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September 12, 2012  |  e-newsletter
Nuggets of News 
about our research, instruction, and public service
Recent Publications 
Correlating vegetation, water use, and surface temperature in a semiarid city: A multiscale analysis of the impacts of irrigation by single-family residences
Geographical Analysis (2012)

CHRISTOPHER SCOTT, Udall Center associate research professor of water resources policy, and colleagues examined whether outdoor water use by residents of single-family homes in Tucson contributes to urban "greenness" and to the reduction of an "urban heat island" effect.

The researchers -- using a range of data from home water-use records to satellite maps of vegetation -- looked at how different types of residential development affect the interaction of vegetation, water use, and temperature.

Generally, the results of the study support policies to preserve natural drainage channels, to limit impervious surfaces (pavement, roofs, etc.), and to site development in naturally cooled micro-climates as sustainable approaches to minimize urban-heat-island effects in water-scarce regions. 

Halper, E. B., C. A. Scott, and S. R. Yool. 2012. Correlating vegetation, water use, and surface temperature in a semiarid city: A multiscale analysis of the impacts of irrigation by single-family residences.
Geographical Analysis, 44: 235-257. doi:10.1111/j.1538-4632.2012.00846.x


Transboundary adaptive management to reduce climate-change vulnerability in the western U.S.-Mexico border region
Environmental Science & Policy (2012 online)

Udall Center researchers ROBERT VARADY, CHRISTOPHER SCOTT, and MARGARET WILDER, and others affiliated with the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research-supported "Towards an Integrated Assessment of Water Security under Global Change in the Americas" project and the NOAA-supported "Managing Demand, Rethinking Supply" project discuss how to build and foster local adaptive capacity to global environmental change in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

The authors suggest that several factors strengthen adaptive management in a transboundary environment, including binational and transborder collaboration, the involvement of multiple institutions or agencies in both countries, an understanding of how climate information is used by water resources managers and other decision-makers, and the creation of easy-to-use and easy-to-understand information tools and products for managers. 

Varady, R. G., C. A. Scott, M. Wilder, B. Morehouse, N. Pineda-Pablos, and G. M. Garfin. 2012 (online). Transboundary adaptive management to reduce climate-change vulnerability in the western U.S.-Mexico border region. Environmental Science & Policy. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2012.07.006


Discourse and desalination: Potential impacts of proposed climate change adaptation interventions in the Arizona-Sonora border region  
Global Environmental Change (2012)

Udall Center researchers JAMIE McEVOY and MARGARET WILDER critically examine the discussions and arguments made surrounding a proposed Arizona-Sonora desalination plant that would be situated along the Gulf of California and that has been presented as a solution to potential water shortages related to climate and other environmental changes in the region.

The researchers analyze how, why, and to what effect desalination is emerging as a preferred climate change adaptation response, showing that while desalination technology can reduce some vulnerabilities for future water supply, it can also introduce new vulnerabilities by compounding the water-energy nexus, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, inducing urban growth, producing brine discharge and chemical pollutants, shifting geopolitical relations of water security, and increasing water prices.

The researchers propose alternative adaptation responses that can offer greater flexibility, are less path dependent, incorporate social learning, and target the poorest and most vulnerable members of the community. 

McEvoy, J., and M. Wilder. 2012. Discourse and desalination: Potential impacts of proposed climate change adaptation interventions in the Arizona-Sonora border region. Global Environmental Change, 22: 353-363. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2011.11.001

Courses and Seminars 
Rebuilding Native Nations: Constitutions  
New distance-learning course

The Native Nations Institute's educational resources team, led by IAN RECORD, has produced a new distance-learning course about the constitutions of Native nations: about the critical role that constitutions play in defending the sovereignty of Native nations, in affirming their identity, in strengthening their culture, and in developing their economies.

In addition to covering the fundamentals of Native nation-building and governance, this course surveys the constitutional reform that has taken hold across Indian Country, highlighting several Native nations that recently reformed their constitutions and strengthened their governing systems.

The course -- presented online or via DVDs -- consists of three modules ("Native Nation Building: An Introduction," "Remaking the Tools of Governance," and "Constitutions: Critical Components of Nation Building).

Persons who enroll in the course receive a study guide, a copy of the book, Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development (edited by NNI research director MIRIAM JORGENSEN and published by the University of Arizona Press), and upon successful completion of the course, a certificate of completion.

For more information about this course, see:
Rebuilding Native Nations: Constitutions

Production of the Rebuilding Native Nations distance-learning course series is made possible by support from the Bush Foundation, the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, and through collaboration and partnership with the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Harvard University. 


Executive Education Seminar: Emerging Leaders  
Developed for newly elected or aspiring Indigenous leaders

October 10-11, 2012
Desert Diamond Casino and Hotel, Tucson, Arizona

The Emerging Leaders seminar, one of NNI's most popular executive education courses, features panel presentations that address tough governance challenges, Q&A sessions with current and former Native leaders, and focused discussions on strategic decision-making in Indian Country.


This seminar is designed to help prepare newly elected leaders of Native nations -- and those who aspire to senior governmental positions -- to assume the responsibilities of leadership.


The curriculum also is useful for senior managers and administrative staff, members of enterprise boards of directors, and tribal judges.

Scholarships are available for UA graduate students (scholarship applications are due September 28; contact Rachel Starks, NNI researcher coordinator at [email protected] for more details).

For more information about the seminar, see:

Emerging Leaders Seminar 


Information and Outreach
Transborder Climate Webinars  
For planners, resource managers, and other decision-makers

Bi-weekly, Fall 2012

The webinar series is sponsored by the Udall Center and the UA Institute of the Environment's Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) Program. 

The Transborder Climate project provides webinars, brief reports, and pointers to information useful to resource management and policy, with a special emphasis on information related to adaptation to climate variations and trends.

Climate is part of the NOAA Climate and Societal Interactions Project, a two-year interdisciplinary assessment of adaptation strategies in the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico.

For more information about the webinars, see:    

Transborder Climate Webinars 


Indigenous Governance Database 
An online resource for leaders, citizens and employees of Native nations

The educational resources team at the Native Nations Institute, with the help from several partners and supporters, has produced a searchable, online database containing video, audio, and text resources on Native nation building.

The database features a comprehensive catalog of documents, videos, and audio resources accessible through a custom-built search engine that allows users to find a variety of resources tailored to specific topics of interest, such as citizenship, constitutions, economic development, natural resources, health and social services, justice systems, small business, and other subjects.

NNI has partnered with several organizations to share their resources via the Indigenous Governance Database, including the Bush Foundation, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, the UA Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Institute for Tribal Government at Portland State University.

For more information or to search for resources in the database, see:
Indigenous Governance Database

Support for the development of the database was provided by the Bush Foundation and the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.

60 Minutes from Indian Country   
A lunch-time discussion series (b.y.o.l.)

Fridays, Fall 2012
12:30-1:30pm | 332A Harvill Bldg.

You are invited to attend each Friday this semester the discussion series, "60 Minutes from Indian Country," hosted by the UA American Indian Studies Program, the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program, the Native Nations Institute, and the Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office.

Upcoming discussion topics include:

(September 28), executive director of the Native Nations Institute, will lead a discussion on "Successful Governance in Indian Country: What Does It Take?"

MIRIAM JORGENSEN (October 26), research director of the Native Nations Institute, will discuss "Building Economies in Indian Country: What Works?"

For the complete schedule and discussion topics, see:
60 Minutes from Indian Country  



Udall Center  

Established in 1987, the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy sponsors policy-relevant, interdisciplinary research and forums that link scholarship and education with decision-making. The Center specializes in issues concerning: (1) environmental policy, primarily in the Southwest and U.S.-Mexico border region; (2) immigration policy of the United States; and (3) Indigenous nations policy.


Stephen Cornell, Director

[email protected]

(520) 626-4393  


Robert G. Varady, Deputy Director

[email protected]
(520) 626-4393  



Native Nations Institute  

The Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy (NNI), founded in 2001 by the Morris K. Udall Foundation (now Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation) and the University of Arizona and housed at the Udall Center, serves as a self-determination, governance, and development resource for Indigenous nations in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.


Joan Timeche, Executive Director

[email protected]
(520) 626-0664

Miriam Jorgensen, Research Director

[email protected] 

(520) 626-0664  



Robert Merideth, Editor in Chief
(520) 626-4393
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