Members > Brian Chaffin

Assistant Professor, University of Montana

My research is focused generally on the interplay between environmental law and policy and changing economic and social values for water. The majority of my work is focused geographically in the U.S. West; I am specifically interested in the U.S.-Tribal trust responsibility and the influence this policy doctrine has on water rights and water management regimes under changing climate scenarios. Much of my work is theoretically framed through the lenses of complex systems, social-ecological resilience and adaptive water governance. My empirical research agenda is centered around an ongoing series of river basin assessments aimed at uncovering the effects of current water policies and politics on both vulnerable water supplies and vulnerable populations, specifically indigenous communities both in the U.S. and internationally. I am also interested in the increasing phenomenon of dam removal in the U.S. and Europe, and the contexts of governance that facilitate this type of social-ecological transformation.

Key research Interests: adaptive governance, transformative governance, hydrosocial cycle, social science for environmental justice

Skype: briancchaffin

Member Since: 2016