The López-Hoffman Lab pursues solutions-oriented research on a diverse set of environmental governance challenges at multiple scales and across boundaries.
The NEPAccess project uses data science to help modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Until now, the lack of systematic data on NEPA’s performance has hindered decision-makers, and public participation in NEPA processes has been stymied by limited access to documents. The NEPAccess project brings together a team of data scientists, public policy and legal scholars, and environmental researchers to address these limitations.
The Udall Center’s Dr. Stephanie Buechler, who also holds a position with the School of Geography, Development, and Environment (SGDE), is leading the Tucson-focused applied research project "Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic through Community Gardens: A Lifeline to Food Security" in collaboration with the Community Gardens of Tucson (CGT) NGO. Twenty qualitative interviews are being conducted with under- and un-employed gardeners to investigate the effect of gardening on vegetable-produce accessibility for gardeners and their household members, limitations experienced gardening under COVID-19 and climate change conditions, and strengths and weaknesses of social and institutional networks related to gardening during COVID-19. These interviews were complemented by four others with CGT staff on the financial effects of water meters subsidized by the Tucson Water. Funding for the project comes from SGDE, the Udall Foundation, the Spicer Foundation, and the University of Arizona Center for Regional Food Studies
Udall Center staff Bob Varady, Andrea Gerlak, Molli Bryson and Chris Scott focus on research, publishing, public speaking, and policy engagement on environmental and hydrodiplomacy themes. This includes such signature events as the Stewart Udall Centennial on November 19th. On October 16th, Chris was quoted in a New York Times front-page story on the U.S.-Mexico water treaty. On October 28th, Chris was a panelist in the inaugural webinar of Harvard University's Food Security in the Americas series, presenting "Food, energy and water security in the borderlands: Chihuahua as the linchpin of Mexico-U.S. hydrodiplomacy.” Additionally, Bob and Andrea, together with associates Margaret Wilder and Nicolas Pineda, are putting the final touches on a special issue of Environmental Science and Policy, which brings together 14 essays featuring hydrodiplomacy across the globe. Finally, led by Andrea and Bob, the Udall Center serves as an active member of and participant in the Universities Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy.
Dr. Andrea Gerlak sheds light on the effects of COVID-19 on water insecurity, especially in rural communities. Read the full article here: https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/511299-heat-waves-to-heighten-energy-and-water-insecurity-during-covid-19
New podcast from Journal of the Southwest Radio Hour featuring the green infrastructure expertise from Dr. Adriana Zuniga-Teran: Better Monsooner than Later, with Patricia Schwartz.
Depending on where you’re standing, summer rains in the desert can mean rejuvenation or destruction (or both). Rapid urbanization has put borderlands cities out of touch with the storm waters that sustain them, an oversight for which they pay dearly in flood damages and eroded soils. What predictions can we make about the future of the monsoon in the Sonoran Desert? What are we doing to make use of the rain and prevent it from sweeping us away? How can storm water management be used to promote environmental justice and urban equity?
Written, produced, and narrated by Patricia Schwartz, a graduate student in the School of Geography, Development and Environment, University of Arizona, this ~40 minute podcast features interviews with Dr. Gregg Garfin, University Director of the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center and Associate Professor/Extension Specialist at the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona; and Dr. Adriana Zuniga-Teran, Assistant Research Scientist and Professor at the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning and the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona.
Here is the link to the full podcast episode: https://jsw.arizona.edu/multimedia/podcasts/
The Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and the Native Nations Institute (NNI) stand in solidarity with those seeking justice for George Floyd, Dion Johnson, Dalvin Hollins, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and every Black person’s life who has been ripped away from their family by the unrestrained actions of institutional racism, including the discriminatory use of force by law enforcement. As allies, we know that Black lives also suffer from the racism ingrained in our governmental and institutional systems. The United States of America was founded on the genocide and erasure of our collective ancestors, which is ongoing. The anger and violence spilling into the streets is a result of centuries of violent oppression that has gone unchecked for too long.
Chris has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2020-21 and will be on sabbatical in Spring 2021 to extend what has been nearly a decade of collaboration in Mendoza, Argentina, where he will be teaching on the water-energy-food nexus and conducting research on Andean river basin development.
On April 7 and 8, 2020, Andrea K. Gerlak of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona (UArizona) helped to host an innovative scenario planning workshop for some stakeholders in the Colorado River Basin. These scenario planning workshops considered for the first time the potential for extreme climate events to occur synchronously with potential major crises in governance, the economy and other "extremes."