David Blanchon
Tipping point and sentinels : monitoring, interpreting and managing environmental changes in southern Arizona
This research project aims at linking two concepts, “tipping points” and “sentinels”, which are highly debated in the scientific literature. Its originality is to combine a range of approaches, from ecology to social and behavioral sciences.
The research project focuses on three case studies in Pima County: the effects of fire on the lower slopes of mount Lemmon; the perception of tipping points by water resources managers in Eastern Tucson watershed; and the development of wine-growing industry in the face of climate change. Based on empirical findings, the project was aimed to provide new insights into the role of tipping points and sentinels in assessing and managing environmental changes.
Despite Covid-19, field research has been done during the first years of the project, and 2022 will be mostly focused on finishing field surveys and publications, organizing conferences (which have been canceled due to COVID-19) in order to present the main results.
Type de projet
Projet OHM
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Pima County
Anthropologie, Biogéographie, Botanique, Géographie, Socio-anthropologie, Sociologie


D. Blanchon travaille depuis maintenant de longues années sur les thèmes de la gestion de l’eau, notamment à travers son projet IUF « Hydrosystèmes et hydropolitiques en Afrique ». Il est également membre fondateur du Res-Eaux (https://reseaux.parisnanterre.fr/). Si ses recherches ont porté essentiellement sur l’Afrique, il a également publié des textes et organisé des conférences à portée plus théorique, comme par exemple l’International seminar on Science and ‘Engagement’ in Water Studies. Les Etats-unis sont un nouveau terrain, mais familier par des lectures, également des séjours de recherche, à l’Université de Yale (en tant que lecteur de français, 1997-1998) et à Berkeley (2013) dans le cadre de sa délégation IUF. Il a été très récemment membre du groupe de réflexion portant sur la question de la solidarité écologique, porté par le Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire et l’Agence Française de la Biodiversité.


david,Regis,Adriana,Marie-Blanche,Benjamin,Frédéric blanchon,Ferrière,Zuniga Teran,Roudault,Wilder,Keck
David Blanchon is a professor of geography at the University of Paris Nanterre and senior research fellow at the International Research Lab IGlobes in Tucson, Arizona. His work has focused on water management in arid and semi-arid areas, especially in South Africa, where he did his PhD on interbasin transfers. David Blanchon has led two international research projects in Khartoum, Sudan, about the transformation of an urban waterscape (2008–2012), and in Kenya about water-land nexus (2013–2016). Since September 2019 he is based at the IRL Iglobes in Tucson, working on “Territoires sentinelles”, “tipping points” et gestion de l’eau: Percevoir, comprendre et gérer les changements environnementaux en Arizona. »
David Blanchon is the project coordinator.
david,Regis,Adriana,Marie-Blanche,Benjamin,Frédéric blanchon,Ferrière,Zuniga Teran,Roudault,Wilder,Keck
Régis Ferrière is Director of the iGLOBES International Research Laboratory, with a split appointment between ENS Paris (Biology departemnt) and the University of Arizona (department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). Ferriere is a mathematical ecologist who studies how adaptive evolution shapes the structure, dynamics and function of ecological systems. Ferrière discovered the role that adaptive evolution may play in driving ecological systems towards tipping points. In his current work at the interface of mathematical ecology, sociology, and psychology, he and his lab explore the determinants of human behavioral response to climate change and climate extremes.
Regis Ferrière is the co-coordinator of Work Package 4.
Zuniga Teran
david,Regis,Adriana,Marie-Blanche,Benjamin,Frédéric blanchon,Ferrière,Zuniga Teran,Roudault,Wilder,Keck
Adriana Zuniga-Teran is an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning. With a background in architecture and expertise in neighborhood design, Adriana combines knowledge-building with problem-solving of real-world challenges in her research projects. Adriana works with stakeholders and community partners to answer questions related to water security, urban resilience, and environmental justice, by focusing on greenspace/green infrastructure across the urban-rural continuum.
Adriana Zuniga-Teran is the coordinator of Work Package 2
david,Regis,Adriana,Marie-Blanche,Benjamin,Frédéric blanchon,Ferrière,Zuniga Teran,Roudault,Wilder,Keck
Marie-Blanche Roudaut is a PhD student in the Arid Lands Resource Sciences Program, The University of Arizona. Marie-Blanche does research on land degradation and sustainable land management issues in Ghana.
Marie-Blanche Roudaut is the coordinator of Work Package 3
david,Regis,Adriana,Marie-Blanche,Benjamin,Frédéric blanchon,Ferrière,Zuniga Teran,Roudault,Wilder,Keck
Benjamin Wilder is Director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill as well as a desert ecologist. His work aims to establish ecological baselines to inform conservation and management decisions. He has extensive experience in buffelgrass control and management as well as understanding this invasive species in the context of global climate change and increased connectivity due to globalization.
Benjamin Wilder is the coordinator of Work Package 1
david,Regis,Adriana,Marie-Blanche,Benjamin,Frédéric blanchon,Ferrière,Zuniga Teran,Roudault,Wilder,Keck
Frédéric Keck is a senior researcher at the CNRS. He has published a series of works on the history of French anthropology in its relations with philosophy (Comte, Lévy-Bruhl, Durkheim, Bergson, Lévi-Strauss). He also worked with P. Rabinow on the concept of biopower. He carried out ethnographic surveys on animal health crises: BSE, SARS, “bird flu” and “swine flu”. His work, at the crossroads of the history of science, the sociology of risks and the anthropology of nature, focuses more generally on standards of “biosecurity” applied to humans and animals, and on the forms of forecasting that they produce regarding health and ecological disasters.
Frédéric Keck is the also coordinator of Work Package 4