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UA space’s economic impact equals one Super Bowl per year

A Super Bowl’s economic contributions can be hard to calculate, let alone project.

But a report by economic and policy analyst Rounds Consulting Group says the University of Arizona space research and operations generate more than $560 million annually, plus more than $21 million in taxes.

That’s compared to the one-time $600 million that the group Visit Phoenix projects the Super Bowl will bring to state economies.

Space research has expanded at the university since investment ramped up in the 1960s.

Today it garners around $5 in grants for every $1 it receives in state funding.

Nicholas Gerbis joined KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk in 2016. A longtime science, health and technology journalist and editor, his extensive background in related nonprofit and science communications inform his reporting on Earth and space sciences, neuroscience and behavioral health, and bioscience/biotechnology.Apart from travel and three years in Delaware spent earning his master’s degree in physical geography (climatology), Gerbis has spent most of his life in Arizona. He also holds a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University’s Cronkite School and a bachelor’s degree in geography (climatology/meteorology), also from ASU.Gerbis briefly “retired in reverse” and moved from Arizona to Wisconsin, where he taught science history and science-fiction film courses at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is glad to be back in the Valley and enjoys contributing to KJZZ’s Untold Arizona series.During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gerbis focused almost solely on coronavirus-related stories and analysis. In addition to reporting on the course of the disease and related research, he delved into deeper questions, such as the impact of shutdowns on science and medicine, the roots of vaccine reluctance and the policies that exacerbated the virus’s impact, particularly on vulnerable populations.