Post-Doctoral and Staff Researchers

Amanda Fencl (Ph.D. Candidate – University of California, Davis)

fencl_photo_cropAmanda Fencl will complete her Ph.D. in Environmental Geography in June 2019 from the University of California, Davis and will join the team in July 2019. Through the UC Davis Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior, her dissertation research addresses drought and climate adaption in drinking-water governance, focusing on understanding the ways in which governance regimes both build and undermine resilience to future changes. She co-authored studies on water justice and access in the Central Valleydrinking water system adaptation to drought and climate change, and groundwater security under drought and climate change. During California’s most recent drought, she also worked part-time in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research supporting the Governor’s Drought Task Force’s working group on issues related to water security for very small systems and households with domestic wells. Prior to UC Davis, she spent six years as a Staff Scientist at the US Center of the Stockholm Environment Institute in the water resources and climate change adaptation research groups and holds a B.A. from Tufts University in International Relations and Environmental studies.


Dr. Kyungsun Lee (Ph.D. SUNY-Environmental Science and Forestry) 


Dr. Lee’s research expertise is in the area of sustainable transitions, industrial ecology, and environmental governance.   Her Ph.D. dissertation research seeks to understand the social aspect of Eco-Industrial Parks in Japan and Korea. She explores the trajectories of development in Eco-Industrial Parks in Japan and Korea, examining the role of governance in the sustainability transition from industrial parks.  

Dr. Lee, who joined the team in November 2018, is the lead researcher  on the sectoral analysis of the global water desalination and water reuse (GDWR) sector, including but not limited to global production network analysis and social network analysis. She also leverages her expertise in sustainable transitions and industrial ecology to develop a comparative framework for our case study analysis. Dr. Lee also leads our efforts in systematic review analysis.

Dr. Lee holds a B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering; and M.Sc. in History of Science, both from Seoul National University, Korea.


Dr. Gretchen Sneegas (Ph.D. University of Georgia)

sneegas gafs picGretchen Sneegas will complete her doctoral degree in Human Geography in May 2019 from the University of Georgia, and will join the team in June 2019. A political ecologist with training in interdisciplinary research, Gretchen integrates mixed methods with critical social theory to investigate resource governance in times of perturbation and conflict. Her Ph.D. research deploys Critical Q methodology, a combination of Q methodology and critical discourse analysis, to examine the production of divergent environmental subjectivities at the convergence of unconventional shale gas and agricultural production. She also analyzes land grant colleges and Cooperative Extension as key institutional nodes at the intersection of knowledge, expertise, and power. Gretchen holds a dual B.A. in Germanic Studies and Theater and Drama from Indiana University, and an M.A. in Food Studies from Chatham University.


Sydney Beckner (TWRI Research Associate)

headshotSydney’s research interests include urban water security and environmental governance. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Geoscience and recently obtained her M.S. in Geography, both from Texas A&M University.

For the project, Sydney will conduct Q-Method studies in the two Texas study sites of San Antonio and El Paso. She has experience with the methodology and governance regimes in Texas from her Master’s work on understanding social perspectives on the controversial Vista Ridge Pipeline.