Patricia Gober

Research Professor
(480) 727-8446
COOR 3384

Additional Affiliation(s)

Professor, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

Senior Personnel, Decision Center for a Desert City, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University

Policy Research Associate, Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Arizona State University

Senior Sustainability Scientist, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University


1975 - Ph.D. (Geography) The Ohio State University
1972 - M.A. (Geography) The Ohio State University
1970 - B.S. (Geography) University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

Research Interests

Population, urban systems, migration, water resources, climate change

Current Research Activities

Professor Gober's current research is focused on issues of water management and environmental change in metropolitan Phoenix. She is especially interested in the use of science and visualization for real-world decision-making.

Awards and Honors

2011 - AAG Presidential Achievement Award
2009 - Faculty Research Achievement Award, ASU Alumni Association
2009 - Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2006-2008 - Prince Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, Water Resources Management and Protection (3rd Award)
2007 - President's Medal for Social Embeddedness, New American City: Artists Look Forward, Arizona State University
1998 - Honorary Doctorate of Science, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI
1977 - Outstanding Young Alumni, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI

Selected Publications


Patricia Gober. (2006) Metropolitan Phoenix: Place Making and Community Building in the Desert. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 233 pp.

Michael Kuby, John Harner, and Patricia Gober (2009) Human Geography in Action (Fifth Edition). New York: Wiley, 523 pp.

Journal Articles

Alan T. Murray, Patricia Gober, Luc Anselin, Sergio J. Rey, Paul D. Padegimas, and David Sampson (2012) Spatial optimization models for water supply allocation. Water Resources Management: DOI 10.1007/s11269-012-0013-5.

Patricia Gober, Ariane Middel, Anthony Brazel, Soe Myint, Heejun Chang, Jiunn-Der Duh, and Lily House-Peters (2012) Tradeoffs between water conservation and temperature amelioration in Phoenix and Portland: Implications for urban sustainability. Urban Geography 33(7): 1030-1054.

Winston T. L. Chow, Wen-Ching Chaung, and Patricia Gober (2011) Vulnerability to extreme heat in metropolitan Phoenix: Spatial, temporal, and demographic dimensions. Professional Geographer 64 (2): 286-302. 

D. A. Sampson, V. Escobar, M. K. Tschudi, T. Lant, and P. Gober (2011) A provider-based water planning and management model – Watersim 4.0 – for the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Journal of Environmental Management 92 (10): 2596-2610.

A.Middel, A. J. Brazel, P. Gober, S. W. Myint, H. Chang, and J.D. Duh (2011) Land cover, climate, and the summer surface energy balance in Phoenix, AZ and Portland OR. International Journal of Climatology DOI 10:1002/joc.2408.

Soe W. Myint, Patricia Gober, Anthony Brazel, Susanne Grossman-Clarke, and Qjhoa Weng (2011) Per-pixel vs. object-based classification of urban land cover extraction using high spatial resolution imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 115(5): 1145-1161.

Patricia Gober, Elizabeth A. Wentz, Timothy Lant, Michael K. Tschudi, and Craig Kirkwood (2011) WaterSim: A simulation model for urban water planning in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Environment and Planning B 38(2): 197-215.

Patricia Gober and Craig Kirkwood (2010) Vulnerability assessment of climate-induced water shortage in Phoenix. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(50): 21295-21299.

Patricia Gober. Desert urbanization and the challenges of water sustainability (2010) Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2: 144-150.

 Patricia Gober, Craig Kirkwood, Robert C. Balling, Jr., Andrew W. Ellis, and Stephanie Deitrick (2010) Water planning under climatic uncertainty in Phoenix: Why we need a new paradigm. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100(2): 357-372.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Human Geography
Quantitative Methods in Geography
Geography of Phoenix, Human Migration
Social Science of Climate Change

Outreach and Service

As director of the Decision Center for a Desert City, Professor Gober speaks regularly to local professional and civic groups about climate change and water resources management. In addition, she serves on the State of Arizona's School Facilities Board.