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Katie Meehan

Katie Meehan profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-4521
  • Office: 107C Condon Hall
  • Office Hours: Fall 2017 Tuesdays 4:00-5:00pm
  • Affiliated Departments: Latin American Studies
  • Interests: Water policy and governance; infrastructure and cities; science/policy interface; political ecology; Latin American science and technology studies

Research

My expertise lies in water policy and governance, urban infrastructure and informal development, social justice and cities, transdisciplinary knowledge regimes, and the politics of environmental knowledge and technology, especially at the science-policy interface. I draw on approaches in political ecology and science and technology studies (STS), especially feminist science studies, to frame my research in Latin America.

I have two parallel lines of research. Building on my theory of tool-power, my current book project examines household water insecurity in Mexico City and how grassroots organizations have emerged to create new kinds of infrastructural models of people, water, and the city. Based on a five-year ethnographic study of rainwater harvesting innovation, I explore how rainwater practitioners in Mexico City are replumbing the city (and relations between citizens and the state) in potentially more equitable, resilient, and sustainable ways. This project builds on my broader interests in the legal, sociotechnical, and spatial planning challenges associated with institutionalizing new forms of water supply in cities (such as rain or recycled wastewater). Past dissertation research, set in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, traced why and how people create 'water' by recycling household greywater (a type of 'waste'), and how these informal technologies produce diverse economies, institutions, and hydrologic flows.

Thanks to recent collaborations across the Americas, I have developed a second area of expertise in the politics of environmental knowledge integration and mobilization at the science/policy interface. Supported by a multi-year Fulbright NEXUS grant with scholars from Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, we explored the geopolitics of transdisciplinary knowledge mobilization across the hemisphere: including new modes of stakeholder engagement in transdisciplinary sutainability research, how 'local knowledge' is unevenly understood in climate adaptation studies, and the ontological and political challenges of integrating knowledge in environmental science.

In 2017, I launched a new NSF-sponsored research project on Knowledge Integration that explores how experts integrate knowledge "from microbes to landscapes" and across disciplinary cultures in the Brazilian Amazon, a place of intense scientific collaboration and longstanding geopolitical unease regarding issues of knowledge production and resource extraction. For more information and project updates on our blog, see our website here.

For the 2018-2019 academic year, I am not taking on new graduate students in the area of water governance. However, I am seeking a Portuguese-speaking doctoral student, with interests in science studies and political ecology, to work with me in the Knowledge Integration Project. Details here.

 

Teaching

  • GEOG 142: Introduction to Human Geography
  • GEOG 214: Geography of Latin America
  • GEOG 442/542: Urban Geography: The Wire
  • GEOG 467/567: International Water Policy
  • GEOG 607: Graduate seminar in the Science/Policy Interface
  • GEOG 595: Qualitative Methods in Geography

Education

Ph.D., University of Arizona, Geography (2010)

Graduate Certificate in Water Policy, University of Arizona (2010)

M.S. (with Distinction), University of Oxford (2005)

B.A., University of Oregon, Environmental Studies, Political Science (1999)

Publications

For a full list of publications, please see my profile on Google Scholar. Selected publications include:

Edited Books

Recent Articles (Selected)