Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Dr Katie Meehan is an expert in cities, infrastructure, water governance, informal urban development, environmental justice and the politics of climate change knowledge. She has worked in Mexico and the US Southwest for over a decade.

In January 2019, she joined King's after nine years as an Assistant/Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Oregon (2010-2019) – her home state. Katie completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Arizona (2010), along with a Graduate Certificate in Water Policy. She earned a MSc in Environmental Change and Management (with Distinction) from University of Oxford, and a BA in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon.

Prior to academic life, Katie worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Environmental Educator in Belize (2000-02) and Guatemala (2002-03).


  • Urban political ecology
  • Environmental justice and racial capitalism
  • Household water security
  • Infrastructure and cities
  • Politics of climate change knowledge
  • Social study of science and technology (STS)
  • Mixed methodology
  • Latin America and the US

Katie directs two major research initiatives. With a focus on social disparities in urban infrastructure provision, the 'Plumbing Poverty' project examines how households experience and innovate through water insecurity in Mexico and the US. Through spatial and sociodemographic analysis of census microdata, coupled with ethnographic and case study research, this project is the first of its kind to explore the social geography of incomplete household plumbing in the Americas.

In 2017, Katie launched a second project on 'Knowledge Integration', which explores how climate change experts collaborate and integrate environmental knowledge across international borders, disciplinary cultures, and spatial scales. Drawing on creative techniques such as Q Method, Katie and her team are trying to locate new pathways to transdisciplinary knowledge integration. This research is sponsored by the US National Science Foundation through 2020.

In addition to teaching and research, Katie is a Steering Committee Member for the NSF-funded Household Water Insecurity (HWISE) Research Committee Network, which seeks to catalyse social science discovery at the intersection of policy and practice.




PhD supervision

Katie welcomes inquiries from prospective PhD students who share her research interests above. When contacting Katie as a prospective supervisor, please include a current CV, a concise description of your potential thesis topic, and brief explanation of why you would like to study at King’s.

Further details

See Katie's research profile