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Paulami Banerjee, PhD

Paulami Banerjee

Visiting Assistant Professor
Public Policy and Administration
Environmental Research Building 2157
(208) 426-4311

Office Hours Spring 2020

By Appointment 

Courses Spring 2020

SPS 300: Communication in Public Sphere

Research Interests

Environmental Communication, Environmental Policy, Collaborative Decision-Making, Community-Based Natural Resource Management, Global Environmental Change, Qualitative Research Methods, South Asia.


Paulami Banerjee is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Public Policy and Administration Program, School of Public Service, at Boise State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering (with a focus on Environmental Communication) from The University of Texas at El Paso in 2019, and has M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in Geography from India.


In a world where limited socioeconomic, financial, and institutional capacities present an ever-increasing threat to global conservation, appropriately targeted efforts to synchronize conservation ideals with community priorities is of utmost importance. For developing countries with limited economic resources and high biodiversity threats, this becomes even more relevant. Within this context, Dr. Paulami Banerjee’s dissertation “Creating Spaces for Conversations on Conservation” explored ways to enable natural resource professionals and natural resource dependent communities to jointly develop locally relevant and adaptive problem solving approaches to forest management and conservation in Sikkim, the small, mountainous, landlocked northeastern state of India bordering Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet Autonomous region of China. The results of her study suggest important directions towards understanding and prioritizing people’s motivations and attitudes towards community-based natural resource management efforts. This knowledge, she posits, may serve as a valuable tool enabling natural resource professionals to bridge the schism between policy intent and action by formulating and implementing conservation plans that are both culturally appropriate and equipped to address the uncertainties of managing complex human-dominated systems across varied spatial and temporal scales. Dr. Banerjee has published her work as a book chapter in the edited book “Environmental Communication and Community: Constructive and destructive dynamics of social transformation”, New York: Routledge, and has co-authored an article “Credibility and Advocacy in Conservation Science” in the journal Conservation Biology in 2016.


At Boise State University, Dr. Banerjee teaches the undergraduate core curriculum SPS 300-Communication in Public Sphere. This course focuses on communication as a social scientific perspective with emphasis on the nexus between the diversity of human values, roles of constituency groups, and policy development. The course explore ways that humans, often as members of a lay public, participate in environmental management, particularly within nominally democratic societies. This includes an exploration of values, meanings, and discourses that define and construct human understanding of nature/environment. Within this intellectual context, the course examines how communication creates, shapes, and maintains the social realities used to make sense of decisions about how to negotiate relationships between humans and Earth. Through course readings, class discussions, and student projects, concepts such as “nature”, “environment”, “technology”, “natural resources,” “development”, and “progress” with respect to what they entail as communication phenomena are examined.

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