Community involvement

Life in the city

More than half of all humans worldwide — and over 80% in the U.S. — live in cities. Yet when we think about studying the environment, we often think about everywhere but cities.

For the past 25 years, scientists at Arizona State University have been studying the Phoenix metropolitan area as an ecosystem of its own — complete with critters and cacti, snakes and lakes, pavement and, of course, people.

Music of the heart

Editor's note: This story is part of our Salute to Service coverage, Nov. 1–11. Learn about the schedule of events.

Army veteran Stephen Bradford once held a skewed view of the world. He saw some “ungodly things in combat,” battled long-term addiction issues, had a marriage go sideways and attempted suicide three times.

“When I came back to the world after combat, I thought the world was messed up,” Bradford said. “But it was really me.”

ASU leads $25M project to develop Southwest urban integrated field laboratory

Across Arizona, communities are increasingly forced to deal with the consequences of extreme heat exacerbated by climate change and urban growth.

Cities in the region routinely experience more than 30 days above 110 degrees Fahrenheit each summer, and growing populations continue to be strained by the complex interactions of extreme heat, atmospheric pollutants and limited water supplies.

SAGE program plants gardens, educates children on healthy eating

It’s just past 7:30 a.m. when Nathan Ashok dons his pair of gloves, picks up a gray cinder block and smoothly places it a few feet away from the swing set.

As fellow Arizona State University students Joanna Carvallo and Anjali Patel grab more cinder blocks, Ashok begins to level the ground. In less than 45 minutes, the three students, along with program coordinator Joseline Jimenez, construct a 3-by-6 garden bed with eight bags of soil and 28 blocks at Faith Lutheran preschool near Seventh Street and Camelback Road.