Wendy Jepson


I am a broadly trained geographer interested in human-environmental interaction.  My current theoretical interests address political ecology and environmental governance with particular focus on environmental justice and water resources in the United States and Latin America. 

My current research project addresses urban water provision and household water security, with particular interest in political, economic and social production of environmental inequities in marginalized neighborhoods in the US (Texas) and Brazil (Ceará). I was awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation and Fulbright Commission to support this line of inquiry.  I also lead the Texas A&M Water Security Initiative (http://h2osecurity.net), an outcome of the university’s Environmental Grand Challenge Program. 

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. 

My research interest in water governance and water security contribute to my engagement with students at all levels, whether as part of the Geosciences Service-Learning project, Research Experience for Undergraduates, or new study abroad in Costa Rica. 

Students interested in pursing graduate work on water governance and water security under my supervision can send me a CV, brief statement on research interests, and GRE scores (if available). 

Selected Publications

  • Jepson, W., Amber Wutich, and Leila Harris. “Water-Security Capabilities and the Human Right to Water” for Farhana Sultana and Alex Loftus (Eds.), The Right to Water (2nd Edition), Earthscan, New York and London (Submitted) 
  • Wutich, A., J. Budds, W. Jepson, L. Harris, E. Adams, A. Brewis, L. Cronk, C. DeMyers, K. Maes, T. Marley, J. Miller, A. Pearson, A. Rosinger, R. Schuster, J. Stoler, C. Staddon, P. Wiessner, C. Workman, S.L. Young. (2018) “Household Water Sharing: A Review of Water Gifts, Exchanges, and Transfers Across Cultures.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews – Water. 
  • Audrey Joslin* and Wendy Jepson (2018) "Constructing Territory and Authority through Market-based Conservation in Ecuador's Andes" Geoforum 10-20 
  • Bruno, Tianna* and Wendy Jepson. (2018) "Market Environmental Justice: EPA Environmental Justice Showcase Community Project in Port Arthur, Texas" Local Environment 23 (3) 276-292 
  • Wutich, A. Jessica Budds, Emma Norman, Wendy Jepson, Kathleen O’Reilly, Sameer H. Shah, Leila Harris, Jamie Shinn, and Sera Young (2017) “Advancing Methods for Research on Household Water Insecurity: Studying Entitlements and Capabilities, Socio-cultural dynamics, and Political Processes, Institutions and Governance” Water Security 1(2)​ 
  • Jepson, Wendy, Jessica Budds, Emma Norman, Amber Wutich, Kathleen O'Reilly, Sameer H. Shah, Leila Harris, Jamie Shinn, and Sera Young (2017) "Advancing Water Security for Human Development: A Relational Perspective" Water Security 1(1) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasec.2017.07.001? 
  • Jepson, Wendy, Amber Wutich, Godfred Boeteng, Shalean Collins, and Sera Young. (2017) “Progress in Household Water Insecurity Metrics: A Cross-Disciplinary Perspective in the Social Sciences” WIREs Water 4(3)
  • Jepson, Wendy and Emily Vandewalle (2016) "Household Water Insecurity in the Global North: A Study of Rural and Peri-urban Settlements on the Texas-Mexico Border" The Professional Geographer 68 (1) 66-81 
  • Christian Brannstrom, Mary Tilton, Andrew Klein, Wendy Jepson (2015) “Spatial Distribution of Estimated Wind-Power Royalties in West Texas,” LAND 4(4), 1182-1199 
  • Vandewalle, Emily and Wendy Jepson (2015) “Mediating Water Governance: Point-of-use Water Filtration Devices for Low-income Communities on the US-Mexico border" GEO: Geography and Environment 2(9) 107-121 
  • Jepson, Wendy and Christian Brannstrom. (2015) “Techno-nature the Scalar Politics of Water Governance in South Texas” in E. Norman, C. Cook, and A. Cohen (eds) Negotiating Scale in Water Governance (London: Ashgate Publications), 152-177. 
  • Jepson, Wendy and Heather Lee Brown (2014) “ ‘If No Gasoline, No Water’: Privatizing Drinking Water Quality in South Texas Colonias.” Environment and Planning A 46 (5): 1032-1048. 
  • Jepson, Wendy. (2014) “Measuring ‘No-Win’ Waterscapes: Experience-based Scales and Classification Approaches to Assess Household Water Security in Colonias on the US-Mexico Border” Geoforum 51: 107-120 
  • Jepson, Wendy, Christian Brannstrom, and Nicole 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, Wendy. (2012) “Claiming Space, Claiming Water: Contested Legal Geographies of Water Conflict in South Texas” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102(3): 614-631 


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


American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Leshner Fellow for Public Engagement, 2018-2019

Marisco Visiting Scholar, University of Denver, Denver, CO

Enhancing Diversity Award, Association of American Geographers, 2015Richard Stadelmen Faculty Senate Service Award, Texas

A&M University Faculty Senate, 2013Montague Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M

University, 2006-2007, including a $5,000 grant for undergraduate education, 2006

Additional Information


  • “Pathways to Sustainable Urban Water Security Transitions,” TAMU Presidential Excellence Fund, X-Grant Program (Principal Investigator Jepson with Co-PIs, Christian Brannstrom, Gabriel Eckstein, Mark Holtzapple, Robert Greer, Kent Portney, John Tracy, Sierra Woodruff) (2018-2021, $1,500,000).
  • "Research Collaboration Network: Building a Community of Practice for Household Water Insecurity (HWISE) Research,” National Science Foundation, Geography and Spatial Sciences, PI Jepson with Co-PIs Justin Stoler (University of Miami), Amber Wutich (Arizona State University), and Sera Young (Northwestern University) (2018-2023, $499,036)
  • Texas A&M University-CONACyT Collaborative Grant, “Health Outcomes of Water Insecurity in Urban Mexico,” $25,000 (as Co-PI, with PI Dr. Genny Carrillo, School of Public Health, and Dr. Felipe Uribe, COLEF), (9/2/2017-9/1/2018)
  • 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)
  • 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, $124,500)
  • Wind Energy Initiative, "Socio-economic impacts of wind energy," subcontract with NextEra Energy Resources/TCU, with Christian Brannstrom (TAMU), 1/09-12/11

Current and Former Students

  • Flavia Bonolo Dantas, Ph.D., Geography, Chair
  • Anna Van der Grift, Ph.D., Geography, Chair
  • Amy Truong MS, Water Management and Hydrological Sciences Program, Chair
  • Kelli Condina, MS, Geography, Chair
  • Sydney Beckner, MS Geography, 2018, Chair (TWRI Research Associate)
  • Swetha, Peteru, Ph.D., Geography, 2016, Chair (CIFOR Indonesia)
  • Tianna Bruno, MS Geography, 2016, Chair (PhD Program, Geography, University of Oregon)
  • Heather Lee, Ph.D., Geography, 2016, Chair (Adjunct Professor, Geography, University of Richmond)
  • Audrey Joslin, Ph.D., Geography, 2015, Chair (Assistant Professor, Geography Kansas State University)
  • Emily Vandewalle, MS Geography, 2014, Chair (Good Samaritan Community Services, San Antonio)
  • Abhineety Goel, Ph.D., Geography, 2013, Chair (Post-Doc, Dr. Kathleen O'Reilly)

Current Students at the Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza

  • Paula Tomaz, Doctoral Candidate, Geography ( Co-Advisor with Dr. Jader Santos) 
  • Adnna Silva, Doctoral Candidate, Geography (Co-Advisor with Dr. Marta Celina Salas) 
  • Caroline Lima, MS Student, Geography (Co-Advisor with Dr. Jader Santos) 
  • Marcelo Henrique Soares, MS Student, Geography (Co-Advisor with Dr. Jader Santos) 

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