David Sampson

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Research Scientist, Decision Center for a Desert City, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

Decision Center for a Desert City
Arizona State University
PO Box 878209
Tempe, AZ 85287-8209
Email: david.a.sampson@asu.edu


Dr. Sampson is a systems analyst and process modeler; David creates and links algorithms (problem-solving instruction sets) that mimic social and biological processes of interest to water managers and stakeholders. These computer simulation tools permit real-time analyses of future, probable events and the social/ political responses to these trigger mechanisms (and potential ramifications). A recent project funded by the National Commission on Energy and Policy, in conjunction with Portland State University, evaluated the expected water and energy use for the Phoenix Metropolitan Area (and short-falls) under climate change. His current research focuses on the development and implementation of an urban water policy and planning tool labeled WaterSim 5, an open source software program that can be used by students, faculty, and water resource managers to examine tradeoffs in water governance and planning strategies for Central Arizona communities.


urban water use; local water law; groundwater; watershed hydrological processes; modeling and simulation; water resource management; analytical methods; data analysis; climate change; biogeochemical processes; water for energy, energy for water; water governance; water quality


PhD, Forestry: Systems Modeling, Colorado State University (Cum Laude), 1992

MS, Forestry: Systems Ecology, Northern Arizona University (Magna Cum Laude), 1988

BS, Forest Science: Ecology, Michigan Technological University, 1982

AS, General Studies: Biology, Washtenaw Community College (Summa Cum Laude), 1978

Journal Articles


Withycombe Keeler, L., A. Wiek, D. D. White and D. A. Sampson. 2015. Linking stakeholder survey, scenario analysis, and simulation modeling to explore the long-term impacts of regional water governance regimes. Environmental Science and Policy 48:237-249. (link)


Murray, A. T., P. Gober, L. Anselin, S. J. Rey, D. A. Sampson, P. D. Padegimas and Y. Liu. 2012. Spatial optimization models for water supply allocation. Water Resources Management 26(8):2243-2257.


Sampson, D. A., D. M. Amatya, C. D. Blanton Lawson and R. W. Skaggs. 2011. Leaf area index (LAI) of Loblolly pine and emergent vegetation following a harvest. Transactions of the ASABE 54(6):2057-2066.

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Book Chapters


Gober, P., D. D. White, R. Quay, D. A. Sampson and C. W. Kirkwood. 2014. Socio-hydrology modelling for an uncertain future, with examples from the USA and Canada. In: Riddick, A. T., H. Kessler and J. R. Giles eds., Integrated Environmental Modelling to Solve Real World Problems: Methods, Vision and Challenges. Vol 408. The Geological Society of London. DOI: 10.1144/SP408.2. (link)


Deckmyn, G., R. Ceulemans, D. Rasse, D. A. Sampson, J. Garcia and B. Muys. 2003. Modeling the carbon sequestration of a mixed, uneven-aged, manged forest using the process model SECRETS. In: Amaro, A., D. Reed and P. Soares eds., Modelling Forest Systems. CABI Publishing.


Sampson, D. A. and R. Ceulemans. 2000. SECRETS: Simulated carbon fluxes from a mixed coniferous/deciduous Belgian forest. Pp. 95-108 In: Ceulemans, R., F. Verostraete, V. Gond and J. Van Rensbergen eds., Forest Ecosystem Modelling, Upscaling and Remote Sensing. SPB Academic Publishing.

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Sampson, D. A., R. Quay and D. D. White. 2015. A browser interface to WaterSim 5. Poster presented at the Seventeenth Annual CAP LTER All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 16 January 2015, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link)


Moreno, H. A., D. D. White, H. V. Gupta, E. R. Vivoni and D. A. Sampson. 2014. Predicting the long term hydrologic effects of the Four Forest Restoration Project at Tonto Creek Basin, Arizona. Poster presented at the 16th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium and All Scientists Meeting, January 17, 2014, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link)

Sampson, D. A., R. Quay, D. D. White and P. Gober. 2014. WaterSim: a brief history. Poster presented at the Water Resources Research Center 2014 Annual Conference: Closing the Gap Between Water Supply and Demand, April 8, 2014, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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Quay, R., D. D. White and D. A. Sampson. 2015. Exploring water complexity and uncertainty with practitioners and the public using WaterSim. Presentation at the CLIMAS Colloquium Series, February 26, 2015, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

Sampson, D. A. and R. Quay. 2015. A framework and browser interface to WaterSim 5, a Water Policy and Management Model for the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Presentation at the The 31st Conference on Environmental Information Processing Technologies, 95th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), January 4-8, 2015, Phoenix, AZ.


Quay, R. and D. A. Sampson. 2014. Anticipatory water management in Phoenix using advanced scenario analyses: Watersim 5. Presentation at the AZ Water Association’s 87th Annual Conference & Exposition: Public Investment in Water for a Strong Economy and Healthy Communities, May 7-9, 2014, Glendale, AZ.

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