Research

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CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

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Past research documented and explained the complex economic and political processes that caused agricultural expansion and land-cover change in the Brazilian Cerrado (1998-2005), the world’s most biodiverse tropical savanna. I also have studied the rise of wind-energy systems and local communities in West Texas (2008-2011).

RESEARCH GRANTS

  • “Beyond Access: Comparative Analysis of Non-Material Dimensions of Water Insecurities,” Collaborator, with PI Leila Harris, University of British Columbia (CA$300,000).
  • “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 “RCN: 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)
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC, Canada) (PI, Leila Harris,
    University of British Columbia; Collaborator, Jepson, Texas A&M University) (2018-2021, $299,000)
  • Texas A&M University-CONACyT Collaborative Grant, “Health Outcomes of Water Insecurity in Urban Mexico,” (as Co-PI, with PI Dr. Genny Carrillo, School of Public Health, and PI Dr. Felipe Uribe, COLEF and Co-PI Dr. Javier Moran), $25,000 (2018-2019)
  • U.S. Fulbright Scholar, 2016-2017, Brazil
  • National Science Foundation, “Urban Water Provisioning Systems and Household Water Security” (Geography and Spatial Science 2016-2019)
  • 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
  • Glasscock Stipendiary Fellowship, “On the Poverty of Water: Discourses of Water Scarcity and Poverty in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas,” Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Texas A&M University, 9/2008-9/2009

COLLABORATORS IN RESEARCH

I value productive, encouraging, sustainable (and fun) collaboration with students and fellow researchers.  Amber Wutich (left) and Sera L. Young (right) have formed a core team that is growing to include individuals and a larger community of scholars in very exciting and positive directions.  

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COMMUNITIES IN RESEARCH

I strive to include communities and stakeholders in the research process. I have drawn from the basic principles of community-based participatory research in terms of engagement and interaction.  I have yet to achieve the optimal level of participation, but I continually strive to incorporate various community-level perspectives in my work.  Community health workers have played a particularly important role in the research on the US-Mexico border (below).  I have learned how integral they are as bridges between communities, agencies, and academics. 

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Project meeting with promotoras (community health workers) at community center in Hidalgo County (2011)