Sophia Borgias

About Sophia Borgias


I am a first year PhD student in Geography drawing on political ecology, legal geography, and social movement studies to understand water conflicts. For the past two years, I worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, collaborating with project partners from six countries across the arid Amerias on a water security study funded by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research. My own master's thesis research (2014-2016) examined water governance in the Maipo River basin in central Chile, with an emphasis on legal and institutional frameworks, climate change and water scarcity, and social mobilization. In particular, the thesis examines 1) the legal policy of "river sectioning" and its impacts on water governance, 2) the role of social movement actors in an entrenched hydropower conflict, and 3) the implications of drought and climate change discourses for communities struggling with long-standing issues of water scarcity. My previous research in Chile (2011-2012) examined the development of the Patagonia Sin Represas anti-dam social movement in southern Chile. 

Research Interests

Water governance, social movements, law, Chile, political ecology, climate change adaptation, water rights conflicts, Latin America.  



Selected Publications

Borgias, Sophia L. and Yvonne A. Braun. “From Dams to Democracy: Chile’s Patagonia Without Dams Movement” for Social Movement Studies. Submitted January 2016.

Mills-Novoa, Megan, Sophia Borgias, Arica Crootof, Bhuwan Thapa, Christopher Scott, Rafael De Granade. “Bringing the Hydrosocial Cycle into Climate Change Adaptation Planning: Lessons from Andean Mountain Water Towers” for The Annals of the American Association of Geographers Special Issue on Mountains. Under review.

Borgias, Sophia L. and Carl Bauer. “Trajectory of a Divided River: Conflict and Cooperation in Chile’s Maipo River Basin” for Water Alternatives. In preparation.

Scott, Chris, Sebastian Vicuna, Sophia Borgias, Sebastian Bonelli. “Institucionalización del proceso de adaptación en la cuenca del Rio Maipo” for Ecology of Society. In preparation. 


Sophia Borgias's picture

Contact Information

Sophia Borgias
PhD Student/Graduate Teaching Assistant
Office: ENR2 S570-DD
Office Hours: By appointment only


M.A. Geography, University of Arizona, May 2016

B.A. International Studies, University of Oregon, June 2013

B.A. Spanish, University of Oregon, June 2013    (Minor: Latin American Studies)

Robert D. Clark Honors College, Summa Cum Laude