Margaret Wilder

About Margaret Wilder

I am a human-environment geographer and political ecologist jointly-appointed in the School of Geography and Development and the Center for Latin American Studies.

My main  research interests are in critical water governance, transboundary climate vulnerabiity and adaptation, water equity and security, and water and climate justice. I primarily work in the interior of Mexico and the US-Mexico border region, and in the southwestern US, and have interests in Central America (El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama) as well.

I love to teach undergraduates and advise graduate students. Lots more information on my website, so check it out! 

Personal web page :

Selected Publications

Mumme, S.P., McEvoy, J., Pineda, N. and Wilder, M., 2017.  Shipping water across the US-Mexico border: international governance dimensions of desalination for export.  Water International. Published online 19 September 2017, pp. 1-7.  Print volume 77 (3): 777-793.

Wilder, M.  2016. Metrics: Moving beyond the adaptation information gap to assess adaptive capacity and water security in global contexts—Introduction to the special issue. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (special issue on Metrics and assessment of environmental change), G. Garfin, M. Wilder, and R. Merideth, eds. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 21 (August): 90-95.

Garfin, G., C. Scott, M. Wilder, R.G. Varady, and R. Merideth, 2016. Metrics for assessing adaptive capacity and water security: common challenges, changing contexts, emerging consensus. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (special issue on Metrics and assessment of environmental change), G. Garfin, M. Wilder, and R. Merideth, eds. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 21 (August): 86-89.

Wilder, M., I. Aguilar Barajas; J. McEvoy, R. Varady, S. Megdal, C. Scott , and N. Pineda.  Desalination Technology in a Binational Context: Systemic Implications for Water, Energy, and Environment in the Arizona-Sonora portion of the U.S.-Mexico Border, 2016. Water International. Published online 12 April 2016.

Wilder, M., D. M. Liverman, L. Bellante, and T. Osborne, 2016.  Southwest Climate Gap: Climate and Poverty in the Southwestern United States. Local Environment: The International journal of Justice and Sustainability, 1-22.

Díaz-Caravantes, R.E. and Wilder, M.  2014. Water, cities and peri-urban communities: Geographies of power in the context of drought in northwest Mexico. Water Alternatives 7(3).

Scott, C.A., F. Meza, R. Varady, J. McEvoy, M. Wilder, L. Farfán, G. M. Garfin, and N. Pineda Pablos. 2013. Water Security and Adaptive Management in the Arid Americas. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103(2): 280-289.

Varady, R.G., C.A. Scott, M. Wilder, B. Morehouse, N. Pineda Pablos, and G.M. Garfin, 2013. Transboundary adaptive management to reduce climate-change vulnerability in the western U.S.–Mexico border region.  Environmental Science & Policy 26: 102-112.

Gerlak, A. and M. Wilder, 2012.  Exploring the Textured Landscape of Water Insecurity and the Human Right to Water. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 54:2, 4-17 (cover article)

McEvoy, J. and M. Wilder, 2012. Discourse and Desalination: Potential Impacts of Proposed Climate Change Adaptation Interventions in the Arizona-Sonora Border Region. Global Environmental Change 22 (2) (May 2012): 353-363.


Wilder, M., C.A. Scott, R. Varady, N. Pineda, G.M. Garfin, and J. McEvoy, 2010. Adapting Across Boundaries: Knowledge, Social Learning and Resilience in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region.  Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100 (4): 1-12.


Wilder, M., 2010. Water governance in Mexico: political and economic apertures and a shifting state-citizen relationship. Ecology and Society 15(2): 22. [online] URL:

Book Chapters 

Wilder, M. and H. Ingram. 2016. Knowing Equity When We See It: Water Equity in Contemporary Global Contexts, in K. Conca and E. Weinthal, eds., Oxford Handbook of Water Policy and Politics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Wilder, M., G. Garfin, P.Ganster, H. Eakin, P. Romero-Lankao, F. Lara-Valencia, A. Cortez-Lara,  S. Mumme, C. Neri, and F. Muñoz-Arriola, 2013. Impacts of Future Climate Change in the Southwest on Border Communities. Chapter 16 in National Climate Assessment Southwest Region Report. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Slack, J. and M. Wilder. 2013. Acceso al agua urbana en una época de cambio climático,

In G. Córdova Bojórquez, J. Dutram, B. E. Lara Enríquez, J., and G. Rodríguez Gutiérrez, eds., Desarrollo humano transfronterizo: Retos y oportunidades en la región Sonora-Arizona. Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico: El Colegio de Sonora, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Universidad de Sonora, Universidad Estatal de Sonora, pp. 253-268. (invited lead author)

Wilder, M., 2010. Promises Under Construction: The Evolving Paradigm for Water Governance and the Case of Northern Mexico, in Alberto Garrido and Helen Ingram, eds., Water for Food in a Changing World.  London: Routledge, pages 222-240.

Wilder, M. and G.M. Garfin, 2010. Drought Risk and Hazard, in B. Warf (ed.) Sage Encyclopedia of Geography. Los Angeles/London: Sage Publications.

Other Publications

Mukhtarov, Farhad. 2018. Book review of Wilder, M. 2017. Special Festschrift "Ways of knowing: Helen Ingram and water scholarship". Water Alternatives 11(1): 209-213

Wilder, M.O.  2017. Helen Ingram, Mentor and Colleague—an Introduction to the Festschrift. Journal of the Southwest 59 (1-2), pp. 1-5. DOI: 10.1353/jsw.2017.0000

Wilder, M.O., 2017. Guest editor of special issue “Ways of Knowing: Helen Ingram and Water Scholarship,” Journal of the Southwest 59 (1-2): 1-393.

Good Neighbor Environmental Board. 2016.  18th Report.  Environmental Quality and Border Security: A 10-Year Retrospective. US Environmental Protection Agency: Washington, D.C. September 2017.

Good Neighbor Environmental Board. 2016.  17th Report. Climate Change and Resilient Communities Along the U.S.-Mexico Border: The Role of the Federal Agencies. US Environmental Protection Agency: Washington, D.C. December 2016, 104 pp.  (Contributing author)

Brown, H., M. Wilder, Q. Rabby, I. Patten, and G. Smith, 2016. Assessment of climate and health impacts on vector-borne diseases and valley fever in Arizona: Building resilience against climate effects—Vulnerability assessment. Report for the Arizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix, Arizona.



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Contact Information

Margaret Wilder
Associate Professor
Telephone: 520-626-7231
Office: ENR2 S419
Office Hours: WEDNESDAY 2-3 PM


Ph.D.    Department of Geography, University of Arizona, August 2002

M.A.     Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, June 1985 (with Honors)

B.A.      Government and International Studies, University of Notre Dame, May 1981 (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude)



Courses Taught

Fall 2018:

EVS 260 Introduction to Environmental Studies (face-to-face, 14 weeks)

LAS/GEOG 365  Human Rights, Immigration Enforcement & the US-Mexico Border

Spring 2019

LAS 150b2 Understanding Mexico Today

EVS 260 Introduction to Environmental Studies (Fully online, Second 7.5 week semester)