In November of 2000, Arizona voters made a 20-year commitment to stimulate innovation and research, support Arizona’s knowledge-based economy, and connect our outstanding pool of knowledge creators with knowledge users. The landmark passage of Proposition 301, a 0.6% sales tax to be used for education in Arizona, included a new University-directed funding source, the Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF), which has been used to catalyze research and technology transfer at Arizona’s academic institutions. University of Arizona TRIF initiatives include: ‘Water, Environmental, and Energy Solutions’, ‘Improving Health’, ‘Space Exploration and Optical Solutions’, and ‘National Security Systems’.

The Water, Environmental and Energy Solutions (WEES) initiative invests TRIF dollars in cutting-edge research, cross-campus collaborations, and innovative partnerships that promote fresh ideas, technologies, and effective resource management practices. TRIF-WEES-funded initiatives at the UA bring an average 8:1 return on investment and annually impact the education of more than 400 students. These funds create centers, support citizen-science projects, and facilitate the transfer of information from the university to the public in a myriad of ways.

WEES investment breakdown

WEES Administration

Director: Sharon B. Megdal
Executive Committee:

  • Mark Brusseau (SWES)
  • Kevin Lansey (CAE)
  • Raina M. Maier (SWES)
  • Christopher A. Scott (Geography)
  • Xubin Zeng (HAS)

Program Director: Claire Zucker



Claire Zucker
WEES Program Director
Tel: (520) 621-5725