Biography

Patricia Gonzales is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering focusing on urban water management. Her current work uses interdisciplinary perspectives and data-driven models to examine the changing dynamics of water supply and demand in California, design innovative decision-support tools, and promote regional coordination for the diversification of water supplies. Patricia has led and collaborated in various research projects through Stanford University's Water in the West program and the NSF Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt).

During the recent historic drought, Patricia worked with local water agencies to design a novel conservation credit trading platform to provide utilities a flexible and transparent mechanism to engage in regional resource management. She also built an interactive web portal to visualize water conservation trends using a statewide dataset, highlighting lessons from the drought, which was a finalist in the California Water Data Challenge hosted by the California Department of Water Resources and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Patricia’s work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, and has been highlighted in research briefs, news outlets, and Water in the West videos.

Prior to coming to Stanford, Patricia earned a B.S. with Honors in Environmental Sciences in 2013 and a M.S. in Environmental Engineering in 2014 from the University of Arizona (UA). As an undergraduate and M.S. student, she was a researcher in the UA Superfund Research Program, where she conducted technical and analytical work as part of an interdisciplinary team at the science-policy interface of arsenic contamination in the environment. While living in Arizona, Patricia was exposed to the complexity of water issues in the West, which sparked her interest in water resources planning and management. In 2013 she received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue her Ph.D. at Stanford.