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Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Minor) 
Program Description

The Indige-FEWS GIDP PhD Minor integrates engineering and science disciplines with humanities to fully prepare students for the interdisciplinary collaboration required to tackle the FEWS challenges of Indigenous communities with skill, respect and fellowship. 

The purpose of the Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Systems (Indige-FEWS) GIDP PhD Minor is to prepare students through research and scholarship to develop novel and sustainable solutions to real-world Food, Energy, and Water Systems (FEWS) challenges facing Indigenous communities. The GIDP PhD Minor coursework integrates fundamentals of systems thinking with cross-disciplinary pedagogy to support discovery and development of materials, technologies and unit operations for fit-for-purpose water systems and controlled environment agriculture (CEA) systems. Solutions will be fully integrated with the policies, decision-making and public acceptance of Indigenous communities, and will be grounded by an understanding of Indigenous societies, their governance and culture, and the ability to work effectively in these contexts.

Students will earn 13 credit hours to satisfy the Minor, one course from each of four "blocks": Systems (3 credit units), Fundamentals (3 credit units), Society (3 credit units), and Unit Operations (4 credit units). After completing coursework in Systems, Fundamentals, and Society, students will work in interdisciplinary teams in the Unit Operations course - the capstone course of the Minor.

Courses are offered by the following departments: Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering, American Indian Studies, Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Geography, Materials Science & Engineering, and Optical Sciences.

Graduates will be uniquely positioned to work with Indigenous communities to address food, energy, and water challenges with a systems approach and a collaborative process.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs -

The Graduate College sponsors several Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs) in addition to the many interdisciplinary possibilities available through regular graduate degree programs. GIDPs transcend departmental boundaries by facilitating cutting edge teaching and research at the nexus of traditional disciplines. The high value placed on interdisciplinary research and education is indicative of The University of Arizona's enthusiasm and commitment to fostering innovation and creativity among its faculty and students.


Graduate College/GIDP  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Cara M Duncan
Graduate Program Coordinator
Cara M Duncan
Director of Graduate Studies
Karletta Chief
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Annie Prisbrey
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

This is a stand-alone minor with no requirements beyond the student's major academic departmental requirements.


Minor Requirements

Minimum credit hours for PhD Minor: 13

Required Courses: 4 courses

Students will complete one course from Block 1, Block 2, and Block 3 before enrolling in the capstone course, Block 4: 

Block 1: Systems

  • ABE 579 - Applied Instrumentation for Controlled Environment Agriculture (Spring, 3 units)
  • ABE 582 - Integrated Engineered Solutions in the Food-Water-Energy Nexus (Spring, 3 units)
  • ENVS 596B - Water Policy in Arizona and Semi-Arid Regions (Spring, 3 units)
  • GEOG 596J - Water Mangement and Policy: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus (Fall & Spring, 3 units)

Block 2: Fundamentals

  • ECE/OPTI 514A - Photovoltaic Solar Energy Systems (Spring, 3 units)
  • ECE/MSE/OPTI 534 - Advanced Topics in Optical and Electronic Materials (Spring, even years only, 3 units) 
  • MSE 530 - Organic Electronic Materials and Devices (Fall, 3 units)
  • MSE 550 - Materials Selection for the Environment (Spring, 3 units)

Block 3: Society

  • AIS 526A - Principles of Indigenous Economics (Fall & Spring, 3 units)
  • AIS 531A - Traditional Ecological Knowledge (Fall, 3 units)
  • AIS 541A - Natural Resource Management in Native Communities (Fall & Spring, 3 units) 

Block 4 - Capstone Course: Unit Operations  

  • CHE 514 - Sustainable Water Supplies for Remote Communities (Spring, 4 units)
Student Handbook  
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Last revised 10 Sep 2019