Debra Perrone is a research collaborator at Water in the West and an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is interested in the multifaceted interrelationship between water, energy, and food resources. Her research explores how the interactions among these resources affect decisions and tradeoffs involved in water resource management. Working with Stanford, Debra is part of an interdisciplinary team that is developing a Western Water Dashboard. For the Dashboard project, Debra uses geospatial and statistical tools to extract the spatio-temporal elements of effective regulation from the profound complexity of state water laws and links these elements to human-natural systems.
Debra received her undergraduate degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Lafayette College in 2008. An active member of Lafayette’s Engineers Without Borders chapter, she worked on water projects in rural Honduras. After graduation she began the PhD Program in Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University and became a fellow of Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment. In 2011, she was awarded an Environmental Protection Agency STAR fellowship for her research on the water-energy-food nexus. In Summer 2012, she participated in the Young Summer Scientist Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, and a year later she was granted a NSF's East Asia Pacific Summer Institute fellowship in Singapore. Debra graduated in May 2014 and was the Graduate School’s Founder’s Medalist for First Honors.