Christopher Scott

Professor and University Distinguished Scholar

Director, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy

Director, CAZMEX Consortium for Arizona-Mexico Arid Environments

Christopher Scott is an interdisciplinary scholar working on water security, climate resilience, human-environment interactions, and the water-energy-food nexus. His applied research emphasizes the importance of science-policy dialogues with particular attention to ecosystem services, groundwater depletion, water reuse, and transboundary adaptive management. He has a publications h-index of 41 with 6,400+ citations to his work (120+ peer-reviewed publications, 120+ book chapters and reports, and 17 edited books and volumes). Outside the academy, Dr. Scott has worked fifteen years for NGOs, government agencies, and applied-research institutes, contributing to water policy formulation and implementation. He has lived and worked five years in Latin America and six years in India (in addition to his schooling). He speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, and Nepali, as well as conversational German and Urdu. Television, radio, and print-media coverage of Dr. Scott’s work has appeared globally (on BBC, CNN, New York Times, Huffington Post, Guardian, among others) as well as nationally (in the US, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, India, Pakistan, and Nepal). 

His sustained efforts to effect policy impact via dialogue between decision-makers and scientists have gained acclaim in the US and internationally. He is founding co-director of the AQUASEC Center of Excellence for Water Security, a virtual center and network of researchers and decision-makers, which he established in 2011 at the invitation of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI). IAI is a western hemisphere treaty organization integrating 19 countries’ ministries of science and technology and ministries of foreign affairs, supported financially by numerous national science foundations. Dr. Scott leads research and training on adaptive management in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, US, and other countries.