Utton Center

I’m the John Fleck who went to Upland High School in the 1970s, Whitman College thereafter. For 25 years, I was the John Fleck who wrote about science for the Albuquerque Journal. I wrote The Tree Rings’ Tale, a book for middle-school aged kids about the climate of the West. I’m Writer in Residence at the Utton Transboundary Resources Center at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where I work on Colorado River futures and New Mexico water law and governance. From 2016-21 I was director of the University of New Mexico Water Resources Program.

My side hustle is books about western rivers. In 2016, I published an optimistic book book about the future of the Colorado River, which is somewhat unusual. Most such books are pessimistic. The joke was that I’d call it Volvo Desert. The real title is Water is for Fighting Over: and other Myths About Water in the West, published by the awesome Island Press.

That led to Science Be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River, a collaboration with Eric Kuhn.

I’m currently at work with Bob Berrens on Ribbons of Green: The Rio Grande and the Making of a Modern American City.

The taxpayers of the state of New Mexico, and our tuition-paying students, fund the day job. My Colorado River work is partly supported by Utton and partly, as they say, “self-funded”, though you can hit up my tip jar if you find this project worth supporting.

I’m not the other John Fleck, though I once got his mail.

Frequently Asked Questions (or Questions That Should Be Frequently Asked):

Q: Is there a way to subscribe to all of your blog posts?
A: If you use an RSS reader, I’ve got a feed for you. Or, over in the right-hand rail of this and most of the other pages on the blog, there’s a signup to get an email every time I write something.

Q: Whoa, you write way too much stuff! I don’t want all that email in my inbox. Is there some sort of low-volume alternative?
A: I’m experimenting with a weekly water news newsletter – some of my own work, plus other bits I find worth sharing. It’s mostly not weekly. See above bit about this project being self-funded. Here’s a subscription gizmo to sign up for it:

Q: What’s up with the Easy-Do Parties Lady?

Q: How do I get in touch with you?
A: Try the form below, which I don’t think anyone has ever actually used, or you can find me on the Twitter.