Dr Jeremy Schmidt
Jeremy Schmidt’s research focuses on the social dimensions of land, water, and energy, with particular attention to the ethical and political dimensions of human impacts on the Earth system.
His book, Water: Abundance, Scarcity, and Security in the Age of Humanity, details the intellectual history of America’s water management philosophy. It shows how claims from geology and American social sciences (notably anthropology and geography) combined to make water a ‘resource’ in the United States. It tracks the intellectual and political maneuvering that allowed water management in the U.S. to shape emerging understandings of the Earth system in the Anthropocene and to pace global governance agendas that ultimately aligned sustainability with the securing of the water-energy-food-climate nexus.
Dr. Schmidt's work on policy, Indigenous rights, and water markets has been cited and debated by the provincial government in Alberta, Canada, where he continues to work on the intersections of land, water, and energy. He is also actively involved in several international networks, including Water Future, the United Nations Dialogue on Earth Jurisprudence, and Economics for the Anthropocene.
Prior to joining Durham University, Dr. Schmidt held post-doctoral positions at Harvard University and Dalhousie University, and was Assistant Professor of Environmental Geography at Carleton University. In 2015, he received an Impact Award (Talent Category), the highest distinction bestowed by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. His PhD was conferred by the University of Western Ontario, where he held a Trudeau Scholarship and a SSHRC Fellowship.
Graduate Student Opportunities
Dr. Schmidt is no longer accepting doctoral students for 2020 start dates. If you have an interesting project that fits within his broad concerns for a later start date please feel free to be in touch directly by email.
All of Dr. Schmidt's journal articles are available freely to anybody upon request. Please do not hesitate to email if you do not have access to the final, published version, and one will be provided.
Department of Geography
- Environmental governance, ethics, and policy
- The Anthropocene and the social sciences
- Water, land, and energy
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. & Matthews, Nathanial (2017). Global Challenges in Water Governance: Environments, Economies, Societies. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2017). Water: Abundance, Scarcity, and Security in the Age of Humanity. New York: New York University Press.
- Brown, Peter G. & Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2010). Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals. Island Press.
Chapter in book
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2021). Water as Global Social Policy—International Organizations, Resource Scarcity, and Environmental Security. In International Organizations in Global Social Governance. Martens, Kerstin, Niemann, Dennis & Kaash, Alexandra London: Palgrave. 275-296.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2020). Valuing water: rights, resilience, and the UN High-Level Panel on Water. In Water Politics: Governance, Justice, and the Right to Water. Sultana, Farhana & Loftus, Alex Routledge. 15-27.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2020). Water ethics: philosophy in practice (guest statement). In Environmental Change and Challenge: A Canadian Perspective. Dearden, Philip, Mitchell, Bruce & O'Connell, Erin Oxford University Press. 420-421.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2015). Water: an ethical opportunity for Canada. In Water as Social Opportunity. Davidson, Seanna, Linton, Jamie & Mabee, Warren Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press. 29-51.
- Brown, Peter G. & Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2014). Living in the Anthropocene: Business as usual, or compassionate retreat?. In State of the World 2014: Governing for Sustainability. The WorldWatch Institute Washington: Island Press/Center for Resource Economics. 63-71.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2012). Scarce or insecure? The right to water and the ethics of global water governance. In The Right to Water: Politics, Governance, and Social Struggles. Sultana, Farhana & Loftus, Alex Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 94-109.
- Brown, Peter G. & Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2010). An ethic of compassionate retreat. In Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals. Brown, Peter G. & Schmidt, Jeremy J. Island Press. 265-286.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2010). Water ethics and water management. In Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals. Brown, Peter G. & Schmidt, Jeremy J. Island Press. 3-15.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (Accepted). Glacial Deaths, Geologic Extinction. Environmental Humanities 13(2).
- Belcher, Oliver & Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2021). Being Earthbound: Arendt, Process, and Alienation in the Anthropocene. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 39(1): 103-120.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2020). Pop-up infrastructure: Water ATMs and new delivery networks in India. Water Alternatives 13(1): 119-140.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2020). Settler geology: Earth's deep history and the governance of in situ oil spills in Alberta. Political Geography 78: 102132.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2019). The moral geography of the Earth system. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 44(44): 721-734.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2018). Bureaucratic territory: First Nations, private property, and “turn-key” colonialism in Canada. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 108(4): 901-916.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. & Matthews, Nathanial (2018). From state to system: financialization and the water-energy-food-climate nexus. Geoforum 91: 151-159.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2017). Social learning in the Anthropocene: Novel challenges, shadow networks, and ethical practices. Journal of Environmental Management 193: 373-380.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2017). Water policy in Alberta: settler-colonialism, community, and capital. Journal of the Southwest 59(1-2): 204-226.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J., Brown, Peter G. & Orr, Christopher J. (2016). Ethics in the Anthropocene: A research agenda. The Anthropocene Review 3(3): 188-200.
- Matthews, Nate & Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2014). False Promises: The contours, contexts, and contestation of good water governance in Lao PDR and Alberta, Canada. International Journal of Water Governance 2(2): 21-40.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2014). Historicising the hydrosocial cycle. Water Alternatives 7(1): 220-234.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. & Mitchell, Kyle R. (2014). Property and the Right to Water: Toward a Non-Liberal Commons. Review of Radical Political Economics 46(1): 54-69.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2014). The retreating state: Political geographies of the object and the proliferation of space. Political Geography 39: 58-59.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. & Peppard, Christiana Z. (2014). Water ethics on a human-dominated planet: rationality, context and values in global governance. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 1(6): 533-547.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2014). Water Management and the Procedural Turn: Norms and Transitions in Alberta. Water Resources Management 28(4): 1127-1141.
- Groenfeldt, David & Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2013). Ethics and water governance. Ecology and Society 18(1): 14.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2013). Integrating Water Management in the Anthropocene. Society & Natural Resources 26(1): 105-112.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. & Shrubsole, Dan (2013). Modern Water Ethics: Implications for Shared Governance. Environmental Values 22(3): 359-379.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. & Dowsley, Martha (2010). Hunting with Polar Bears: Problems with the Passive Properties of the Commons. Human Ecology 38(3): 377-387.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2020). Andrea Ballestero: A Future History of Water. Anthropos 115(2): 548-549.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2020). Dilip da Cunha: The Invention of Rivers: Alexander's Eye and Ganga's Descent. Water Alternatives
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2019). Debjani Bhattacharyya: Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta. Environmental Values 28(4): 516-517.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2018). John Fleck: Water is for fighting over and other myths about water in the west. Water International 43(3): 480-481.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2018). Rajan, Ravi S, Romero Adam, and Watts Michael (Eds): Genealogies of Environmentalism: The Lost Works of Clarence Glacken. Environmental Values 27(4): 453-455.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2017). Frank Biermann: Earth system governance: world politics in the Anthropocene. Environmental Politics 26(3): 546-548.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2016). Erik Swyngedouw: Liquid power: contested hydro-modernities in Twentieth-Century Spain. The Canadian Geographer 60(4): e50-e51.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2016). Peter Clancy: Freshwater politics in Canada. British Journal of Canadian Studies 29(1): 124.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2014). Caroline Desbiens: Power from the north: territory, identity and the culture of hydropower in Quebec. Quebec Studies 56: 141-143.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2013). Hasok Chang: Is water H2O? Evidence, realism, and pluralism. Water History 5(3): 373-375.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2013). Michael Mascarenhas: Where the water's divide: neoliberalism, white privelege, and environmental racism in Canada. Canadian Public Policy 39(2): 354-355.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2012). David Zetland: The end of abundance: economic solutions to water scarcity. Journal of Peace Research 49(4): 624.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2012). Emilio Moran: Environmental social science: human-environment interactions and sustainability. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 15(5): 445-446.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2012). Rutgerd Boelens, David Getches, and Armando Guevara-Gil (eds): Out of the mainstream: water rights, politics, and identity. Agriculture and Human Values 29(1): 127-128.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2011). "The desymbolized world," Dany Robert-Dufour: The art of shrinking heads: on the new servitude of the liberated in the era of total capitalism. Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 22: 116-118.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2011). David Delaney: The spatial, the legal, and the pragmatics of world-making: nomospheric investigations. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101(6): 1388-1390.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2011). Douglas Kysar: Regulating from nowhere: environmental law and the search for objectivity. Environmental Values 20(4): 567-569.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2011). Jamie Linton: What is water? The history of a modern abstraction. The Canadian Geographer 55(4): 513-514.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2011). Jane Kenway and Johannah Fahey (eds): Globalizing the research imagination. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 14(4): 333-335.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2010). Gary Chamberlain: Troubled waters: religion, ethics, and the global water crisis. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 4: 112-113.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2009). Ursula Heise: Sense of place and sense of planet: the environmental imagination of the global. Ethics, Place, and Environment 12: 143-145.
- Schmidt, Jeremy J. (2008). Jamie Benidickson: The culture of flushing: a social and legal history of sewage. Canadian Public Policy 34: 135-136.