Ecosystem Genomics


Ecosystem Genomics

Certificate and Minor Programs Established 2022

Ecosystem Genomics is an emergent, interdisciplinary area of study that integrates across biotic systems "from genes to ecosystems", with the aim of solving grand challenges in sustainability and innovation in a rapidly changing world. By bringing together ecosystem- and genomic sciences in a framework that connects ecology, sustainability, data science, and applications, ecosystem genomics students have the potential to flourish in diverse careers in industry, government, academia, and non-profit sectors. 

The ultimate aim of the Ecosystem Genomics GIDP is to foster a diverse new generation of transdisciplinary scientists to address the challenges of sustaining natural and managed ecosystems on which humans depend, including wildlands, agricultural systems, forests, arid lands, and marine environments. The coursework supported by this minor will help students think across scales as they develop skills in ecosystem science, genomics, interdisciplinarity, scientific communication, and collaboration. At is core the minor will foster and extend students’ excellence in areas such as data science, microbiology, plant sciences, insect science, environmental science, atmospheric science, biosystems engineering, ecology and evolutionary biology, geography, and information science, and it is intended to attract students majoring in these UArizona programs. We seek students who want to translate ideas into meaningful scientific advances while cultivating deep and broad skill sets to solve grand challenges relevant to regional, national, and international issues in sustainability and innovation.

Program Contacts

Betsy Arnold, Ph.D.

Bonnie Hurwitz, Ph.D.
Vice Chair

Heather Ingram
Program Coordinator

Program Address

Ecosystem Genomics
The University of Arizona
BIO5 Institute
1657 East Helen Street
P.O. Box 210240
Tucson, AZ 85721

Phone:  (520) 626-4272

A. Elizabeth (Betsy) Arnold, Chair
School of Plant Sciences

David Baltrus
School of Plant Sciences

Albert Barberan
Environmental Science

Judie Bronstein
Ecology & Evolutionary Ecology

Winslow Burleson
School of Information

Paul Carini
Environmental Science

Yves Carriere

Andrew Comrie
School of Geography, Development & the Environment

Jennifer Croissant
Gender & Women's Studies

Katrina Dlugosch
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Regis Ferriere, Executive Committee
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Rachel Gallery
School of Natural Resources & the Environment

Bonnie Hurwitz, Vice Chair
Biosystems Engineering

Erin Leahey

Luciano Matzkin, Executive Committee

Laura Meredith
Ecosystem Genomics

W. Duke Pauli
School of Plant Sciences

Scott Saleska, Executive Committee
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Yang Song
Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences

Malak Tfaily
Environmental Science

Jana U'Ren
Biosystems Engineering

Rod Wing
School of Plant Sciences

Ecosystem Genomics Program Bylaws

Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Ecosystem Genomics (ECGN GIDP) Bylaws

April 2022

The Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Ecosystem Genomics offers a PhD minor and graduate certificate in the emerging interdisciplinary science of Ecosystem Genomics. This GIDP represents a portion of the training program initiated through the National Science Foundation-supported NRT: Building Resources for InterDisciplinary Training in Genomics and Ecosystem Sciences (BRIDGES) program.

In the following Articles and Bylaws, operating procedures, and policies of the Program are outlined. 

I. Reporting Structure

The Chair of the Ecosystem Genomics GIDP reports to the Dean of the Graduate College, through the Faculty Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs.

II. Membership

Membership in the Ecosystem Genomics GIDP is open to faculty at the University of Arizona who are willing to make a commitment to the GIDP. This commitment should be expressed through participation in developing and maintaining the GIDP, teaching courses, advising students, and supporting the programmatic activities of the GIDP. Both tenured or tenure-eligible faculty and untenured or non-tenure-eligible faculty may hold memberships. 

Criteria for membership are (1) commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to ecosystem science, genomic sciences, and related fields, and (2) commitment to activity and excellence in research or Extension as demonstrated by research funding, publication record, and service as advisor or coadvisor to students in these fields or affiliated social sciences. 

Members of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program will be reviewed periodically by the Executive Committee to ensure that they continue to meet these standards. 

Membership can be proposed by faculty candidates themselves or through nomination by a currently affiliated faculty member of the Program. Consideration of candidacy is initiated by submission of curriculum vitae and a letter of commitment to the Executive Committee. Requests will be reviewed in fall each year. If the Executive Committee votes to recommend membership, a request is then submitted to the Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs for approval and appointment.

The Ecosystem Genomics GIDP defers to the policies outlined for graduate faculty: is external) 

The members of the Ecosystem Genomics GIDP will meet at least once a year to review the state of the program.

III. Executive Committee (EC) and Chair

The Ecosystem Genomics GIDP is administered by a Chair, Vice-Chair and Executive Committee (EC) consisting of at least five members. The Executive Committee will be made up of faculty members from at least two colleges and at least three academic units, ideally with members from all participating colleges.

The Chair is appointed for a renewable three-year term and EC members are appointed for renewable one, two, or three-year terms. The Chair, Vice-Chair, and EC members will be chosen by vote by participating faculty that hold regular memberships. Nominations from participating faculty for both the Chair and Vice-Chair positions will be received by the EC. A faculty member may run for one or both positions. Fifty-one percent of the members will constitute a quorum. Majority vote of those present at a meeting or 51% return of the ballots will rule. 

The roster of elected members will be forwarded to the Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs for approval and appointment. 

A) The responsibilities of the Executive Committee are to:

  1. Devise and implement procedures to be followed in selecting and reviewing members of the Ecosystem Genomics GIDP;
  2. Devise and implement appropriate policies and procedure for the operation of the graduate program, such as admissions, curriculum, student supervision, completion of degree program requirements, and decisions regarding program resources;
  3. Appoint GIDP faculty members to serve on the GIDP’s one standing committee: the Graduate student Admissions and Progress Committee (GS-APC); see Article IV;
  4. Appoint other ad hoc committees as needed for effective operation;
  5. Act on recommendations of the GS-APC regarding academic counsel to new students and evaluations of students at various stages of progress through the program;
  6. Prepare and submit annual reports of the program’s activities and accomplishments to the Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs;
  7. Ensure that regular academic program reviews, consistent with the Board of Regents requirements, are carried out;
  8. Facilitate interaction and communication within the program with supporting academic units heads and deans;
  9. Seek funding from appropriate University, state, federal and private sources;
  10. Solicit nominations to fill vacated slot(s) on the Executive Committee, with an aim to ensure continuity over time; and,
  11. Move, consider and approve (by majority vote) all proposals to change the requirements for the minor and certificate.


B) The responsibilities of the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee (and the GIDP) are to:

  1. Administer the Program and EC activities with the assistance of the program coordinator;
  2. Convene and chair meetings of the EC as needed, not less than once per semester;
  3. Act on behalf of the EC and the GIDP to implement policies of the Program;
  4. Serve as representative of the Program to the University Administration, granting agencies, prospective students, etc.;
  5. Prepare and submit an annual report of activities and accomplishments of the Program according to University regulations;
  6. Provide advice to students in the Program;
  7. Act as Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for the Program (Chair).


The GIDP’s Program Coordinator works closely with the Chair and Vice-Chair as well as the students, faculty, EC and standing committees to ensure timely fulfillment of the policies of UArizona and GIDP, as well as the flow of the information among all concerned.

IV. Standing Committees

In addition to the EC, the Graduate student Admissions and Progress Committee (GS-APC) carries important responsibilities for the operation and welfare of the Program: 

  1. It is responsible for evaluating applications from prospective graduate students who are applying to Masters and Ph.D. programs in GIDP-affiliated majors and units at the University of Arizona with an interest in the ECGN GIDP. 
  2. It advises the EC with the respect to publicizing the program. 
  3. With external and internal evaluations it solicits and reviews evaluations and progress reports from students.
  4. It advises the EC regarding the Program policies and procedures as well as revisions of the Program Handbook. Student input will be encouraged.

V. Amendments

The Bylaws shall be amended or revised by the movement of the EC and a two-thirds positive vote by the regular membership of the Program. Bylaws also are reviewed and approved by the GIDP Faculty Director and Dean of the Graduate College.

Last Updated & Approved: April 2022