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Summer in Arizona can be uncomfortably hot, but it’s when the plants that Huxman and his students study are most active. Their field efforts require lots of data collection, so the summer is a busy season for researchers. College students at all levels get practice in the monitoring skills that are necessary in ecology and climate science fieldwork. From digging soil pits, to measuring leaf transpiration, to plot vegetation studies, hands-on science under the Arizona sun never ends. But most field researchers quickly acclimate to the desert conditions—it’s “a dry heat” after all.

Members of Huxman’s field crew take a hike in the Arizona winter.
Members of Huxman’s field crew take a hike in the Arizona winter.Courtesy Travis Huxman, University of Arizona