Trott's research focuses on grassroots political organizing around natural resources, particularly water management. Her dissertation research examines how organizers of New Mexico’s “acequias” (communally-managed irrigation ditches) connect communal water management to social justice, environmental health, and community wellbeing. Trott's work has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, which emphasizes research-based approaches to water-related problems in the Southwest and along the U.S.-Mexico border. She has also been involved in participatory research with the New Mexico Acequia Association, a nonprofit organization that seeks to protect water rights and traditions of small-scale agriculture among the state’s rural and disadvantaged communities.
Argues that organizers of New Mexico’s communally-managed irrigation ditches advance a vision of agrarian identity that strategically transcends divisive ethnic identity markers. Argues that by so doing, they are creating a broad-based movement to protect community water rights and small-scale agriculture.
Examines the return of women prisoners to underserved rural communities and the perspectives of their closest social supporters through semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Challenges discourses of personal responsibility that detract from the structural violence and injustice shaping their experiences and considers policy implications and strategies to reduce recidivism.