Julia Sizek

Julia Sizek

Julia Sizek is the Content Curator for Social Science Matrix and the host of the Matrix Podcast. She earned a PhD from the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology. Her dissertation, “The Checkerboarded Desert,” examined how land fails to become property in the California desert. Drawing on political ecology, legal geography, and Native American and Indigenous Studies, her research shows the complexities of practicing sacred site protection and environmental conservation in a region often considered to be a wasteland. Her other writing on California history and environment has been featured in Boom!, KCET, and Bay Nature.

Latest Articles


Subterranean Legal Geographies: Regulating Groundwater in California

By Julia Sizek

It will come as no surprise that cities in Southern California depend on water that originates far away. But a new change to the Colorado River compact, an agreement that divides the Colorado River’s water among the states that border it, threatens a quarter of Southern California’s water supply, driving residents’ source of water—as well as legal battles over access to this water—underground.