Sayanangshu Modak

Ph.D. Student

As a human-environment geographer and a scholar of water governance, my research interest pertains to transboundary waters, institutions for collaborative governance, and the promotion of collective action. Over the years, my research has contributed to the understanding of what enables or hinders cooperation – between people, communities, federal constituents, and nations to govern shared water resources, particularly in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) landscape of Asia. I have also actively engaged in policy advocacy and outreach activities and have been quoted in issue-based articles by global, and domestic news agencies like Reuters, South China Morning Post, Mongabay India, and others. 

Before joining the Ph.D. program at the University of Arizona in 2022, I was professionally engaged in two separate organizations in India – at Observer Research Foundation (ORF) between 2018 and 2022, and Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) between 2016-2018. My research engagements spanned a wide spectrum – from collecting evidence on community-managed land and water commons at FES to policy research and communication on the governance of transboundary waters at ORF. I hold an M.Sc. degree in Water Policy and Governance from Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, and a B.Sc. degree in Geography from Presidency University, Kolkata.

Apart from academic pursuits, I make time to travel to rejuvenate and find solace through immersive experiences amidst nature. I often carry along my camera during these escapades and capture visual stories of landscapes and people.