Aritree Samanta profile picture

Aritree Samanta

Associate Professor
Participatory decision-making, climate change adaptation, participatory water governance, racial and gender justice, knowledge justice, land use management
Phone: (415) 405-0328
Location: HSS 211


 I am an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at San Francisco State University and the Co-Director of SFSU Climate HQ, SF State’s hub supporting climate change-related activities across campus, including the interdisciplinary undergraduate Climate Change Certificate and the Climate Justice Leaders Initiative (CJLI). Prior to teaching at San Francisco State, I was a  Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University, IN. I hold a Ph.D. in Urban and Public Affairs from Cleveland State University, OH and earned my Masters and Bachelors degrees in Social Work and Economics respectively, from University of Delhi, India. I study participation and representation in environmental decision-making specifically through a racial and gender justice lens, participatory water governance, and knowledge justice in environmental and climate policy processes. During my postdoctoral work, I conducted research on the social dimensions of watershed management focusing on the intersections between climate change, water quality, and land use management in the U.S. Midwest. My current research focuses on representation in environmental decision-making, especially centered on the intersections of race and gender, specifically looking at the conservation policies of the USDA and various federal and state natural resource agencies. My research has appeared in various environmental, public administration, and public policy journals including Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Society and Natural Resources, Public Policy and Administration, and Administrative Theory and Praxis. My professional work in India included projects in the areas of urban sustainability and climate change adaptation in underserved communities. In the United States, I have held fellowship and research positions with the Alliance for the Great Lakes in Chicago, IL where I researched landowner perceptions of agricultural conservation practices and conservation behavior adoption; and the Northeast Midwest Institute in Washington D.C. where I worked on research and advocacy with the U.S. Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalitions on clean and alternative energy technologies and projects.


Dr. Samanta's LinkedIn

Courses Taught

Climate Change Adaptation and Justice

Environmental Law and Policy

Introduction to Environmental Studies

Research Methods in Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies Senior Seminar 

In the past I have taught courses on Environmental Policy, Politics, & Administration, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Public Administration Theory, Community Engaged and Participatory Methods, Megacities in Asia.

My teaching philosophy is grounded in a democratic view of knowledge that advances learning and change. My pedagogical approach encourages innovative and critical thinking and facilitates genuine problem-oriented learning experiences, to prepare students to address the complex and multidimensional social-ecological challenges of the 21st century. In my time at SFSU, I have deeply centered social justice in my research, teaching and service.


Viswanath, S. & Samanta, A (2022). Gender Ramifications of a Weberian Bureaucracy: A Feminist Appraisal of the United States Department of Agriculture. Perspectives on Public Management and Governance, 5(2), 97-110.


Samanta. A., Viswanath, S., & Tran, M. A. Q. (2022). “It is Very Much a Man’s World”: Gender Representation in Agricultural Policy and Administration. In P.M. Shields & N.M. Elias (Eds.). Handbook of Gender and Public Administration, Edward Elgar Publishing. 


Costanza, A. B., Guidino Bruce, C., Mangel, J. C., Alfaro-Shigueto, J., Verutes, G., Caillat, M., Samanta, A., & Hines, E. (2021). Participatory Risk Assessment of Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) Bycatch in Northern Peru, Frontiers in Marine Science. 


Samanta, A. & Hand, L. (2021). Examining the “In-Between” of Public Encounters: Evidence from Two Seemingly Disparate Policy Contexts. Public Policy and Administration.


Samanta, A., Eanes, F., Wickerham, B., Bulla, B., Fales, M., and Prokopy, L. (2020) Communication, Partnerships, and the Role of Social Science: Conservation Delivery in a Brave New World. Society and Natural Resources, 33(7), 914-926, doi:  


Samanta, A. (2018). Exploring the “In-Between” Place: Dialogue, Hermeneutics, and Transformation in Governance, Administrative Theory & Praxis, 40(3), 227-249, doi:


Samanta, A. & Kellogg, W.A. (2017). Swimming Together: Adaptation through Emergence of Knowledge and Learning in Networked Watershed Governance. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 7(3), 403-415,   


Zingale, N. C., Samanta, A., & West, E.J. (2017). Loose Governance: Transformation within a Shrinking City. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 39, 1-26,


Kellogg, W. A. & Samanta. A. (2017). Network Structure and Adaptive Capacity in Watershed Governance. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 61(1), 25-48, doi: