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Emily Hite, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Sociology and Anthropology


Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder
M.S. in Environmental Studies, Florida International University
B.S. in Environmental Science, Drexel University

Research Interests

My research is broadly concerned with the justice and equity of climate governance processes, with a specific focus on the cultural implications of local to global decision-making regarding newly proposed hydropower projects. I conduct mixed methods ethnographic research with dam-impacted communities in the United States and in Latin America, as well as at international climate meetings. My long-term field site is in Costa Rica, working with the Brörán peoples living in Térraba territory, and increasingly my focus is on the dynamics of managing the Colorado and Mississippi River basins. I conduct event ethnography at UNFCCC COP Climate meetings and am co-guest editing a special issue on COP27 for Climate & Development. My research is interdisciplinary and is found in Journal of Political Ecology, Social & Natural Resources, Annals of Anthropological Practice, and Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research.

For more information about my teaching and research please see my personal website: Click here.

Publications and Media Placements

Hite, Emily B. The Many-headed Hydra: Assessing the Indigenous-hydropower cycle in Costa Rica. Journal of Political Ecology (In Press)

Hite, Emily B. Methane pledges and the future of hydropower, In Special Issue: Negotiating the Crisis: Critical Perspectives on Climate Governance, Hotspots. Fieldsites,
June 23. (2022)

Hite, Emily B., Garvin, J., Slayback, D., Burke, E., Callahan, G., Joyce, P., and Whittaker, K. “Exploring the human-nature dynamics of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha‘apai, Earth’s newest landmass.” In Special Issue: Environmental and societal impacts of past volcanic eruptions—integrating the geosciences with the historical, anthropological, and archaeological sciences. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 401. (2020)

Honors and Awards

  • Graduate Instructor Appreciation Award, University of Colorado Boulder (2021)
  • Haskell-Houghtelin Scholarship, University of Colorado Boulder (2017)
  • Willena D. Cartwright Scholarship, University of Colorado Boulder (2017)