Emma S. Norman, Ph.D.


My work engages at the intersection between water governance, political geography, and environmental and social justice.  
I am serving as the Chair of the Native Environmental Science Department at Northwest Indian College and am a long-term collaborator with the Program on Water Governance (at the University of British Columbia).

I served as a Whiteley Scholar in residence at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Labs for the past three summers, where I completed my thrid manuscript: Governing Transboundary Waters: Canada, the United States, and Indigenous Communitieswhich was awarded the Julian Minghi Award for the best book in Political Geography in 2015.

New and Notable:  Governing Transboundary Waters Wins the Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award for Best Book in Political Geography! 

About Governing Transboundary Waters: 

This book explores how colonial politics impact water governance – particularly for Indigenous communities spanning international borders.  The book examines the cultural politics of ‘transboundary water governance’ in a postcolonial context and highlights how Indigenous-led efforts are reframing water governance and politics. The hopeful cases provide insight into the power of reframing water governance by and for Indigenous Peoples. 

For more information, or to purchase, please visit: Routledge Press | Amazon | Flier - Here

Praise for Governing Transboundary Waters: 

"Bringing together politics of coloniality and indigenous struggles for territorial, cultural and resource rights with water politics at the US-Canada border, this work makes significant conceptual and policy relevant contributions. Skillfully weaving diverse narratives, experiences, and moments of relevance for Indigenous communities on both sides of the border, the book makes for an inspiring read that explores key debates for contemporary water governance." 
--- Karen Bakker and Leila Harris, Co-Directors, Program on Water Governance, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Second Edition available!: Water without Borders: Canada, the U.S. and Shared Waters

Praise for Water without Borders:
"Water Without Borders offers important lessons for managing water across one of the longest political borders in the world: Canada – U.S. frontier. This book shows how the increased participation by citizen activists and watershed groups is improving water governance. Water Without Borders is a must read for anyone interested in protecting shared waterways and fortifying strong communities for the 21st Century."
--- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
President and Founder of Waterkeeper Alliance

To order, see: University of Toronto Press   ~  Amazon 

For more information and to download policy briefs:  waterwithoutborders.info 

All proceeds go to Waterkeeper Alliance, “a global movement of on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect over 100,000 miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.”


Watch Videos from 2014 World Water Day, The Water - Energy Nexus! 

Op- Ed on Columbia River Treaty in Hill Times (Ottawa) Transboundary Water Governance Needs New Approach: Link Here

New National Science Foundation Funding

Collaborative Research: Partnerships for Geoscience Education: Bridging Shared Waters for Geoscience Studies $825,000 (in partnership with Western Washington University $1,625,000 total) Descrption here

Evaluating the Impacts of Cross-Curricular, Place-Based Pedagogy to Enhance Student Success ($1,249,999) Description here

CNH: Managing Impacts of Global Transport of Atmosphere-Surface Exchangeable Pollutants in the Context of Global Change

Project Website 

This project helps to understand how we can better manage pollutants that travel long distances in the atmosphere and cause harm to humans and ecosystems.  We aim to understand the mechanisms in place to govern these “invisible” and widespread extraterritorial pollutants, and to make recommendations on how to better mediate their negative impacts.

Indigenous space, citizenry, and the cultural politics of transboundary water governance. Link Here

Indigenous space, citizenry, and the cultural politics of transboundary water governance   

Water governance and the politics of scale: How thinking critically about scale can help create better water governance. Link Here

Dr. Emma S. Norman

Department Chair
Native Environmental Science
Northwest Indian College
2522 Kwina Road
Bellingham, WA 98226 USA