Patricia Gober

Research Professor
(480) 727-8446
COOR 3384


Patricia Gober is the founding co-Director of the National Science Foundation’s Decision Center for a Desert City which studies water management decisions in the face of growing climatic uncertainty in Greater Phoenix. She is a past President of the Association of American Geographers, former member of the Population Reference Bureau’s Board of Trustees and the Science Advisory Board of NOAA, and former Chair of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Human Geography Committee. She also served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Geographical Sciences. Her most recent book, Metropolitan Phoenix: Place Making and Community Building in the Desert, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2006. She holds an honorary doctorate of science from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was awarded the Prince Sultan Abdulaziz International Price for Water in November, 2008. She received the ASU's Faculty Research Achievement Award in 2009 and the AAG's Presidential Achievement Award in 2011.

Research Interests

Water resources management, decision making under uncertainty, urban climate adaptation

Current Research Activities

Gober's current research centers on issues of water management and environmental change in metropolitan Phoenix and Western Canada. She is especially interested in the use of science and visualization for real-world decision-making. Her interests include: water resources management, climate- and water-smart urban design, sustainability science, decision making under uncertainty, climate change modeling and assessment.

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

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 , Dave D. White, Ray Quay, David A. Sampson, and Craig W. Kirkwood (2014) Socio-hydrology modelling for an uncertain future, with examples from the USA and Canada. Geological Society, London, Special Publication: Model Fusion, forthcoming.

Patricia Gober, Graham E. Strickert, Douglas A. Clark, Kwok P. Chun, Diana Payton, and Kristin Bruce (2014 Divergent perspectives on water security: Bridging the policy debate. The Professional Geographer, DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2014.883960.

Chuang, Wen-Ching, Patricia Gober, Winston T. L. Chow, and Jay Golden (2013) Sensitivity to heat: A comparative study of Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois (2003-2006). Urban Climate,

Patricia Gober and Howard S. Wheater (2014) Socio-hydrology and the science-policy interface: A case study of the Saskatchewan River Basin. Hydrology and Earth System Science, 18: 1423-1422.

Kelli Larson, Colin Polsky, Patricia Gober, Heejun Chang, and Vivek Shandas (2013) Vulnerability of water systems to the effects of climate change and urbanization: A comparison of Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon (USA). Environmental Management 52(1): 179-195.

Howard Wheater and Patricia Gober (2013) Water security in the Canadian prairies: science and management challenges. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 371: 20120409 .

Elizabeth A. Wentz, Angela J. Wills, Won Kyung Kim, Soe W. Myint, Patricia Gober, and Robert C. Balling, Jr. (2013) Factors influencing water consumption in multifamily housing in Tempe Arizona. Professional Geographer,

Patricia Gober (2013) Getting outside the water box: The need for new approaches to water planning and policy. Water Resources Management 27(4): 955-957.

Patricia Gober, Kelli Larson, Ray Quay, Colin Polsky, Heejun Chang, and Vivek Shandas (2013) Why land planners and water managers don’t talk to one another and why they should! Society and Natural Resources 26(3): 356-364.

Courses Taught

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


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