Katherine G. Sammler

About Katherine G. Sammler

Assistant professor in the department of Global Studies & Maritime Affairs, California State University Maritime in Vallejo, CA.

Areas of Study

Marine governance in New Zealand and the broader Pacific.



Research Interests

I am trained as a critical political geographer, but with a background in atmospheric science and physics. I conduct research at the intersection of science and politics in the realm of oceans, atmospheres, and outer space. My work considers the role of knowledge, law, and power in defining global commons, access, and environmental justice. Most recently I have published on the politics of seabed mining and indigenous rights in New Zealand, and public versus private rights to offplanet resources at the Spaceport America launch site in New Mexico. Currently, I am conducting research on astronomy and space infrastructure in Hawaii in relation to Native Hawaiian sovereignty.

Selected Publications

Sammler, K. (in review) The Rising Politics of Sea Level: Territorial Impacts of Coastal Baselines. Territory, Politics, Governance.
Sammler, K. & Lynch, C. (in review). Spaceport America: Contested Offworld Access and the Everyman Astronaut. Geopolitics. Special issue: Human Rights and Critical Geopolitics of Outer Space.


Sammler, K. (forthcoming). “Kauri and The Whale: Environmental Ontology in Aotearoa New Zealand” in I. Braverman and E.Johnson (eds.), Ocean Legalities: The Law and Life of the Sea, Durham: Duke University Press.

Sammler, K. “The Deep Pacific: Island Governance and Seabed Mineral Development” in E. Stratford (ed.), Island Geographies: Essays and Conversations. Routledge Studies in Human Geography. New York: Routledge.


E.R. Kursinski, D. Ward, A. C. Otarola, J. McGhee, M. Stovern, K. Sammler, H. Reed, D. Erickson, C. McCormick, E. Griggs. Atmospheric profiling via satellite to satellite occultations near water and ozone absorption lines for weather and climateSPIE Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing Symposium ProceedingsNew Delhi, India 4-7 Apr. doi:10.1117/12.2224038

Sammler, K. Emerging Resource Management Strategies and Deep Seabed Mining in South Pacific Island Nations. Islands of the World Conference, Penghu, Taiwan 22–27 Sep.

Kursinski E.R., Young A., Otarola A., Stovern M., Wheelwright B., Ward D,Sammler K., Stickney R.. Groppi C., Al Banna S., Schein M., Bell S., Bertiger W., Miller M., and Pickett H. Laboratory and Ground Testing Results from ATOMMS: the Active Temperature, Ozone and Moisture Microwave Spectrometer. 21st Intl. Symposium on Space TeraHertz Technology, Oxford, 23-25 Mar.

AlBanna S., Groppi C., Walker C., Schein M., Bell S., Wheelwright B., d’Aubigny C., Young A., Golish D., Kursinsk E.R., Otarola A., Ward D., Sammler K., Bertiger W., Miller M., and Pickett H. A Single 30 cm Aperture Antenna Design for The Operation of 2 Widely Separated Frequency Bands for the Active Temperature, Ozone and Moisture Microwave Spec- trometer (ATOMMS). 20th International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology, Charlottesville, VA 20-22 Apr.

Kursinski, E.R., Ward D., Otarola A., Sammler K., Frehlich R., Rind D., Groppi C., Albanna S., Shein M., Bertiger W., Pickett H. and Ross M. The Active Temperature Ozone and Moisture Microwave Spectrometer (ATOMMS)ECMWF GRAS SAF Workshop on GPS Radio Occultation. Shinfield Park, UK. 16-1 Jun


Sammler, K. (2017) Book Review of Seascapes: Shaped by the Sea edited by Mike       Brown & Barbara Humberstone. The Canadian Geographer, 61(2), e35-e36. doi:10.1111/cag.12370

Sammler, K. Territory as Political Technology - A review of "The Birth of Territory" by Stuart Elden. Contrivers’ Review. 2 Mar.

Sammler, K. Book review: Island Enclaves: Offshoring, Creative Governance and Subnational Island Jurisdictions. Cultural Geographies; Islanding Cultural Geographies 20(2): 262.

Sammler, K. Book review: Island Enclaves: Offshoring, Creative Governance and Subnational Island JurisdictionsCurrent Issues in Comparative Education; Education in Small States: Fragilities, Vulnerabilities and Strengths 15(1): 181-183.


n.d. Sammler, K., Colonialism and Space Science atop Hawaiian Mountains.
n.d. Sammler, K., Atmospheric water within a hydrosocial framework.


Sammler, K., Vibranium and the Super Nature of Earthly Materials. Museum of the Moving Image: Sloan Science & Film.

Sammler, K., House-Peters, L. Tracing L.A.’s Marine Topographies: Climate, Currents, and Calamari. Association of American Geographers Newsletter 48(1).

Katherine G. Sammler's picture

Contact Information

Katherine G. Sammler
Assistant Professor


Ph.D. Geography, 2016, The University of Arizona
Graduate Certificate in GIS, 2012, The University of Arizona
M.S., 2009, Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona
B.S., 2005, Physics, University of Oregon

Dissertation Title

National Governance Of Offshore Volumes: Challenging Geometries, Geopolitics And Geophysicalities

Courses Taught

Primary Instructor
GEOG 150C Environment & Society
GEOG 170A Intro to Physical Geog
GEOG 230  Our Changing Climate 
GEOG 240 Dynamic Landscape
GEOG 416A Computer Cartography
STEM Camp: Act and Interact with Air, Land, & Sea, AZ K-12 Center
Lab Instructor
GEOG 330 Intro to Remote Sensing
GEOG 417/517 GIS for Natural & Social Sciences
GEOG 483/583 Geographic Applications of Remote Sensing
Teaching Assistant
NATS 101 Weather and Climate
GEOG 210 Political & Cultural Geography of Globalization
GEOG 302 Introduction to Sustainable Development