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(BPT) - When it comes to caring for your yard, maintenance is crucial – especially during the fall when it needs to recover from the wear and tear of summer and prepare for winter’s harsh conditions. Knowing what your lawn and garden needs from season to season not only makes it easier for you to stay organized with your list of backyard to-do’s, but it also allows you to identify and treat any problems before they become bigger issues down the road.
Reflecting on their time as undergraduate students, three University of Arizona Regents' Professors say that collaborative work is underrated, humanities and history courses are indeed valuable, and mistakes can be a great teacher.
That’s just some of the wisdom imparted by Diana Liverman, Regents' Professor of Geography and Development and co-director of the UA Institute of the Environment, who is currently on sabbatical; Toni Massaro, Dean Emerita of the UA James E. Rogers College of Law; and Pierre Meystre, a Regents' Professor of Physics and Optical Sciences and director of the UA Biosphere 2 Institute. UA alumni also talk about their experiences and share advice in "Career After College: Alumni Share Tips for New Students."
Q: What tips would you share with today's students to help them succeed in the academic environment?
Liverman (left): Try to turn up to most of your classes and spend some of the time listening to what's being said instead of taking notes on your computer or checking social media. In smaller classes, ask questions, and never begin your comment with “This is probably a stupid question but ...” Remember, there really are no stupid questions! Go to exam study sessions and form study groups.
Massaro (right): Make your academic ends the first priority. A lot of things are available in college that are exciting and important to the experience: making new friends, exploring autonomy, balancing school and social life. But the classroom and academic work should be your first priorities in order to make the most of the opportunity to grow intellectually.
Meystre: Embrace your ignorance. Learn to be comfortable with not knowing the answer, but then don't stop until you have it figured out. Don't be afraid to ask questions, even simple questions. Questions that may seem simple can lead to profound answers. And chances are that others don't know, either, and will be happy that somebody asks — or they will know the answer, and then they'll be able to help you. Also, be open to unexpected opportunities and challenges.
Q: What do you wish you had known when you were a freshman?
Liverman: That so many opportunities would open up for me as an environmentalist and woman during my lifetime. When I was a freshman, there were no “green” careers, and it was tough for a woman to succeed in the environmental arena. Second, that working in a group — rather than competing — can help you be a success. And third, that I didn't have to find a husband my first year at college (that's what my grandmother thought I should be focusing on). It is much more fun to look around, travel the world and find someone later.
Meystre (left): That one should not be afraid to make mistakes. Being overly cautious can be paralyzing, and one often learns more from failures than from success. And for a curious mind, what can possibly be more boring and uninteresting than having things run just as expected?
Q: What would you have done differently?
Liverman: I would do study abroad. I would do internships and/or volunteer for local environmental or other organizations. I would take more science.
Meystre: I don’t think much about that. I don't find it particularly useful to obsess about "missed opportunities." We have just one ride and may as well enjoy it.
Q: What turned out to be your best move?
Liverman: Helping a visiting professor with her research one summer. She then invited me to take a master’s degree with her in Canada.
Massaro: Taking Bergen Evans' world literature course. A Northwestern classic, and the best course I took in college. And then choosing law school for my graduate work.
Meystre: Picking a great field of study. Physics is extraordinarily beautiful and exciting. It challenges you at every turn and always hits you with new surprises, with profound questions ranging from the origin of the universe to the nature of reality, and with practical applications that can have a significant societal impact.
Q: What was your most career-determining stroke of luck or serendipitous event?
Liverman: Getting an internship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and persuading climate scientist Stephen Schneider to supervise me. He set me on my path to becoming a researcher, mentored me for many subsequent opportunities.
Massaro: A conversation with an undergraduate professor my senior year of college telling me "You ought to go to law school," even though she had been steering me to her own graduate/Ph.D. program the previous three years. Her shift helped me take the big leap professionally (and personally). And then, at the end of law school, two professors encouraged me to apply for a law-teaching job after my time in practice. I was extremely fortunate to have teachers who took such a keen interest in all of their students.
Meystre: There are too many to count. Most lucky perhaps was picking a specialization that was not very fashionable at the time but that turned out to become very hot, and also being at the right place at the right time.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
Liverman: You will make the most amazing friends in college who will see you through all the ups and downs of life. Look for ways to meet new people, not always like you, and it will change your life.
Massaro: Make the most of this moment, knock on your teachers' doors and enjoy your classmates. They can be your best teachers, too. Raise your hand. Be curious. Then "pay it forward" by helping others with their studies or volunteering in the community. There is no better way to learn than to teach others.
Meystre: Don't forget to have fun. If you don't, maybe you are not doing what you should be doing.
Diana Liverman's expertise and research interests focus on the human dimensions of environmental change, connecting earth and social sciences to understand challenges of drought and climate change, climate policy, climate change communication, food security, land use and international environmental governance. Liverman has advised a wide range of government committees, non-governmental organizations and businesses on climate issues. The first woman to serve in the position, Toni Massaro is also one of the longest-serving UA deans in recent history. Massaro, who holds the Milton O. Riepe Chair in Constitutional Law, has been with the college since 1989 and is an expert in civil procedure and constitutional law. And originally from Switzerland, Pierre Meystre, who joined the UA in 1986, has developed theory that has profoundly influenced all aspects of quantum optics, according to Nobel Prize winners in that field. He was named Regents' Professor in 2002.
(NAPSI)—Perennial plants are a gardener’s dream: They add color to borders and beds, and are relatively easy to maintain. Perennials can also be used to add fragrance and texture to gardens, as well as attract beneficial wildlife such as butterflies and hummingbirds. Planting perennials in the fall is like making a long-term investment—one that pays dividends the next year.
1. Gaza cease-fire collapses and Israel brings home its negotiators
Agriculture is big business in Arizona, and industry leaders in Yuma County are teaming up with the University of Arizona to arm growers with science and information they need to swiftly tackle threats to their profitability.
As water levels continue to drop from regional-area groundwater wells, the City of Tucson and Metro Water District are in the beginning stages of counteracting the decrease by exploring how to combine groundwater with CAP (Central Arizona Project) water, which delivers about 1.5 million acre-feet of water annually from the Colorado River.
1. Humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza
1. Israel launches more air strikes after Hamas rejects truce
(Family Features) Experimentation seems to be the key to a great garden. Where one plant thrives, its neighbor can simply wither away. So, how's a gardener to know what plants to buy from year-to-year? The All-American Selections designation is designed to take some of the guesswork out of gardening.
Political posturing in the guise of climate change denial is dangerous. Richard Brinkley’s political rantings against the Obama Administration in the May 14 issue of The Explorer have obviously clouded his judgment on the climate change issue. Either that or as he approaches the twilight of his time here on our planet he simply does not care about the future generations that will be left behind.
1. Obama aides defend deal to free Bergdahl
(BPT) - Whether you’re an expert or just a beginner, it’s important to know how to properly care for and maintain your lawn – especially before the summer season begins.
1. India's ruling party goes down in defeat
(BPT) - When you turn on the water faucet in your kitchen, do you think about the water that goes down the drain without being used in any way? Or have you wondered how you might be able to reduce your water bill? Having good water sense can help answer these questions and more.
The Planners for the I-11 Canamex Highway held an online “virtual meeting” during part of February and March and drew over 2,000 comments. These are still being sorted and have not yet been released. The summary, when ready, will be posted on their website, www.i11study.com. The $2.5 million study by the Arizona and Nevada Departments of Transportation plans a Southern Arizona public meeting sometime in June.
Buffelgrass issues continue in Southern Arizona while volunteers break their backs digging out buffelgrass in Southern Arizona the U.S. Department of Agriculture is promoting a cold-resistant strain of the “noxious weed” that will spread it even further. While Saguaro National Park contemplates spraying herbicides on buffelgrass with helicopters, Texas calls Pennisetum ciliaris its “wonder grass.” The Buffelgrass Seed Company in Corpus Christi today sells six varieties of the weed with the slogan, “We help America grow.”
Flooded rail lines. Bigger, more frequent droughts. A rash of wildfires.
1. Ferry sinks off South Korean coast
(NAPSI)—Did you know that homes with automatically timed irrigation systems use about 50 percent more water outdoors than those without them? Your system could be wasting as much as 30,000 gallons of water each year if it is programmed incorrectly, a sprinkler head is pointed in the wrong direction, or you have a leak. Regular sprinkler maintenance could save as much as $120 annually on your water bills!
(BPT) - As summer approaches and your thoughts turn to home improvement and the outdoors, you’re probably considering a variety of ways to make your home more comfortable, more attractive and more environmentally sustainable – while hopefully increasing its value as well. One feature that can achieve all these goals is a healthy lawn.
1. Obama will reportedly push to end NSA bulk phone surveillance
(Family Features) Whether you're looking for a gift to give a gardener in your life or you're looking for some ideas, there's no shortage of new gardening books available. Here are a few books that will plant seeds of inspiration for gardeners of all ages and stages.
(NAPSI)—There’s good news for homeowners preparing for their first yard work of the season. Investing a little time and effort in selecting the right tools and techniques when it comes to your spring yard cleanup can make the process quicker, easier and greener.
(BPT) - For most all of us, springtime can’t come soon enough. Following a brutal winter with severe temps and record snowfall nationwide, people are more anxious than ever to enjoy the first days of spring outdoors.
1. Yanukovych announces a peace deal as violence continues in Ukraine