Liane Russell Fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Christa Brelsford received her Ph.D. at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, focusing on evaluating the effectiveness of water conservation policy in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to that she earned an M.A. in the Climate and Society program and a B.S. in Civil Engineering, both from Columbia University. Her work broadly focuses on urban infrastructure systems and water demand. As the world’s urban population doubles over the next century, the new infrastructure necessary to build in order to house and care for all of these new residents will be almost equivalent to all of the urban infrastructure that has been built in the history of our species. We need to develop both a better empirical understanding of spatial patterns and evolution in cities, and also better theories about urban function in order to cope with our rapidly growing urban population. Christa uses empirical methods, especially spatial analysis and remote sensing, to link individual choices to aggregate outcomes in order to build better theories about the function of cities and urban water systems. These theories can then be used to support more effective and sustainable public policy.