Arica Crootof

About Arica Crootof

Arica Crootof is a human-environment geographer exploring the dynamic relationships among water resources, energy development, and food systems in the Himalayas. Arica draws on her interdisciplinary education – a B.A. in environmental science, a M.S. in hydrology and now a Ph.D. candidate in geography – to study coupled human and natural systems.

Arica is currently in Nepal conducting her disseration research titled, "Nepal's Hydropower Boom and its Implications for Water Resources: Challenges and opportunities at the intersection of food and energy production in the Gandaki River Basin". This research is funded by a U.S. Borlaug Fellow Research Grant. 



Current Research

Renewable energy is booming and energy landscapes are being transformed. In the Himalayas, the rapid expansion of run-of-the-river hydropower—which diverts rivers for energy production—is reconfiguring the availability, location, and timing of water resources, especially those that are critical for local agricultural livelihoods. 

In light of emergent challenges of water resources for agricultural livelihoods in mountain river basins, I am exploring the social, political, and technical context of hydropower development in Nepal and the Hindu Kush – Himalayan region. I am curious to know how this energy development impacts local water resources and the people who live in these river basins. My dissertation research seeks to inform policy and decision-makers to create more just transitions to renewable energy. 


Selected Publications

Referred Articles

Albrecht, T*., A. Crootof*, and C.A. Scott (2018) The water-energy-food nexus: A systematic review of methods for nexus assessment. Invited review for Environmental Research Reviews, 13(4).
* These authors contributed equally to this work

Kelly-Richards, S., N. Silber-Coats, A. Crootof, D. Tecklin, and C. Bauer (2017) Governing the transition to renewable energy: A review of impacts and policy issues in the small hydropower boom. Energy Policy, 101, 251-264,

Mills-Nova, M., S. Borges, A. Crootof, and. B. Thapa (2016) Bringing the hydro-social cycle into climate change adaptation planning: lessons from the mountain water towers of the Andes. For “Mountains” Special Issue of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 1-10,

Book Chapters

Scott, C.A., A. Crootof, S. Kelly-Richards (2016) The urban water-energy nexus: Drivers and responses to global change in the ‘urban century’. In H. Hettiarachchi, R. Ardakanian (eds.) Environmental Resource Management and the Nexus Approach: Managing Water, Soil, and Waste in the Context of Global Change, Springer, Berlin

Scott, C.A., A. Crootof, B. Thapa, R.K. Shrestha (2016) The water-energy-food nexus in the Ganges Basin: Challenges and opportunities. In L. Bharati, V. Smakhtin, B.R. Sharma (eds.) The Ganges River Basin: Status and Challenges in Water, Environment and Livelihoods, Earthscan, London

Popular Writing

Crootof, A. Rivers of Caution: What Dams in the Himalayas Tell Us About Energy and Justice (2017) A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments 

Arica Crootof's picture

Contact Information

Arica Crootof
PhD Candidate
Office: ENR2 S570-DD


Ph.D. Candidate, School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, 2014 - Present

M.S. Hydrology, University of Nevada, Reno, 2011

B.A. Enviornmental Science, The Colorado College, 2007

Graduate Certificate in College Teaching (2016) 



Courses Taught

Instructor of Record, EVS/GEOG 304: Water, Environment, and Society, University of Arizona (Spring 2018)

Co-Instructor of Record, EVS 260: Environmental Studies: Ideas and Institutions (fully online), University of Arizona (Spring 2017)

Instructor of Record, GEOG 170: Introduction to Physical Geography (fully online), University of Arizona (Summer 2017, Winter 2017, 2015)

Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Physical Geography, University of Arizona (2014 2015)

Teaching Assistant, Small Watershed Hydrology, University of Nevada, Reno (2009)