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Andrea K. Gerlak is Director at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and Professor in the School of Geography, Development, and Environment at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. She is trained in political science, international studies, and public policy. She studies questions of conflict and collaboration in policy processes, including issues of community engagement, equity and justice, and learning. Much of her research focuses on institutions and policy processes for governing water resources including governance around transboundary waters, green infrastructure, and urban restoration. She is an author or co-author of more than 100 publications.

Andrea serves as a co-editor for the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, an international journal published by Taylor and Francis providing a forum for the critical analysis of environmental policy and planning. She has over ten years’ experience building, administering, and teaching in interdisciplinary environmental studies programs. She has been a faculty member at Guilford College and Columbia University. For nearly a decade, she served as the director of academic development with the International Studies Association where she facilitated academic development across ISA’s academic sections, including developing programs to foster junior scholar engagement and cross-disciplinarity in international studies. She has consulted on water governance and climate resilience efforts for The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, and the Water and Tribes Initiative.

She served as a Lead Author on the Earth Systems Governance Science and Implementation Plan, which sets out the agenda for the next decade of earth system governance research. She also is co-editor of the book Agency in Earth System Governance, which provides an overview of the major questions, issues and debates, and theories and methods used in studies of agency in earth system governance, which is part of the Cambridge University Press Book Series on Earth Systems Governance.

Selected recent publications

Gerlak, Andrea K., Elena Louder, and Helen Ingram. 2022. Viewpoint: An intersectional approach to water equity in the US. Water Alternatives 15(1): 1-12.

Zuniga-Terna, Adriana, Andrea K. Gerlak, Alison Elder, and Alexander Tam. 2021. The unjust distribution of urban green infrastructure is just the tip of the iceberg: A systematic review of place-based studies. Environmental Science and Policy 126: 234–245.

Gerlak, Andrea K., Surabhi Karambelkar, and Daniel B. Ferguson. 2021. Knowledge governance and learning: Examining challenges and opportunities in the Colorado River basin. Environmental Science & Policy 125: 219-230.

Rivera-Torres, Mariana and Andrea K. Gerlak. 2021. Evolving together: transboundary water governance in the Colorado River Basin. International Environmental Agreements 21: 553–574.

Gerlak, Andrea K., Alison Elder, Mitch Pavao-Zuckerman, Adriana Zuniga-Teran, and Andrew R. Sanderford. 2021. Agency and governance in green infrastructure policy adoption and change. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 23(5): 599-615.

Milman, Anita, Andrea K. Gerlak, Tamee Albrecht, Mark Colosimo, Ken Conca, Anoulak Kittikhoun, Péter Kovács, Richard Moy, Susanne Schmeier, Kelsey Wentling, William Werick, Ivan Zavadsky, Jim Ziegler. 2020. Addressing knowledge gaps for transboundary environmental governance. Global Environmental Change 64: 102162.

Wilder, Margaret O., Robert G. Varady, Andrea K. Gerlak, Stephen P. Mumme, Karl W. Flessa, Adriana A. Zuniga-Teran, Christopher A. Scott, Nicolos Pineda Pablos, and Sharon B. Megdal. 2020. Hydrodiplomacy and adaptive governance at the U.S.-Mexico border: 75 years of tradition and innovation in transboundary water management. Environmental Science and Policy 112: 189–202.

Gerlak, Andrea K., Tanya Heikkila and Jens Newig. 2020. Learning in environmental governance: opportunities for translating theory to practice. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 5: 653-666.

Milman, Anita and Andrea K. Gerlak. 2020. International river basin organizations, science, and hydrodiplomacy. Environmental Science & Policy 107: 137–149.

Karambelkar, Surabhi and Andrea K. Gerlak. 2020. Collaborative Governance and Stakeholder Participation in the Colorado River Basin: An Examination of Patterns of Inclusion and Exclusion. Natural Resources Journal 60(1): 1-45.

Burch, Sarah, Aarti Gupta, Cristina Y.A. Inoue, Agni Kalfagianni, Åsa Persson, Andrea K. Gerlak, Atsushi Ishii, James Patterson, Jonathan Pickering, Michelle Scobie, Jeroen Van der Heijden, Joost Vervoort, Carolina Adler, Michael Bloomfield, Riyanti Djalante, John Dryzek, Victor Galaz, Christopher Gordon, Renee Harmon, Sikina Jinnah, Rakhyun E. Kim, Lennart Olsson, Judith Van Leeuwen, Vasna Ramasar, Paul Wapner, Ruben Zondervan. 2019. New directions in earth system governance research. Earth System Governance 1: 100006.

Elder, Alison D. and Andrea K. Gerlak. 2019. Interrogating rainwater harvesting as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Urbanism. Geoforum 104: 46-51.

Gerlak, Andrea K., Tanya Heikkila, Sharon L. Smolinski, Derek Armitage, Dave Huitema, Band rendan Moore. 2019. It’s time to learn about learning: Where should the environmental and natural resource governance field go next? Society and Natural Resources 32(9): 1056-1064.

Gerlak, Andrea K. and Tanya Heikkila. 2019. Tackling key challenges around learning in environmental governance. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 21(3): 205-212.


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