Roots for Resilience (R4R)

The next Roots for Resilience cohort begins Fall 2023.

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The Roots for Resilience Program provides training and support to select graduate students on open, reproducible science and computational infrastructure to enhance research focused on resiliency in the environment.


Much as roots anchor plants and ecosystems, data are the roots of science and discovery.  The Roots for Resilience research fellowship program in data science is led by the Arizona Institute for Resilient Environments and Societies (AIRES), CyVerse, and the Data Science Institute (DSI).  The program trains select graduate students in the use of open science and computational infrastructure to apply data science tools to their dissertation’s research and discovery and to increase their department’s data science capacity.

AIRES is interested in fostering new interdisciplinary research partnerships leading to new proposals for external funding that take advantage of the strengths in UArizona data science and resilience-based research to address challenges facing human and natural communities. By training graduate student fellows as department-level ambassadors of information exchange, R4R aims to educate the AIRES departments on the capabilities and possibilities offered by CyVerse and DSI while brokering new research areas in which data science tools play a strong role.

Fellows meet two times each week of the semester:

  • One meeting covers training, exploration, and experimentation with tools supporting individual research activities within research team and across departments. Training includes 10-weeks of CyVerse Foundational Open Science Skills (FOSS) sessions culminating in a group project presentation.
  • The second meeting with members of CyVerse, DSI, and/or AIRES, includes discussions about the prior learned training and applying skills.  

At the conclusion of the R4R semester-long program, each fellow makes a required individual in-depth presentation on applications and uses of CyVerse and other open science and data science tools that enhance disciplinary and interdisciplinary research. The fellows must share and make available their presentation material in support of open science.


  • Develop data science capabilities across the AIRES participating departments and research groups
  • Accelerate research projects of participating fellows and their home department research groups
  • Build professional networks for addressing large-scale challenges and research questions of interest to AIRES faculty
  • Develop new interdisciplinary collaborations across AIRES, DSI, CyVerse, and other academic units for writing new proposals
  • Develop a cohort among participants (and Data Science Ambassadors) to support each other in their own research and efforts to engage their departments

How to Participate

  • This is a competitive program targeting departments that support environment/resilience-focused research.  Departments must be invited to nominate a student for participation by AIRES.  
  • Selected departments may nominate 1 student. Department heads select/submit the nomination. Students based in one department, but with their advisor in another may need to be considered against the advisor’s department’s candidate.
  • Successful program candidates are enthusiastic, collaborative-minded, PhD candidates who have completed qualifying exams. But others (including exceptional master's students) will be considered. It helps to have students who will be around past the end of the semester-long program so they can continue to be ambassadors between their department and CyVerse/Data Science Institute.
  • Each student will be awarded a $7,000 scholarship.  Half is disbursed at the start of the semester and half at the end of the semester upon successful completion of the program, including making the required presentation to the department and submitting the presentation material.
  • Students and their advisors will be asked to sign an Expectations Agreement acknowledging the time and work commitments expected of participants

Questions regarding R4R participation should be sent to Betsy Woodhouse (woohou1 [at]


The Roots for Resilience research assistantship program is funded by the Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) and is administered by AIRES, CyVerse, and the Data Science Institute.

Program Leads

Maliaca Oxnam, DSI
Eric Lyons, CyVerse
Jim Buizer, AIRES
Betsy Woodhouse, AIRES
Tina L. Johnson, DSI


Greg Chism
Heidi Steiner
Carlos Lizárraga
Chris Reidy
Tyson Swetnam

CyVerse Mentors

Tyson Swetnam
Michele Cosi
Jeff Gillan