Megan Mills-Novoa

About Megan Mills-Novoa

I am a Ph.D. candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the School of Geography and Development. Originally from the flat cornfields of central Minnesota, I research how agricultural landscapes and livelihoods are transformed under climate change adaptation projects in the Ecuadorian Andes. During 2018-2019, I will be based in southern Ecuador. 

Prior to my graduate studies at the University of Arizona, I worked for five years as an agricultural adaptation researcher and practitioner, first as a Fulbright Fellow studying climate change impacts on Chilean vineyards and then as a Luce Scholar placed with the Centre for Rural Development in northern Vietnam. I graduated in 2009 from Lewis & Clark College with a degree in environmental studies and conservation biology.


After Adaptation: A multi-scalar study of climate change adaptation projects in Southern Ecuador (PI, funded by PEO, Tinker Foundation for Latin American Studies, Latin American Specialty Group of AAG, Political Ecology & Cultural Ecology Specialty Group of AAG)

Agricultural Frontiers and Conservation Priorities in the Amazon Basin (Co-PI, funded by National Center for Socio-Environmental Synthesis - SESYNC)


Research Interests

  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Water Governance
  • Food Systems
  • Andes
  • Political Ecology
  • Mixed Methods 

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Mills-Novoa, M., and Taboada, R. (2017) Coexistence and Conflict: IWRM and Large-Scale Water Infrastructure Development in Piura, Peru. Water Alternatives 10(2): 370-394.

Mills-Novoa, M., Borgias, S., Crootof, A., Thapa, B., de Grenade, R., and Scott, C. (2016) Bringing the Hydrosocial Cycle into Climate Change Adaptation Planning: Lessons from the Andean mountain water towers. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 107(2): 393-402.

Mills-Novoa, M., Pszczolkowsk, P., and Meza, F. (2016) The Impact of Climate Change on the Viticultural Suitability of Maipo Valley, Chile. The Professional Geographer 68(4): 561-573.  DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2015.1124788

Gerlak, A., Saguier, M., Mills-Novoa, M., Fernside, P. and Albrecht, T.R. (In Press) Dams, Conflicts, Chinese Investments, and EIAs: A Race to the Bottom for South America? Ambio

Gerlak, A., Weston, J., McMahon, B., Murray, R., and Mills-Novoa, M. (2018Climate Risk Management and the Electricity Sector. Climate Risk Management 19: 12-22

Brice, B., Fullerton, C., Hawkes, K., Mills-Novoa, M., O’Neill, B., and Pawlowski, V.M. (2017) A Multi-Region Snapshot and Agency Contrast of US Natural Areas Recreation Regarding the Impacts of Climate Change. Natural Areas Journal 37(1): 86-97.

Safran, E. B., Anderson, S. W., Mills-Novoa, M., House, P. K., and Ely, L. (2011) Controls on large landslide distribution and implications for the geomorphic evolution of the southern interior Columbia River basin. Geological Society of America Bulletin 123:1851-1862

Advocacy Documents

Mills-Novoa, M. (2010) Harnessing Youth Voice in the Fight Against Hunger: The Role of Youth in Evaluating Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs within Albuquerque Public Schools. Washington, D.C.: Hunger Free Community Report, Congressional Hunger Center

Mills-Novoa, M. (2011) Sustaining Family Farming through Mentoring: A Toolkit for National Family Farm Coalition Members. National Family Farm Coalition Working Paper

Scientific Assessments

Maxwell, B., Weed, B., Ippolito, L., Bekkerman, A., Boone, M., Mills-Novoa, ASSESSMENTS         M., Weaver, D., Burrows, M., and Burkle, L. 2017. Agriculture and Climate Change in Montana. In: Montana Climate Assessment. [Whitlock, C., Cross, W., Maxwell, B., Silverman, N., Wade, AA (eds.)]. Montana State University and University of Montana, Montana Institute on Ecosystems, Bozeman and Missoula MT. pp. 318. doi:10.15788/m2ww8w

Dasgupta, P., J.F. Morton, D. Dodman, B. Karapinar, F. Meza, M.G. Rivera Ferre, A. Toure Sarr, and K.E. Vincent [Lead Authors] Aggarawal, A., N.  Chhetri, T. Cull, J.G. Feres, J. Haggar, G. Hutchinson, F. Lopez-i-Gelats, M. Mills-Novoa, N. Nawn, C. Norman, A. Scheba, and T. Tanaka [Contributing Authors], 2014. Rural areas. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, C.B., V.R. Baroos, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 613-657.

Megan Mills-Novoa's picture

Contact Information

Megan Mills-Novoa
PhD Candidate


MA in Geography - University of Arizona - August 2016

BA in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Conservation Biology - Lewis & Clark College - May 2009 


Courses Taught

Intro to Critical Food Studies Short Course

GEOG 230 - Our Changing Climate