Barron J. Orr – University of Arizona

Barron J. Orr is a Professor in the Office of Arid Lands Studies in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona where he has been on faculty since 2001. Termed “Geospatial Extension Specialist”, his position links the missions of NASA, USDA, NOAA, and that of Land Grant universities to bridge the gap between Earth systems science and technology and its use by the general public. His approach to knowledge transfer covers all facets of communication and education, ranging from hands-on training to online decision support systems (converting scientific data into insightful products that can assist decision makers) to mobile phone applications designed to education and motivate youth. His research focuses on the diffusion of innovation, knowledge transfer, technology adoption and the integration of local and scientific knowledge. Barron has a B.A. in French, Political Science and African Studies from Indiana University, Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Arid Lands Resource Sciences from the University of Arizona. He is involved in several global initiatives focused in increasing the impact of scientific endeavor on real societal needs, including collaboration with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.