Collection Description

The International Center for Arid and Semiarid Land Studies (ICASALS) at Texas Tech University was created in 1966 to promote the university's special mission of the interdisciplinary study of arid and semiarid environments and the human relationship to these environments from an international perspective. The purpose of ICASALS is to stimulate, coordinate and implement teaching, research, and public service activieis concerning all aspects of the world's arid and semiarid regions, their people and their problems.

ICASALS is a component of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at Texas Tech University.

ICASALS brings together the sciences, technologies, humanities, and arts, with a particular emphasis on applied research and education concerning those regions where loss of productivity and declining water resources are of tremendous significance to the inhabitants and the economies involved.


ICASALS was established in August of 1966 by the Texas Board of Directors through a unanimous decision. President Grover Murray was inspired to create a special international mission for Tech during his travels to North Africa. He intended for ICASALS to bring world-wid disctinction to the University and to involve the efforts of all the educational departments and resources. The geographic location of Texas Tech made the study of arid and semiarid lands appropriate. Since one-third of Earth is considered to be an arid or semiarid region, ICASALS would stimulate and coordinate research to help increase the productivity of these areas and the people living in them. ICASALS provides a means by which Texas Tech University is able to make global contributions.

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