Abigail York

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Associate Professor of Goverance and Public Policy, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Advisory Board Member, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Arizona State University
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


PhD, Human Dimensions of Global Change, Indiana University, 2005

BA, Economics with honors, Knox College, Galesburg, IL, 2000

Journal Articles

In Press

Bausch, J. C., H. Eakin, S. Smith-Heisters, A. M. York, D. D. White, C. Rubinos and R. M. Aggarwal. In Press. Development pathways at the agriculture-urban interface: The case of Central Arizona. Agriculture and Human Values DOI: 10.1007/s10460-015-9589-8 .

Eakin, H., A. M. York, R. M. Aggarwal, S. Waters, J. Welch, C. Rubinos, S. Smith-Heisters, J. C. Bausch and J. M. Anderies. In Press. Cognitive and institutional influences on farmers’ adaptive capacity: Insights into barriers and opportunities for transformative change in Central Arizona. Regional Environmental Change


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)

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Book Chapters


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.


York, A. M. and D. K. Munroe. 2012. Land-use institutions and natural resources in fast-growing communities at the urban-rural fringe. Pp. 295-318 In: Brondizio, E. and E. F. Moran eds., Human-Environment Interactions: Current and Future Directions. Vol 1. Springer Press. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-4780-7_13.



Kane, K. and A. M. York. 2015. Hazards of change: Agricultural land development near Phoenix, 1992-2014. Poster presented at the Seventeenth Annual CAP LTER All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 16 January 2015, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link)

Smith-Heisters, S., H. Eakin, A. York, R. Aggarwal and J. M. Anderies. 2015. Adaptation under uncertainty: An institutional analysis framework. Poster presented at the AAAS 2015 Annual Meeting, February 12-16, 2015, San Jose, CA.

Smith-Heisters, S., H. Eakin, A. M. York, R. M. Aggarwal and J. M. Anderies. 2015. Adaptation under uncertainty: An institutional analysis framework. Poster presented at the Decision Center for a Desert City Annual Poster Symposium, April 27, 2015, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

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Hopkins, K. G., N. B. Grimm and A. M. York. 2015. Replumbing cities from gray to green: Exploring controls on stormwater infrastructure transitions. Presentation at the Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating the ESA Centennial 1915-2015, 9-14 August 2015, Baltimore, Maryland. (link)


Smith-Heisters, S., H. Eakin, A. M. York, J. M. Anderies and R. M. Aggarwal. 2014. Analyzing constraints on adaptation: Application of an institutional analysis framework. Presentation at the Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop (WOW5), June 18-21, 2014, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.


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.

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