Mission Statement

Child holding a spotted chicken


To integrate social, behavioral, and life sciences into interdisciplinary studies and community dialogue regarding change in regional food systems. We involve students and faculty in the design, implementation, and evaluation of pilot interventions and participatory community-based research in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands foodshed surrounding Tucson, a UNESCO-designated City of Gastronomy, in a manner that can be replicated, scaled up, and applied to other regions globally.


To become the nexus of student and faculty engagement in generating positive change in our regional food system. We will accomplish this in ways that build collaborative capacity, diversity, equity, justice, and resilience in our arid land food system in the face of climate change as well as economic and political uncertainty.

Theory of Change

Faculty and students working together with stakeholders to build and document the impact of robust collaborations among researchers, educators, non-profit food justice advocates, entrepreneurial leaders in the farming and food business sectors, public servants in agencies, and grassroots alliances in civil society. We expect that these collaborations will contribute to the restructuring of our food system to be responsive to a spectrum of human food-related needs.