassy of France in the USA, and Jean Rosenbaum, Attaché for Science and Technology at the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles. An informal networking meeting at the Consulate of Mexico gathered French scientists and tech entrepreneurs in the Tucson area, as well as US scientists interested in collaboration with France.

A new collaborative space

April 3, 2018

We've just finished setting up a collaborative space (Marshall Building, room 531).

Come check it out! 

ENJOYING Mount Lemmon

March 30, 2018

With a summit elevation of 9,159 feet, Mount Lemmon is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Exploring the urban fringes of an arid region

March 26 – April 6, 2018

During her stay, French visiting scholar Pascale Nédélec (ENS Paris) focused on urban sprawl in the Tucson region. She explored Saddlebrooke, a master planned community on the Northern fringe of the city. 


The research will show how arbitration between social demand for upscale housing in the desert, political will to limit suburbanization and increasing pressure on water resources is necessary.

BIOCOSMOS - Our Sense of Place, Our Sense of Life in the Universe

February 1-2, 2018 at Biosphere 2


The workshop aimed at breaking through disciplinary boundaries by bringing together a mix of astronomers, Earth scientists, ecologists, and anthropologists to discuss how our understanding of life and nature as integrated systems advances and evolves as we become able to assemble and control complex artificial ecosystems on Earth, prepare to send and use such ecosystems on the Moon and Mars, search for alien life and ecosystems on other planets and planetary bodies, and push the boundaries of our exploration of the distant universe. See further information.

Previous news