Jacob Petersen-Perlman

Assistant Professor
Geography, Planning, & Environment

Brewster A-202


PhD, Geography, Oregon State University
MS, Geography, University of Montana
BS, Meteorology, Iowa State University


Areas of Interest: Water Conflict and Cooperation, Water Governance, Water Management, Water Security, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Justice

Dr. Petersen-Perlman is a water resources geographer with a breadth of experience in research and teaching on water management, governance, and policy. His research investigates political institutions and organizations responding to global environmental change, specifically the changing distribution and increasing degradation of water resources. Within these interests, he studies: 1) security, governance and management aspects of water resources planning; and 2) mechanisms and processes that foster natural resources cooperation and mitigate conflict. He has conducted research in southern Africa, the Middle East/North Africa region, and the U.S.-Mexico border. His current work is focusing on transboundary groundwater governance, environmental flow policies in coastal watersheds, and building community resilience in eastern North Carolina communities.

Dr. Petersen-Perlman’s work appears in various peer-reviewed journals such as Global Environmental Change, International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Water, and Water International. His research has been funded by organizations including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Student Opportunities

I am recruiting one MS geography student to join our Water Governance Lab at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, USA. The student will join me and other researchers at the Water Resources Center and the Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment in examining issues of water governance, management, and policy in North Carolina and beyond. The student may participate in projects involving transboundary water cooperation and decision-making at multiple scales, transboundary water politics, flood management and governance after extreme events (such as floods) and the food-water-energy-climate nexus.

Students with backgrounds in social sciences (including Geography, Political Science, and others) and GIS analysis are encouraged to apply.

Two years of funding are available for one MS Geography student to join our research team beginning in Spring or Fall 2022. Please contact me at petersenperlmanj19@ecu.edu if you are interested.


Courses Taught

  • GEOG 1250: Water in the Environment
  • GEOG 2300: Environment & Society