• Professor Emeritus, Political Science Department

Research Summary

Professor McCool's research focuses on voting rights, water resource development, Indian water rights, and public lands policy.


  • B. A., Sociology, Purdue University
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Arizona . Project: Thesis: "The Budgeting Problems of the National Park Service."
  • Ph.D., (Political Science), University of Arizona. Project: Dissertation: "Indian and Non-Indian Water Development." Independent Doctoral Minor: Latin American Studies


Professor McCool’s research focuses on voting rights, water resource development, and Native American water rights.  He is the author of: River Republic: The Fall and Rise of America’s Rivers (2012); Native Waters: Contemporary Indian Water Settlements and the Second Treaty Era (2002) and Command of the Waters: Iron Triangles, Federal Water Development, and Indian Water (1987/1994). He co-authored: Native Vote: American Indians, the Voting Rights Act, and Indian Voting (2007); Staking Out the Terrain: Power and Performance Among Natural Resource Agencies (1996, 2d ed); and Public Policy Theories, Models and Concepts (1995).  And he edited:  Waters of Zion: The Politics of Water in Utah (1995); Contested Landscape: The Politics of Wilderness in Utah and the West (1999); The Most Fundamental Right: Contrasting Perspectives on the Voting Rights Act (2012); and Vision and Place: John Wesley Powell and Reimagining the Colorado River Basin (with Jason Robison and Tom Minckely) (2020).  His most recent publications include a book chapter on Native American water rights in the Colorado River Basin, and a co-authored journal article on the use of ballot collection on Indian reservations.. He has served as a consultant for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U. S. Department of Justice, The ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, and the Southwest Center for Environmental Research and Policy.  He has been an expert witness in 26 Voting Rights Act cases with minority plaintiffs.