Andrea K. Gerlak


My research agenda examines the causes of—and innovative solutions to—some of our world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Broadly speaking, I am interested in how we can better design institutions to promote adaptive, flexible policies to improve human and ecosystem well-being and produce fair and equitable decisions.

I hold a joint appointment at the University of Arizona as a Professor in the School of Geography, Development and Environment and as a Research Professor at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. Presently, I serve as the Director of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy,an applied public policy center focused on environmental and indigenous governance issues.

I have authored or co-authored more than 100 publications, including three books. I am s senior fellow with the Earth System Governance network. Presently, I serve on the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona’s Water Conservation Grant Committeeand the City  of Tucson’s Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee.

I have consulted on water governance and climate resilience efforts for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Meteorological Organization.  Locally, I partner with city, county and environmental organizations to inform meaningful policy.

Before joining the School of Geography and Development, I served as the director of academic development with the International Studies Association where I facilitated academic development across ISA’s substantive academic sections, including developing programs to foster junior scholar engagement and program development in international studies. In addition, I have over two decades of experience building, administering, and teaching in interdisciplinary environmental studies programs during my time as a faculty member at Guilford College and Columbia University.