Zachary Sugg

About Zachary Sugg

I am a water resource geographer interested generally in groundwater governance, especially in the western U.S.

Areas of Study

water resource geography, environmental governance, common pool resource theory, political economy of natural resources


"Governing the Unseen: A Comparative Analysis of Arizona and Texas Groundwater Institutions" (dissertation project). Funded by NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant and University of Arizona Water Sustainability Program Graduate Fellowship. 2013-present.

"Transboundary Aquifer Institutions, Policies, and Governance" with Dr. Robert Varady, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. 2010-2012.

Research Interests

water governance, groundwater law and policy, political economy of water, rural-urban environmental issues in the American West, applications of GIS and remote sensing for management of freshwater resources.

Selected Publications

Sugg, Z.P., Ziaja, S., and Schlager, E.C. 2016. Conjunctive groundwater management as a response to social-ecological
disturbances: a comparison of four Western U.S. states. Texas Water Journal. [Accepted]

Scott, C.A. and Sugg, Z.P. 2015. Global energy development and climate-induced water scarcity – Physical limits, sectoral constraints, and policy imperatives. Energies, 8, 8211-8225.

Sugg, Z.P., Varady, R.G., Gerlak, A.K., and de Grenade, R. 2015. Transboundary groundwater governance in the Guarani Aquifer System: reflections from a survey of global and regional experts. Water International, 40(3), 377-400. 

*Sugg, Z.P., Finke, T., Goodrich, D.C., Moran, S.M., Yool, S.R. 2014. Mapping impervious surfaces using object-oriented classification in a semiarid urban region. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing. Available from

*Received the 2015 ESRI Award for Best Scientific Paper in Geographic Information Systems

Sugg, Z.P., 2011. Review of Water Policy in Texas: Responding to the Rise of Scarcity. Griffin, R.C. (Ed.). Water Alternatives, 4(2).

Burke, L. and Sugg, Z., 2011. Watershed-based threat analysis for the Mesoamerican Reef: Using the power of satellites and GIS technology to track problems. In: Wilkinson, C., Brodie, J., Catchment management and coral reef conservation: a practical guide for coastal resource managers to reduce damage from catchment areas based on best practice case studies. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Townsville, Australia, 120 pp.

Moran, M.S., Hamerlynck, E.P., Scott, R.L., Stone, J.J., Holifield Collins, C.D., Keefer, T.O., Bryant, R.B., DeYoung, L., Nearing, G.S., Sugg, Z., Hymer. D.C., 2010. Hydrologic response to precipitation pulses under and between shrubs in the Chihuahuan Desert, Arizona. Water Resources Research, Vol. 46, W10509, doi:10.1029/2009WR008842. 

Marshall, L. and Sugg, Z., April 2010. Fields of Fuel: Switching to Grass for Transport. World Resources Institute, Washington D.C.  

Marshall, L. and Sugg, Z., January 2009. Corn Stover for Ethanol Production: Potential and Pitfalls. World Resources Institute, Washington D.C.

Marshall, L. and Sugg, Z., December 2008. Finding Balance: Agricultural Residues, Ethanol, and the Environment. World Resources Institute, Washington D.C.

Selman, M., Greenhalgh, S., Diaz, R., and Sugg, Z., March 2008. Eutrophication and Hypoxia in Coastal Areas: A Global Assessment of the State of Knowledge. World Resources Institute, Washington D.C.

Burke, L., Sugg, Z., Adam, S., December 2006.  Watershed Analysis for the Mesoamerican Reef. (Report, data cd, and maps).  World Resources Institute, Washington, DC.

Zachary Sugg's picture

Contact Information


M.A. Geography, University of Arizona

B.S. Geography (honors), Texas A&M University

Dissertation Title

Governing the Unseen: A Comparative Analysis of Arizona and Texas Groundwater Institutions

Courses Taught

Instructor of Record

  • Geography 304: Water, Environment, and Society (fall 2014, fall 2015)


Graduate Teaching Assistant

  • Geography 170A1: Earth's Environment: Intro to Physical Geography (spring 2016)
  • Geography / Planning 379: Urban Growth and Development (spring 2015)
  • Geography 304: Water, Environment and Society (spring 2015)
  • Geography 483/583: Geographic Applications of Remote Sensing (spring 2013)
  • Geography 330 - Introduction to Remote Sensing (fall 2010)