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I am a Ph.D candidate in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. I have an MA from the Climate and Society program at Columbia University, and a BS in civil engineering, also from Columbia. I'm also a research assistant in the Energy and Infrastructure group at the Los Alamos National Lab. My dissertation research focuses on how water allocation institutions have and may change in response to increasing scarcity. My main case study uses the water system in Las Vegas Nevada as an example of apparently successful adaptation to binding water scarcity. Although we don't yet have tools to reliably predict human behavior, in this political context, the choices made by water policy decision makers have a governing influence on the system, and can't be ignored. I hope that the computational tools used in complex systems research will help to integrate the rich social data I've gathered with the precise hydraulic models of the Colorado river water system that already exist. My email is christa dot brelsford at asu dot edu.
I lost my right leg in the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, and was a minor celebrity for a few months. I continue to support the Haitian literacy program I had been working with, and run, bike, and rock climb in the rest of my spare time.