Dr. Wendy Jepson is a University Professor in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University where she has been on faculty since receiving her Ph.D. in Geography from UCLA in 2003. She also serves as Associate Director of Research for the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) and Interim Associate Director for TWRI at the Texas A&M AgriLife Center in Dallas. She created and now leads the Urban Water Innovation and Sustainability Hub (Urban WISH), a scientific and extension program that seeks to examine the convergent sustainability challenge of urban water in Texas.
Dr. Jepson’s research addresses contemporary debates in political ecology, human-environment interactions, and environmental governance. She has several projects that intersect with the research theme of water security: (1) household water insecurity in the US and Latin America (Brazil and Mexico); (2) sustainability and urban water security. She was the 2018 recipient of the College of Geosciences Dean’s Excellence Award for Research, was named as University Professor (2020), Chancellor’s EDGES Fellow (2021), and AAG Fellow (2022). Dr. Jepson also leads the NSF-funded Household Water Insecurity Experiences – Research Coordination Network (HWISE-RCN), an international community of scholars and practitioners dedicated to advance research and work in the interdisciplinary field of water insecurity. Details can be found on her Research profile or on her C.V..
Dr. Jepson was a recent Fulbright Scholar (2016-2017) and a recipient of several National Science Foundation grants that focus on water security. Dr. Jepson is the Lead PI on the Texas A&M University Presidential Excellence Grant for “Pathways to Sustainable Urban Water Security: Desalination and Water Reuse,” for $1.5 million. She also has generated over $2.5 million in grants and awards as lead PI from NSF, private sources, and internal awards to support her research agenda.
Dr. Jepson has published over 60 journal articles and book chapters, edited one book, and serves on editorial boards, including Water Security and The Annals of the Association of American Geographers. She is book series editor for Water and Society, a new initiative by Johns Hopkins University Press and Associate Editor for WIRES Water. Dr. Jepson also was the 2015 recipient of the AAG Enhancing Diversity Award for her service to diversity and active engagement to achieve equality and inclusion in the discipline.
Her previous 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. She also conducted a study, funded by NextEra Energy, on the rise of new energy systems and local communities in West Texas. Her current long-term project examines water security, sustainability, and water resources in urban contexts.
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