The University of Arizona

2018 CLIMAS Environment and Society Fellows | CLIMAS

2018 CLIMAS Environment and Society Fellows

2018 CLIMAS Environment and Society Fellows


Beyond the Ranchers-Versus-City Narrative of the Owens Valley Water Conflict - Sophia Borgias

The conflict over the City of Los Angeles’ extraction and export of water from California’s Owens Valley has long captivated the public and policymakers alike. However, narratives about the Owens Valley water conflict have often fixated on the demise of the agricultural economy at the hands of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in the early 20th century. Though often described as an act of theft and lawlessness, Los Angeles’ acquisition of 95% of the valley’s land and water was in fact authorized under the law and facilitated by the federal government in the name of “the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run.” But, over the 105 years since the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed, notions of what constitutes the greatest good – and the long run, for that matter – have shifted. (read more)


Hunting for Black Gold - Stephanie Doerries

With the aid of my headlamp, I check the contents of my backpack in the pre-dawn darkness.  Food, water, vials, coin envelopes...check.  I strap a shovel to the outside of my pack and swing it across my shoulders with a huff, shrugging to adjust the weight.  Two and a half gallons of water is not light, but I’ll drink most of it over the course of the next 12 hours. A warm breeze blowing across the Pinta Sands, a remote area on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, hints at the heat to come.  I sling the strap of my binoculars over my shoulder and start walking at a brisk pace so I can cover the three plus miles to the first wildlife water before sunrise.  If I’m lucky, I’ll see a pronghorn at the edge of the playa—a dried lakebed—like I did last year. (read more)


Groundwater in Southern Arizona: People, Perceptions, and Policies - Tamee Albrecht

The fan made it difficult to hear, but the room was hot. Attendees were seated in tightly spaced rows, shoulder-to-shoulder. It was the Southeast Arizona Citizen’s Forum—a public meeting of the International Boundary and Water Commission that brings together stakeholders interested in water resources in the U.S.-Mexico border region. As each person stood up to introduce themselves the diversity of stakeholders became even more apparent—representatives from U.S. Senator’s offices, state agency scientists, water utility professionals, local farmers, citizen activists, NGO employees, and concerned residents. They gathered to discuss water—each bringing a unique perspective. (read more)


Understanding Farmers’ Choices, Trade-Offs, and Barriers for Selecting Land Management Practices in Northern Ghana - Marie Blanche Roudaut

In June and July of 2018, I conducted field work in the Bawku East and Nabdam Districts located in the Upper East region of northern Ghana. This is a semi-arid region that has been historically one of the least developed areas in the country. This regional inequality is in part related to the country’s colonial past, a growing population, low soil fertility, increasing environmental degradation, period droughts, and erratic rainfall. My research focuses on understanding the socio-economic and ecological drivers of land degradation in this region of Ghana as well as understanding the barriers that prevent farmers from adopting sustainable land management practices (SLM) to combat land degradation. (read more)