McEvoy Portrait

Assistant Professor of Geography

Contact Information:

Office:   Traphagen Hall #208
Phone:   (406) 994-4069

Office Hours: Spring 2017

Thursday 2:30-3:30pm 


Montana Institute on Ecosystems


Ph.D. Geography, University of Arizona, 2013
M.S. Environmental Sociology, Utah State University, 2008
Professional Residency in Environmental Education, Teton Science Schools, 2006
B.S. Environmental Studies, Utah State University, 2002

Research Interests:

  • Human-environment interactions in Mexico, the U.S.-Mexico border region, and the U.S. West
  • Political ecology
  • Science and technology studies
  • Political ecology of water governance and the hydrosocial cycle
  • Climate change vulnerability and adaptation

I am a human-environment geographer with three streams of research interests: 1) using a political ecology approach to investigate the social, political, and economic drivers of water governance and environmental change 2) assessing climate change vulnerability, identifying equitable adaptation options, and fostering adaptive capacity and 3) using a science and technology studies (STS) approach to understand technological change and risk in socioecological systems.

My previous research has used water and water infrastructure as a lens to examine differential power relations in society and understand the process of uneven development.  In Baja California Sur, Mexico, I examined how the use of desalination technology is affecting water management, urban development, the equitable access to water services, and the emergence of social institutions (i.e., rules, norms, and organizations) for water management in the context of growth and climate change. As a member of a NOAA-funded research project at the Udall Center for studies in Public Policy (University of Arizona), I helped coordinate several binational stakeholder workshops to assess climate change vulnerabilities, engage stakeholders in the co-production of usable climate science, and foster adaptive capacity in the water sector in the U.S.-Mexico border region. I have also conducted research to assess rancher participation in a water quality improvement program and adoption of best management practices in northern Utah.  Beyond my research on water resources, I have researched and published on the topic of the feminization of agriculture in southeast Mexico.

My current research agenda focuses on the political economic dimensions of the climate-water-energy nexus in key Western states. The water-energy nexus is defined as the interdependence of water and energy systems. Understanding how climate change policies affect the energy-water nexus, and vice versa, are key research questions that I will be addressing. Following the maxim that political ecology is both a hatchet (i.e., a form of critique) and a seed (i.e., a strategy for achieving more equitable resource management), I will use a human-environment geographer’s perspective to identify the ways in which a region is ‘doubly exposed’ to climate change, as well as socio-economic factors that contribute to environmental change. I hope to engage collaboratively with resource managers to identify robust climate change adaptation options for managing the region’s changing environment.

Current Research and Funding

"The Impacts of Narrative-Based Risk Communication on Hazard Preparedness." Funded by an NSF Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events Grant (Award No. 1635885).

“Yellowstone Basin Advisory Council and the Sciences of Vulnerability.” Funding from Montana Institute on Ecosystems – National Science Foundation EPSCoR (

“Perceptions and Politics: Risk Assessment of Oil and Gas Development from Four Different Stakeholder Perspectives." Funding from Montana INBRE - National Institutes of Health (

“Assessing the capacity of natural infrastructure to increase water storage, reduce vulnerability to floods, and enhance resiliency to climate change.” Funded by a Montana Water Center Research Seed Grant and a MT DNRC Matching Grant.

Current Graduate Students

Nicolas Bergmann (PhD, 2014-present)
Dionne Zoanni (MS 2015-present)
Megan Moore (MS 2016-present)
Valerie Sigler (MS 2016-present)

Previous Graduate Students

Danika Holmes (MS, 2014-2016) - working as a water specialist with the MT Department of Natural Resources & Conservation

Courses Taught:

GEOG 141D Geography of World Regions (Spring)
GEOG 329 Environment and Society (Fall)
GEOG 402/502 Water and Society (Fall)
GEOG 591 Topics in Political Ecology (Spring, even years)


For full list of publications, please see Google Scholar. Selected publications include:

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Fragkou, Maria Christina and Jamie McEvoy. 2016. “Trust Matters: Why Augmenting Water Supplies via Desalination May Not Overcome Perceptual Water Scarcity.” Desalination.

Anderson, M.A., Ward, L., McEvoy, J., Gilbertz, S.J., and Hall, D.M.2016. “Developing the Water Commons? The (post)Political Condition and the Politics of ‘Shared Giving’ in Montana.” Geoforum 74: 147-157.

Anderson, M.A., Hall, D.M., McEvoy, J., Gilbertz, S.J., Ward, L., and Rode, A.R. 2016. “Defending Dissensus: Participatory Governance and the Politics of Water Measurement in Montana’s Yellowstone River Basin.” Journal of Environmental Politics 25(6): 991-1012. 

Wilder, M., Aguilar-Barajas,I., Pineda-Pablos, N., Varady, R.G., Megdal, S.B., McEvoy, J., Merideth, R., Zúñiga-Terán, A., and Scott, C.A. 2016. “Desalination and Water Security in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region: Assessing the Social, Environmental, and Political Impacts.” Water International 41(5): 756-775.

McEvoy, Jamie. 2015. “Can the Adoption of Desalination Technology Lead to Aquifer Preservation? A Case Study of a Sociotechnical Water System in Baja California Sur, Mexico.”Water 7: 5224-5238

McEvoy, Jamie. 2014. “Desalination and Water Security: The Promise and Perils of a Technological Fix to the Water Crisis in Baja California Sur, Mexico.”Water Alternatives 7(3): 518-541. 

Scott, Chris, Holm Tiessen, Francisco Meza, Luis Farfan, Margaret Wilder, Robert Varady, Jamie McEvoy, Gregg Garfin, and Nicolas Pineda. 2013.“Water Security and Adaptive Management in the Arid Americas.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103(2): 280-289Special issue: “Geographies of Water.”

McEvoy, Jamie, Peggy Petrzelka, Claudia Radel and Birgit Schmook. 2012. “Gendered Mobility and Morality in a South-Eastern Mexican Community: Impacts of Male Labour Migration on the Women Left Behind” Mobilities 7(3): 369-388.

Radel, Claudia, Birgit Schmook, Jamie McEvoy, Claudia Méndez, and Peggy Petrzelka. 2012. “Labour Migration and Gendered Agricultural Relations: The Feminization of Agriculture in the Ejidal Sector of Calakmul, Mexico. Journal of Agrarian Change 12(1): 98-119.

McEvoy, Jamie and Margaret Wilder. 2012. “Discourse and Desalination: Potential Impacts of Proposed Climate Change Adaptation Interventions in the Arizona-Sonora Border Region.” Global Environmental Change 22(2): 353-363. Special issue: “Adding Insult to Injury: Climate Change and the Inequities of Climate Intervention.” 

Douglas Jackson-Smith  and Jamie McEvoy. 2011. “Assessing the Long-Term Impacts of Water Quality Outreach and Education Efforts on Landowners in the Little Bear River Watershed in Northern Utah.” Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension. 17(4):341-353   

Garfin, Gregg, Nancy Lee, Victor Magaña, Ronald Steward, J. Terry Rolfe and Jamie McEvoy. 2011. “International Workshop for CHANGE: Climate and Hydrology Academic Network for Governance and the Environment.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 92(8): 1045-1048. 

Wilder, Margaret, Christopher A. Scott, Nicolás Pineda Pablos, Robert G. Varady, Gregg M. Garfin, and Jamie McEvoy. 2010. “Adapting Across Boundaries: Climate Change, Social Learning, and Resilience in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100(4):917-928.

Jackson-Smith, Douglas, Michael Halling, Ernesto de la Hoz, Jamie McEvoy, and Jeff Horsburgh. 2010. “Measuring Conservation Program BMP Implementation and Maintenance at the Watershed Scale.”  Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 65(6):413-423. 

Book Chapters

Ela, Wendell and Jamie McEvoy. 2013. “The Future of Desalination for Arizona.” Pp.247-261  in Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges, ed. by  S. B. Megdal, R. G. Varady, and S. Eden. Leiden, CRC Press/Balkema Taylor & Fracis Group in cooperation with UNESCO-IHE, Delft.

Schmook, Birgit, Claudia Radel, Crisol. Méndez, Jamie McEvoy, and Peggy Petrzelka. 2012. Migración, género y tenencia de la tierra: Identidades femeninas complejas en el sector rural de Calakmul. In Tuñón Pablos, Esperanza and Martha Luz Rojas Wiesner (eds) Género y Migración, 2 vols., pp. 275-305 (ECOSUR / EL COLEF / COLMICH / CIESAS, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México).

Non-Peer Reviewed/Conference Proceedings

McEvoy, Jamie and Plácido dos Santos. 2012. “Building Bridges, Wetlands and Water Sustainability: Lessons from an Arizona-Baja California Sur Partnership.” Pp. 1-2 in Arroyo Newsletter. Water Resources Research Center, Tucson, AZ. Available online:

Margaret Wilder, Ismael Aguilar Barajas, Jamie McEvoy, Robert Varady, Sharon Megdal, Chris Scott , and Nicolas Pineda.2012. Desalination Technology in a Binational Context: Systemic Implications for Water, Society, Energy, and Environment in the Arizona-Sonora portion of the U.S.-Mexico Border. Invited paper for the Puentes Consortium Mexico-U.S. Higher Education Leadership Forum.  Available online:

Wilder, Margaret, Jamie McEvoy, Gregg Garfin, Rachel Beaty and Emily McGovern. 2011. Water and Urban Development: Coastal Vulnerability in Puerto Peñasco. Second in a series of working papers on the theme of “Moving Forward from Vulnerability to Adaptation: Climate Change, Drought and Water Demand in the Urbanizing Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona.Available online:

Hartfield, Kyle, Diana Liverman, Jamie McEvoy, Jesse Minor, Claude Peloquin, Andrea Prichard, Matt Skroch, Tabitha Spence, David Tecklin. 2011. “A ‘5-A’ Assessment of the Role of Non-nation State Actors in the Copenhagen Climate Change Negotiations.” Proceedings from the 2011 Colorado Earth Systems Governance Conference. Ft. Collins, CO. Available online: http://cc2011.earthsystemgovernance. org /CC2011-title-index.htm

Garfin, Gregg, Nancy Lee, Victor Magaña, Ronald Steward, and Jamie McEvoy. 2009. “International Workshop for CHANGE (Climate and Hydrology Academic Network for Governance and the Environment).” Project Report for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT).  Available online in English and Spanish: (or _spanish.pdf)