The proposed opening of the Rosemont mine, south of Tucson, originally planned in 2014 is the foundation of the Pima County Observatory. The mine has reserves estimated at 2.7 Bt of copper, which may account for more than 10% of US production, and which must be exploited with new "environmental techniques" for water treatment and recycling. The development of this mine will be related to that of other mines in the region, in order to compare:

- ecological effects on groundwater, biodiversity, land use, air quality, etc.

- the health, economic and social impact on neighboring populations (residential communities, expanding urban peripheries, Indian reserves).

The objective is to illuminate the interactions and their dynamics at the heart of the socio-ecological and socio-economic systems constituted on the object of research.