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South Africa land segregation today

Power, Institutional Change, and Socio-Ecological Transformation

This research project investigates the central role of power, driving and shaping processes of institutional change, to understand why institutional reforms are seldom socially and ecologically transformative. To answer this question, Dr. Mendez-Barrientos focuses on the implementation of two major reforms: California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in its effort to solve the state's groundwater overdraft crisis, and South Africa's National Water Act (NWA) in its effort to address apartheid's heritage of inequality in water access.

s2e - Science to Empower

Science to Empower (s2e) is an environmental justice (EJ) initiative that facilitates applied research to support the defense of human and nature rights. Dr. Mendez Barrientos’s goal is to leverage network theory and methods to reveal the global networks that perpetuate environmental injustices, as well as those that resist them across the world. Check our website!

Climate protest
Rafting on the Colorado River Basin

Water Justice for the Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River Basin (CRB) is one of the most political and studied river basins in the world. However, equity and justice are not only limited in policy design & implementation, but also in academic literature. Dr. Mendez-Barrientos’s work aims to fill the equity gap in academic research for the CRB with applied environmental policy & justice research.

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