Adriana Zuniga-Teran

Postdoctoral Research Associate | curriculum vitae

Zuniga Photo

Adriana Zuniga-Teran is a Scientist at the University of Arizona's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy working on water security in the built environment of the arid Americas. Zuniga-Teran is also a Senior Lecturer for the Sustainable Built Environments degree program in the UA College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. With a background in architecture and an expertise in neighborhood design, Adriana combines knowledge-building and problem-solving of real-world challenges.

Adriana is originally from Monterrey, Mexico. She did her undergraduate studies on architecture 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:

  • Water security in the built environment
  • Arid lands
  • Green infrastructure
  • Urban resilience and climate change adaptation
  • Walkability and wellbeing
  • Sustainable neighborhood design

Current research projects:

International Water Security Network. This is a project funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation and led by scientists from the University of the West of England and in collaboration with Monash South Africa University. The UA team studies transboundary water security in the arid Americas.

AQUASEC Center of Excellence for Water Security. Under the AQUASEC umbrella, the Aguascapes project brings together scientists from the arid Americas to work together in water security challenges. Partners include scientists from Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.

State of the Health of the Cienega watershed. This is a participatory effort to measure the state of the health of the Cienega Watershed, in which a set of 20 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.

Tucson Verde para Todos. This project is funded by the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environmental and Social Justice. This study is aimed to engage low-income communities in Tucson in the design and development of green infrastructure. 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 improving wellness, neighborhood aesthetics, and sense of community.

List of courses:

  • SBE-221 History of the Built Environment I (fall)
  • SBE-222 History of the Built Environment II (spring)
  • SBE-195A Introduction to Sustainability I (fall)
  • SBE-195B Introduction to Sustainability II (spring)

Selected publications:


Zuniga-Teran, A.A. ; Orr, B.J.; Gimblett, R.H.; Chalfoun, N.V.; Guertin, D.P.; Marsh, S.E. (2017). Neighborhood design, physical activity, and wellbeing: Applying the Walkability Model. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14,76: doi:10.3390/ijerph14010076.

Zuniga-Teran, A.A. ; Orr, B.J.; Gimblett, R.H.; Chalfoun, N.V.; Marsh, S.E.; Guertin, D.P.; Going, S.B. (2017). Designing healthy communities: Testing the walkability model. Frontiers of Architectural Research. Vol. 6, No. 1. Pp. 63-73.

Varady R.G., Zuniga-Teran, A.A.; Garfin, G.M.; Martin, F.; Vicuña, S. (2016). Adaptive management and water security in global context: Definitions, concepts, and examples. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability special issue “Environmental Change and Assessment” edited by M. Wilder, G. Garfin, and R. Merideth. Vol. 21. Pp. 70-71.

Zuniga-Teran, A.A; Orr, B.J.; Gimblett, R.H.; Going, S.B.; Chalfoun, N.V.; Guertin, D.P.; Marsh, S.E. (2016). Designing healthy communities: A walkability analysis on LEED-ND. Frontiers in Architectural Research.

Varady, R.G.; Zuniga-Teran, A.A.; Gerlak, A.K.; Megdal, S.B. (2016). Modes and approaches of groundwater governance: A survey of lessons learned from selected cases across the globe. In special issue “Water Governance, Stakeholder Engagement, and Sustainable Water Resources management,” ed. By S. Megdal, S. Eden, and E. Shamir. Water, 417 (24pp), DOI: 10.3390/w8100417.

Wilder, M., Aguilar Barajas, I., Pineda Pablos, N., Varady, R., Megdal, S., McEvoy, J., Merideth, R., Zuniga-Teran, A., Scott, C. (2016). Desalination and water security in the US-Mexico border region: Assessing the social, environmental, and political impacts. Water International, 41:5, 756-775, DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2016.1166416.

Non-peer reviewed publications:

  • Megdal. S.B.; Zuniga-Teran, A.A.; Delano, N.; Varady. R.G.; Gerlak, A.K. (accepted). Groundwater governance in the United States: A Mosaic of priorities and approaches. Book chapter in Advances in Groundwater Governance, ed. by K. Villholth, E. Lopex-Gunn, J van Der Gun, K. Contu, and A. Garrido, CRC/Balkema.
  • Staddon, C.; De Vito, L.; Zuniga-Teran, A.A.; Schoeman, Y.; Hart, A.; Booth, G. (2017). “Contributions of green infrastructure to urban resilience.” The resilience shift - Agenda setting scoping studies. Report elaborated by the consortium between the University of the West of England, University of Arizona, Monash South Africa University, Arcadis, University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China.
  • Zuniga-Teran, A.A. (accepted). Urban ecology and the ethics of human occupation and the suppression of ecological dynamics. Book chapter in “Environmental Ethics” by Schmidtz, D., Willott, E. (eds.). Third Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Zuniga-Teran, A.A. (2017). Green infrastructure in walkable neighborhoods: A climate change adaptation strategy for cities in drylands. Book chapter in “Climate change sensitive cities: building capacities for urban resilience, sustainability, and equity” by Delgado Ramos, G.C. (Ed.). Mexico: PINCC, UNAM.
  • Pineda Pablos, N.; Zuniga-Teran, A.A. (2016). Planeación por escenarios para la seguridad hídrica. Agua y Saneamiento. No. 67. Pp. 60-61.
  • Zuniga-Teran, A. A., Diaz-Caravantes, R.E. (2015). La infrastructure verde: una estrategia de adaptación al cambio climático (Green infrastructure: a climate change adaptation strategy). Agua y Saneamiento. No. 63. Pp. 89-91.