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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Jeremy Schmidt

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Associate Professor in the Department of Geography
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41894
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Room number: 223
Assistant Professor, Economy and Culture
Assistant Professor, Geographies of Life

Contact Dr Jeremy Schmidt (email at


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.

Research Groups

Department of Geography

Research Interests

  • Environmental governance, ethics, and policy
  • The Anthropocene and the social sciences
  • Water, land, and energy

Selected Publications

Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Book review

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