Landscape image of a sandy desert with shadowy mountains in the background.

Global Drylands Center overview

Global Drylands vision

  1. Our mission is to engage and synergize key stakeholders and institutions leading to global dryland sustainability through solution-oriented research, education and outreach.
  2. The Global Drylands Center will become the world leader in discovery and education ensuring a sustainable future for drylands

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Arizona State University will have multiple positive impacts on the sustainability of drylands. Global Drylands Center will synergize researchers, stakeholders and practitioners to produce use-inspired research resulting in sustainable solutions for drylands around the world.

Global Drylands Center engages the new generation of leaders, students and practitioners capable of implementing sustainability practices into these complex systems. Global Drylands Center scientific research unravels the mechanisms that support the high-level functioning of drylands.


Because of their large impact on the functioning of our planet, achieving sustainability for drylands is a necessary step toward achieving the sustainability of our planet.

The diversity of drylands stakeholders from herders and ranchers to conservationists and urbanites interested in conservation, recreation and climate-change amelioration gives the Global Drylands Center a unique opportunity to create multiple sustainable paths through diverse partnerships. Each stakeholder has its own needs and values from food production to conservation and recreation.


ASU is at the center of North America’s four great drylands with their growing human populations. ASU is an institution embedded in its region and its multifaceted challenges are emblematic of the challenges of global drylands. Consequently, Global Drylands Center approaches are globally applicable, and solutions are globally exportable.

ASU will join forces with current partners with similar problems. These partnerships allow Global Drylands Center to engage globally and become the leading force in solving drylands problems and training those who would implement the solutions.

ASU possesses human, institutional and interdisciplinary resources to be a world leader in dryland research, education, and management. A diverse group of people hosted in different organizations within ASU currently study contrasting aspects of the sustainability of drylands from the perspectives of the physical, biological and social sciences, as well as the humanities.