Karl Flessa

Karl Flessa

Professor Dept. of Geosciences


  • Environmental flows to the Colorado River delta under Minute 319 of the US-Mexico Water Treaty
  • Colorado River Research Group: An independent, scientific voice for the future of the Colorado River

Selected citations:

  • Bark, R.H., C.J. Robinson, and K.W. Flessa, 2016.  Tracking cultural ecosystem services: water chasing the Colorado River restoration pulse flow.  Ecological Economics 127: 165-172

  • Dietl, G.P., S.M. Kidwell, M. Brenner, D.A. Burney, K.W. Flessa, S.T. Jackson, and P.L. Koch, 2015.  Conservation paleobiology: Leveraging knowledge of the past to inform conservation and restoration.  Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 43:3.1–3.25

  • Flessa, K.W., 2014. Water for nature in the Colorado River delta.  In: Reflections on water reform in the Colorado and Murray-Darling Basins.  Global Water Forum, Canberra, Australia.  http://www.globalwaterforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Karl-Flessa-FINAL.pdf

  • Bark, E., G. Frisvold, and K.W. Flessa, 2014. The role of economics in transboundary restoration water management in the Colorado River Delta.  Water Resources and Economics, 8: 43-56.  doi:10.1016/j.wre.2014.10.006
  • López-Hoffman, L., E.D. McGovern, R.G. Varady, and K.W. Flessa, eds., 2009.  Conservation of shared environments: Learning from the United States and Mexico. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. 320 p.

Employment highlights:

  • Founding Director, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Arizona, 2009-2013
  • Head, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, 2007 - 2012
  • Project Director, Research Coordination Network: Colorado River Delta, 2005-present


  • A.B., Geology, Lafayette College, 1968
  • Ph.D., Geological Sciences, Brown University, 1972
Geographic Area
Latin America and Caribbean
Expertise Area
Ecology and Restoration
Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving
International and Development
Monitoring and Remote Sensing
Natural Resources Management
Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach
Transboundary Water
Water Conservation, Supply, and Demand