March precipitation totals were average to below average in most of the Southwest. Warm temperatures across the West have begun to put a dent in the snowpack and snow water equivalent. While much of the West has seen improvements in drought conditions (notably, California declared an end to its drought), southern Arizona and New Mexico have experienced an increase in drought designation.
Understanding our complex and changing environment requires large amounts of innovative data and ways of analyzing it. The UA has a strong tradition of compiling unique data sets, including tree rings, satellite imagery and plant genetics, that are now stored, integrated and analyzed using new informatics techniques and computer models. This builds on UA expertise in remote sensing and monitoring of the Earth and other planets, and on the imperative to better predict the environmental challenges of the future.