Abigail York

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Assistant Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Arizona State University
School of Human Evolution and Social Change
PO Box 872402
Tempe, AZ 85287-2402
Email: Abigail.York@asu.edu


Dr. York's research interests include interjurisdictional governance, land use policy, housing provision and economic development. An ongoing project is development of a generalizable theory of cross-border coordination that helps to explain different environmental issues, such as wildlife and forest management, as well as coordination of urban growth and development. Her work has focused on collective action across borders, understanding urbanization, evaluation of land use institutions' impacts on the landscape and the dynamics of the local political economy. York currently co-teaches Institutions, Society and the Environment and is preparing for more courses on institutions and urban policy in the semesters to come, particularly those associated with the new Ph.D. in Environmental Social Science program. Before coming to ASU, York was an assistant professor in the Department of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She teaches Institutions, Environment and Society.


land use policy; political economics; public policy; natural resource management; conservation policy; cross-border cooperation; environmental policy; land use change; smart growth; urban development; urban social-ecological systems


    Ph.D., Human Dimensions of Global Change, Indiana University, 2005

    B.A., Economics with honors, Knox College, Galesburg, IL, 2000

Journal Articles

In Press

York, A. M., J. Tuccillo, B. Bolin, C. Boone, L. E. Gentile, B. Schoon and K. Kane. In Press. Zoning and land use: A tale of incompatibility and environmental injustice in early Phoenix. Journal of Urban Affairs DOI: 10.1111/juaf.12076. (link)


Kane, K., J. Tuccillo, A. M. York, L. Gentile and Y. Ouyang. 2014. A spatio-temporal view of historical growth in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Landscape and Urban Planning 121(2014):70-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.08.011. (link)


Childs, C., A. M. York, D. White, M. L. Schoon and G. S. Bodner. 2013. Navigating a murky adaptive comanagement governance network: Agua Fria watershed, Arizona, USA. Ecology and Society 18(4):Art. 11. DOI: 10.5751/ES-05636-180411. (link)

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Book Chapters

In Press

York, A. M. and D. K. Munroe. Land-use institutions and natural resources in fast-growing communities at the urban-rural fringe. In: Brondizio, E. and E. F. Moran eds., Human-Environment Interactions: Current and Future Directions. Springer Press.


Bolin, B., J. Declet-Barretto, M. Hegmon, L. Meirotto and A. M. York. 2013. Double exposure in the Sunbelt: The sociospatial distribution of vulnerability in Phoenix, Arizona. Pp. 159-178 In: Boone, C. G. and M. Fragkias eds., Urbanization and Sustainability: Linking Urban Ecology, Environmental Justice and Global Environmental Change. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-5666-3.

Wutich, A., A. Brewis, S. Sigurdsson, R. Stotts and A. York. 2013. Fairness and the human right to water: A preliminary cross-cultural theory. Pp. 220-238 In: Wagner, J. ed., The Social Life of Water in a Time of Crisis. Berghahn Books.



Smith-Heisters, S., H. Eakin, A. York, R. Aggarwal and J. M. Anderies. 2014. Application of an institutional analysis framework. Poster presented at the AAAS 2014 Annual Meeting, Meeting Global Challenges: Discovery and Innovation, February 13-17, 2014, Chicago, IL.


Bausch, J. C., C. Rubiños, H. Eakin, A. M. York and R. M. Aggarwal. 2013. Farmers' resilience to socio-ecological change in Central Arizona. Poster presented February 17, 2013 at the Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DMUU) Session of the AAAS Annual Meeting, February 14-18, 2013, Boston, MA.

Bausch, J. C., C. Rubinos, H. Eakin, A. M. York and R. M. Aggarwal. 2013. Farmers’ resilience to socio-ecological change in Central Arizona. Poster presented on May 1, 2013 at the Decision Center for a Desert City Annual Poster Symposium, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

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Bausch, J. C., H. Eakin, C. Rubinos, A. M. York, S. Smith-Heisters and R. M. Aggarwal. 2013. Pathways to sustainability at the agriculture-urban interface: The case of Central Arizona. Paper presented April 12, 2013 at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, April 9-13, 2013, Los Angeles, CA.


Eakin, H., R. M. Aggarwal, A. M. York, J. C. Bausch and C. Rubinos. 2012. Irrigated agriculture, water institutions and adaptation in urbanizing Arizona. Presented May 31, 2012 at Adaptation Futures, 2012 International Conference on Climate Adaptation, May 28-31, 2012, Tucson, AZ.

Eakin, H., S. Smith-Heisters, A. M. York, J. C. Bausch, R. M. Aggarwal and C. Rubinos. 2012. Irrigated agriculture, water institutions, and adaptation in urbanizing Arizona. Presentation at the Climate Adaptation Futures: Second International Climate Adaptation Conferences 2012, 31 May 2012, Tucson, AZ.

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