Skip Nav
Wendy Jepson
Wendy Jepson
(979) 862-4487
CSA 201B

Department of Geography
Texas A&M University
MS 3147
College Station, Texas 77843-3147


Ph.D., Geography, University of California, Los Angeles, 2003
M.A., Geography, Syracuse University, 1997
B.A., History and Geography (Honors), University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994

  • Enhancing Diversity Award, Association of American Geographers, 2015
  • Richard Stadelmen Faculty Senate Service Award, Texas A&M University Faculty Senate, 2013
  • Montague Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, 2006-2007, including a $5,000 grant for undergraduate education, 2006


Link to Google Scholar

Wendy Jepson

Lead, Water Security Initiative, Environmental Grand Challenge Program

Research Interests

I am a broadly trained geographer interested in human-environmental interaction.  My current theoretical interests address political ecology, environmental governance and politics, critical legal geography, technology-society interaction, and communities with particular focus on environmental justice and water resources in the United States. 

My current research examines the complex political, economic and social production of environmental inequities in low-income rural and peri-urban Mexican-American neighborhoods (colonias) in the Lower Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-Mexico border.  In this region, the country’s poorest communities face ad-hoc water delivery and inadequate potable water, which threaten environmental well-being and erode prospects for a healthy life.  I was awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation to support this line of inquiry, and along with archival research, I am writing a monograph.

Past research documented and explained the complex economic and political processes that caused agricultural expansion and land-cover change in the Brazilian Cerrado, the world's most biodiverse tropical savanna. I also have studied the rise of new energy systems and local communities in West Texas. 

Selected Publications

  • Jepson, W. and E. Vandewalle (2015) "Household water insecurity in the Global North: A study of rural and peri-urban settlements on the Texas-Mexico border" The Professional Geographer
  • Vandewalle, E. and W. Jepson (2015) "Mediating water governance:Point-of-use water filtration devices for low-income communities on the US-Mexico border" GEO: Geography and Environment DOI: 10.1002/geo.2
  • Jepson, W. and C Brannstrom (2015) "Techno-nature and the scaling of water governance" in E. Norman, C. Cook, and A. Cohen (eds) Negotiating Scale in Water Governance. London: Ashgate Publications
  • Jepson, W. and H. L. Brown (2014) "'If no gasoline, no water': Privatizing drinking water quality in south Texas colonias" Environment and Planning A 46 (5): 1032-1048
  • Jepson, W. (2014) "Measuring a 'no-win' waterscape: Experience-based scales and classification approaches to measure household water security in colonias on the US-Mexico Border" Geoforum (51): 107-120.
  • Jepson, W., C. Brannstrom, and N. Persons (2012) "'We don't take the pledge': Environmentality and environmental skepticism in the epicenter of US wind energy development" Geoforum (43): 851-863
  • Jepson, W. (2012) "Claiming water, claiming space: Contested legal geographies of water in south Texas" Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102(3): 614-631 
  • Brannstrom, C., W. Jepson, and N. Persons. (2011) “Social Perspectives of Wind-Energy Development in West Texas” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101(4): 839-851.
  • Jepson, W., Brannstrom, C., Filippi, A. (2010) “Access Regimes and Regional Land Change in the Brazilian Cerrado, 1972-2002” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100(1): 87-111.
  • Millington, A., and Jepson, W., eds. (2008). Land Change Science in the Tropics Boston Springer Publications.
  • Jepson, W. and A. Millington, (2008) “The Changing Countryside”. In Millington, A. and Jepson, W. (eds.), “Land Change Science in the Tropics” Springer Publications, Boston
  • Jepson, W., Brown, J.C., and Koeppe, M. (2008) “Agricultural Intensification on Brazil’s Soybean Frontier in Southern Rondônia”. In Millington, A. and Jepson, W. (eds.), Land Change Science in the Tropics. Springer Publications, Boston.
  • Jepson, W., Brannstrom, C., and Stancato, R. (2008). “Brazilian Biotechnology Governance: Consensus and Conflict over Genetically Modified Crops”. In Otero, G. (ed.), Food for the Few: Neoliberal Globalism and Biotechnology in Latin America. University of Texas Press, Austin, pp. 217-242.
  • Brannstrom, C., Jepson, W., Filippi, A., Xu, X., and Redo, D. (2008). “Land Change in the Brazilian Savanna (Cerrado), 1986-2002: Comparative Analysis and Implications for Land-Use Policy” Land Use Policy 25(4): 455-608
  • Brown, J. C. W. Jepson, J. Lomas, B. Wardlow, Jude Kastens, and Kevin Price. (2007) “Multi-temporal, Moderate Spatial Resolution Remote Sensing of Modern Agricultural Production and Land Modification in the Brazilian Amazon” GIScience and Remote Sensing 44 (2): 117-141
  • Jepson, W. (2006)  “Private Agricultural Colonization on a Brazilian Frontier, 1970-1980” Journal of Historical Geography 32(4): 839-863
  • Jepson, W. (2006) “Producing a Modern Agricultural Frontier: Firms and Cooperatives in Eastern Mato Grosso, Brazil” Economic Geography 82 (3): 289-316
  • Jepson, W. (2005) “Spaces of Labor Activism, Mexican American Women and the Farm Worker Movement in Texas’s Lower Rio Grande Valley” Antipode 37 (4): 679-702
  • Jepson, W., C. Brannstrom and R. Stancato (2005) “A Case of Contested Ecological Modernization: Governance of Genetically Modified Crops in Brazil” for Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 23: 295-310
  • Jepson, W. (2005) “A Disappearing Biome? Reconsidering Land-Cover Change in the Brazilian Savanna” The Geographical Journal 171 (2): 99-111
  • Jepson, W. (2004) “Of Soil, Situation and Salubrity: Medical Topography and Medical Officers in Nineteenth-Century British India” Historical Geography 32: 137-155
  • Brown, JC, W. Jepson, and K. Price (2004) “Expansion of Mechanized Agriculture and Land-Cover Change in Southern Rondônia, Brazil” Journal of Latin American Geography 3 (1): 97-103
  • Jepson, W. (2002) “Globalization and Brazilian Biosafety: The Politics of Scale over Biotechnology Governance” Political Geography 21: 905-925.

Additional Information


  • U.S. Fulbright Scholar, 2016-2017, Brazil
  • National Science Foundation, “Urban Water Provisioning Systems and Household Water Security” (Geography and Spatial Science 2016-2019, $254,000)
  • Glasscock Faculty Fellowship, "Colonias Biopolitics: Mobilizing a 'Health Crisis' for Water Development," Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Texas A&M University, 2013-2014
  • National Science Foundation, "Household water security in low income, rural and peri-urban communities in south Texas" (#0924232, Geography and Spatial Science, 9/2009-2/2013)
  • Wind Energy Initiative, "Socio-economic impacts of wind energy," subcontract with NextEra Energy Resources/TCU, with Christian Brannstrom (TAMU), 1/09-12/11

Other Affiliations

  • Next Generation Project Fellow (2011) The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security & Law, UT-Austin
  • Whole Systems Genomics Institute, Texas A&M University
  • Applied Biodiversity Science Program, Texas A&M University
  • Editorial Board Member, Environment and Planning A and Journal of Land Use Science

Current and Former Students

Amy Truong MS, Water Management and Hydrological Sciences Program, Chair

MS Project: Transboundary water security and governance

Kelli Condina, MS, Geography, Chair

MS Project: Governing small water systems and water security: Case of Harris County, Texas.

Swetha, Peteru, Ph.D., Geography, 2016, Chair

Doctoral Dissertation: Linking Institutions to Genetic and Species Diversity in Conservation Territories

Notable Achievements: Applied Biodiversity Science Associate; Whole Systems Genomics Initiative Catalyst Grant (With Cairns); Graduate Diversity Fellowship; Applied Biodiversity Science Amazon Field School Grant; Glasscock Graduate Fellowship (2013-2014); Society of Women Geographers National Fellowship (2015)

Tianna Bruno, MS Geography, 2016, Chair

MS Thesis: Market Environmental Justice: A Case Study on the EPA Showcase Communities Project.

Currently Ph.D. Student, UC-Davis, Geography Graduate Program

Heather Lee, Ph.D., Geography, 2016, Chair

Doctoral Dissertation: Where does the "soft path" lead?: Irrigation technologies and water conservation in Central Mexico

Notable Achievements: CONACYT Fellow (TAMU); NSF PASI Trainee; Glasscock Graduate Fellowship (2013-2014); coauthored paper in Environment and Planning A (with Jepson); NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (2014); Texas A&M Dissertation Fellowship (2015)

Audrey Joslin, Ph.D., Geography, 2015, Chair

Doctoral Dissertation: Labor and Territory in Environmental Governance Regimes for Biodiversity Conservation in Ecuador's Paramo

Notable Achievements: IGERT Trainee; NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (2013); Texas A&M Dissertation Fellowship (2014-2015)

Currently Assistant Professor of Geography, Kansas State University

Emily Vandewalle, MS Geography, 2014, Chair

MS Thesis: From Emergency to Fix: Point-of-use Water Filtration Technology in Colonias along the United States-Mexico Border

Notable Achievements: two coauthored papers with Jepson

Abhineety Goel, Ph.D., Geography, 2013, Chair

Doctoral Dissertation: "Institutional Change and Resource Security in the Omkareshwar National Park Complex, India"


Geosciences TAMU Logo

Aggies can change the world. Geoscientists lead the way.