Principal Investigator - Andrea K. Gerlak, PhD

Andrea K. Gerlak is an associate research professor at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona, and associate professor in the School of Geography and Development.

Her research focuses on institutions for governing water resources. She examines cooperation and conflict around water, including questions of institutional change and adaptation to climate change in rivers basins, and human rights and equity issues in water governance.

Gerlak is a senior research fellow with the Earth System Governance Project, an international social science research alliance exploring political solutions and novel, effective governance mechanisms to address global environmental challenges.

Since 2016, she has served as a co-editor for the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, an international journal published by Taylor and Francis providing a forum for the critical analysis of environmental policy and planning. She also is a member of the editorial board for Anthropocene, a journal addressing the nature, scale, and extent of the influence that people have on Earth.

Presently, Gerlak is co-leading a number of interdisciplinary research projects, including a hydropower and energy security project in South America (funded by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change) and a green infrastructure and water harvesting in cities project (funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation).

Gerlak has over ten years’ experience building, administering, and teaching in interdisciplinary environmental studies programs. She has been a faculty member at Guilford College and Columbia University. Most recently, she served as the director of academic development with the International Studies Association where she facilitated academic development across ISA’s substantive academic sections, including developing programs to foster junior scholar engagement and program development in international studies.

She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Arizona.

Areas of expertise and research interests

Water governance and policy
Global environmental policy
Transboundary waters
Groundwater management
Resilience, adaptation, social-ecological systems

Western U.S., U.S., Latin America, SE Asia, Europe


Co-Principal Investigator - Adriana Zuniga-Teran, PhD

Adriana Zuniga-Teran is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy working on transboundary water security in the arid Americas under the auspices of the International Water Security Network.

Adriana is collaborating on a participatory effort to measure the state of the health of the Cienega Watershed, in which a set of 19 cross-jurisdictional indicators were selected. Her role in this project is to meet with stakeholders and collect readably-available data, analyze it when necessary, and present it in a way that communicates well to the general public. This is a baseline effort that is intended to continue over time in order to do long-term monitoring and manage the watershed in an adaptive way.

Another project that Adriana is involved is a Haury Seed Grant project. This work is aimed to engage low-income communities in Tucson in the design and development of a neighborhood greenway. Seeking the active participation of the community in a pilot project is expected to serve as a model for other neighborhoods to adopt green infrastructure, and this way, reduce temperatures and floods while providing safe and comfortable conditions to walk and bike.

Zuniga-Teran is also an adjunct lecturer for the Sustainable Built Environments degree program in the UA College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture, where she is currently teaching two courses on the history of the built environment. Other courses include sustainable design and planning, and as a graduate teaching assistant, she helped teach the course introduction to global change.

With a background in architecture and an expertise in neighborhood design, Adriana combines knowledge-building and problem-solving of real-world challenges. Her research interests include sustainable urban development, resilience in cities, and water security in arid lands.

Adriana is originally from Monterrey, Mexico. She did her undergraduate studies at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in Monterrey. She worked as an architectural designer in Mexico for several years. She holds two advanced degrees from the University of Arizona: a master of architecture degree with a concentration in design and energy conservation, and a doctoral degree in arid lands resource sciences with a minor in global change.

Areas of expertise and research interests:

Neighborhood design
Walkability
Wellbeing benefits of greenspace
Green infrastructure
Water security
Resilience in cities


Co-Principal Investigator – Catlow Shipek

Catlow Shipek is a founding member of Watershed Management Group. He received a MSc in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona. Catlow has over ten years of experience in applied watershed management, planning and policy specializing in urban applications like water harvesting, green infrastructure, stream restoration, and eco-sanitation. Catlow has worked on several successful local policy initiatives including Tucson's residential greywater ordinance revision process, Tucson's Green Streets Active Practice Guidelines, and Tucson Water's residential rainwater rebate program. Catlow also serves on the Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee for Tucson Water including the Finance and Conservation & Education subcommittees. Catlow's passion is to link people to their local environment for improved stewardship and prosperity.


Senior Researcher: Joaquín Murrieta-Saldivar, PhD

Joaquín Murrieta-Saldivar

Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar PhD. With the Haury Project Joaquin, will identify GI opportunities, lead project design and build community capacity related to GI and future care. Joaquin is a Cultural Ecologist with Watershed Management group who specializes in building resilience in diverse communities by enhancing the connections between people, culture, and natural resources. He has implemented community-based approaches to watershed management, river restoration, geo-tourism, and conservation of native peoples. Murrieta-Saldivar is a graduate of the University of Arizona with MSc in Natural Resources and Agricultural Economics and a PhD in Renewable Natural Resources Studies with an emphasis on management, policy and economics of natural resources. He is a native of Sonora, Mexico and resident of Arizona, and is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Graduate Research Assistant – Ryan Lee

Email: RHLee@email.arizona.edu
Phone: 520.261.5331

Ryan H. Lee is a Ph.D candidate in Arid Lands Resource Sciences GIDP, with a minor in Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing, at the University of Arizona.

His research focuses on how water management (e.g. decisions, policies, techniques, institutions) affects ecosystems and communities, and how elicited changes feedback to affect the whole coupled social-ecological system. Nested within this question are interests in: adaptive management; resilience; ecosystem services; spatial analysis; landscape change; equity and access; participatory approaches and stakeholder engagement; and place-relevant best management practices.

Ryan is a third-generation Tucsonan who grew up in Barrio Santa Rosa, and around the Menlo and Armory Park neighborhoods. He has worked in Costa Rica to build a GIS model that examines the intersection of agrochemical pollution, agricultural management, and climate change, and at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. He returned to Tucson in 2011 as a Graduate Research Associate at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy to work with an interdisciplinary, bi-national research team on the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems, “Strengthening Resilience of Arid Region Riparian Corridors”. His field-sites during this project were a ranching community in Rayón, Sonora, Mexico and the U.S. San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Presently he is a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the UofA College of Science’s, Introduction to Global Change, and serves on the City of Tucson’s Citizen’s Water Advisory Committee, including its Conservation & Education subcommittee.

Ryan holds a B.S. in environmental science and a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Arizona. He has a dual-M.A. in international affairs-sustainable development & natural resources from American University, Washington D.C. and the U.N.-mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica, respectively. You can find him biking around, playing soccer, or ultimate frisbee with his sister in his free time.