Department of Politics Faculty

Faculty and Staff

The faculty and staff of the Department of Politics is made up of a diverse group of instructors with research interests ranging from Media and Congress to Food Politics. As a student, you’ll have access to professors who know your name and are available to help guide you through your academic career at Humboldt State.

Our Faculty

J. Mark Baker

Office: FH 140
Office Hours: T 10-11am, W 1-2pm, F 11am-noon & by appt.
Email: j.mark.baker@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-3907

J. Mark Baker, Associate Professor

Graduate Coodinator, Environment and Community Program

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

It is a delight and an honor to teach at Humboldt State University, and to call the beautiful north coast of California my home. Prior to joining Humboldt State University in 2006, I spent eight years doing applied social science research on community forestry and related forms of community-based natural resources management in association with a nonprofit organization, the Sierra Institute for Environment and Community. Previously, I taught environmental policy and management and political ecology in the Environmental Studies Department of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. I completed both my M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at UC Berkeley, in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.

Ever since my days as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, I have been interested in understanding the multi-faceted relationship between community well-being and the environment. I have also sought to advance, through both teaching and research, the idea that community well-being and environmental sustainability are interdependent concepts. I am particularly interested in issues of equity, justice, collective action, community formation, and political authority as they bear upon environment-community relationships. I have pursued these research and teaching interests in both India and North America. Since the early 1980s I have been making regular trips to India, where I have long-standing research interests in community-based irrigation management in the western Himalaya. In North America I am interested in both understanding and advancing community-based approaches to environmental governance and resource management and stewardship that embody community and ecological sustainability. These research interests touch down in northwest California, where I have a sustained interest in understanding and documenting the socioeconomic characteristics and contributions of the north coast’s natural resources and watershed restoration sector.

California’s north coast offers a wonderful array of diverse examples of environment-community relationships – many of which I and my students draw upon in the courses I teach. Whether as subjects for classroom discussion or student research papers, topics such as the Klamath River conflict, dam removal, traditional ecological knowledge, forest policy, water management, watershed restoration – to name just a few – are all locally important and help weave the classroom together with the regional environmental, socio-economic, and political setting of Humboldt State University.

Courses Taught

  • PSCI 352 Water Politics
  • GEOG/PSCI 365 Political Ecology
  • EC 610 Environment & Community Research
  • EC 615 Graduate Colloquium
  • EC 630 Environmental Justice

Stephanie Burkhalter

Office: FH 135
Office Hours: MW 10:30-11:30am & by appt.
Email: sb82@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-3925

Stephanie Burkhalter, Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Washington

I joined the faculty of Humboldt State University in 2007 after I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Washington. I also hold an M.S. in Political Science from University of Oregon and an M.A. in Women’s Studies and Public Policy from the George Washington University. Before becoming an academic, I worked in Washington, D.C. in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, with a trails and parks advocacy group, and at the Library of Congress. While an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, I interned with the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, and I encourage any student who wants to pursue a career in American politics to intern in Washington, D.C.

My experience in the U.S. Congress taught me to value the work that members do, especially as they craft policy responses to major issues. My current research focuses on the communication strategies of Congress and the president. I am also interested in the theory and practice of deliberative democracy, and I have co-authored articles on deliberative processes. In 2001, I worked as part of a project advocating for the establishment of institutionalized citizen deliberation in the Washington State initiative process.

In the Department of Politics at Humboldt State I teach mainly in the “Advocacy and Institutions” emphasis; my courses include President and Congress, Media and Public Opinion, and Public Policy Processes. I’m interested in providing opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in research.

Courses Taught

  • PSCI 110 American Government
  • PSCI 210 Introduction to U.S. Politics
  • PSCI 220 Introduction to Political Theory
  • PSCI 350 The President and Congress
  • PSCI 354 Media and Public Opinion
  • PSCI 485 Senior Seminar: From Left to Right


Office: FH 130
Office Hours: W 8:30-10:30am & by appt.
Email: Joice.Chang@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-3914

Joice Chang, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Indiana University

J.D., Ohio State University

I received a joint Ph.D. in public policy and political science from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Prior to joining the faculty at Humboldt State University in 2013, I was a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, as well as a research analyst with the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. I hold a J.D from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and a B.S. from UC Berkeley.
Broadly, my research focuses on law, policy, and the environment. My dissertation was on the impacts of environmental voluntary programs on facility compliance and regulatory behaviors. Most recently, I worked on projects that examined energy and environmental issues in Indiana, as well as best practices for different criminal justice program areas. My current research centers on environmental voluntary agreements and legal implications of various environmental and energy policies.
I have taught courses in law and policy, legal processes, statistics, and sustainability management. My teaching interests are primarily in the areas of law, policy, and research methods.

Courses Taught

  • PSCI 210 Introduction to United States Politics
  • PSCI 295 Political Research & Analysis
  • PSCI 313 Politics of Criminal Justice
  • PSCI 410 American Constitutional Law
  • PSCI 412 Legal Research

Daniel Faulk

Office: FH 152
Office Hours: For PSCI 110: T 4:20-4:50pm,W 8-8:45pm & R 4:20-5pm. For PSCI 358: T 7:50-8:30p.m.
Email: faulk@hotmail.com
Phone: 707-442-8563
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Dan Faulk, Lecturer

M.A., Humboldt State University

I graduated from Humboldt State University in 1977, won a California State Assembly Fellowship, worked as a legislative consultant to the Chair of the Committee on Local Government and as the environmental, natural resource and utility consultant to the Speaker of the California State Assembly.

Then, I ran political campaigns.

I served as a campaign manager for local candidates and as Press Secretary, twice, in
northern California, for two state propositions. I worked as a political consultant to the California Association of Midwives and North Coast Citizens. Eventually I found a calling on local radio where I wrote and produced, with Linda Pozel, “ People and Poisons” and eventually wrote and produced over 250 installments of “ The Corporate Crime Report,” which was broadcast nationally by Pacifica Radio Group.

My academic training is in political economy and political theory. My teaching focus is on ecological analysis: that is systems thinking. I taught political organizing at Petrolia High School to 11th and 12th graders and to 5th -8th graders at Mistwood Education Center. I founded and directed a private high school, Tierra Madre High School, focused on community based education. I spent five years teaching government on the local Hoopa Reservation. I traveled far and wide in northern California as an academic migrant worker.

My educational philosophy is stolen from Aristotle: “What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing”.

Courses Taught

  • PSCI 110 American Government
  • PSCI 358 Political Advocacy
  • PSCI 359 California Government

Photo Coming Soon

Office: N/A
Office Hours: N/A
Email: joshua.green@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-4495

Joshua Green, Lecturer

Courses Taught

  • PSCI 110 American Government


Office: FH 137
Office Hours: By appointment
Email: Alison.Holmes@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-4117

Alison Holmes, Assistant Professor

Program Leader, International Studies Program

PhD, London School of Economics

Born and raised in Oklahoma, I headed to the Windy City and Northwestern University at 16. I spent a summer volunteering in Northern Ireland and quickly changed my major to social policy. After graduating in 1985, I went straight to the University of Chicago where I learned more about policy, helped found a campus/community volunteer program and spent every spare moment in the UK.

In 1987 I moved to London and got a job with the Liberal Democrats, the third party in British politics, doing research and writing briefs and speeches on Northern Ireland. When the new Leader took the portfolio I moved to his office, but wound up working more on the 1992 election campaign. Because one good campaign deserves another, I stayed until the 1997 election and became the National Campaign Manager. Ten years and a doubling of LibDem representation in Parliament later, I left the party to join the BBC. They called it corporate communication strategy, but it was really campaigning and I helped launch BBC News 24 and BBC Online. Three years on, I was headhunted by a public relations firm to advise clients on corporate social responsibility issues until I was recruited again, this time to be the Managing Director of the London office of the largest UK/US business membership organization.

Meanwhile, in between elections, I enrolled at the London School of Economics, first for a Diploma in World Politics and then a PhD (part-time). I was awarded my doctorate in International Relations in 2005 and celebrated by leaving the private sector. My first foray into education was a teaching/research fellowship at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University – while also working as speechwriter for the US Ambassador in London. Looking to come home after 21 years abroad, I accepted the Pierre Keller Fellowship in Transatlantic Studies at Yale University and stayed two years. Nearing the end of the fellowship, I couldn’t resist the chance to be a consultant to the 2010 Liberal Democrat Campaign and was thrilled to be part of the team that gained the party (and my old friends) a place in government. There was an opportunity to return to British politics – but I had a better offer here in Arcata.

My research interests (and current book projects) involve British politics, transatlantic diplomacy and international relations theory. In my spare time I enjoy digging in the garden, walking the beaches of Humboldt and listening to lots of live jazz.

Courses Taught

HSU:

  • INTL 210 Introduction to International Studies
  • PSCI 230 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • PSCI 441 International Law

Previously:

  • Public Relations (London College of Communication)
  • Globalization and International Relations Theory (Oxford)
  • Art of Negotiation and Diplomacy (Leicester -UK)
  • UK/US Relations (Yale)



Office: FH 145
Office Hours: MWF 1-2:50pm, T 11am-12:50pm & by appt.
Email: kml3@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-5830

Kathleen (Kathy) Lee, Lecturer

M.A., Humboldt State University

My path to teaching here at HSU was somewhat untraditional. Although I have been intensely interested in politics for as long as I can remember, my first career was in nursing. During the period that I was taking time out from the ICU to stay at home with young children, I volunteered for organizations such as Physicians for Social Responsibility and Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament. What I discovered was that if one sought to change government policy for the better, one had best be informed about that policy area and all the processes necessary to change it. That is why I choose to explore government and politics and to share that knowledge with students.

Although political science is an area of study to which we bring out own sets of values and biases, it has always been my goal to help students learn, not what to think about political issues, but how to think about them. The late Senator Patrick Moynihan once said, “We are all entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts.” To that end, I strive to present the most up to date factual information as well as analytical models that can help students understand how policy makers use (or abuse) factual information. Because problems we face have complex causes, my approach is multidisciplinary, exploring the scientific, psychological, social and cultural factors that influence political actions.

Regardless of one’s political ideology, it is clear that humanity is facing unprecedented challenges in terms of population, resource scarcity and a changing biosphere. My overarching goal is to provide students with the some of the tools they will need to recognize those challenges and become part of a positive process to address them.

Courses Taught

  • PSCI 110 American Government
  • PSCI 210 Intro to U.S. Politics
  • PSCI 306 Environmental Politics
  • PSCI 330 Political Regimes and Change: Middle East
  • PSCI 359 California Government

John Meyer

Office: FH 138
Office Hours: MW 1-2pm (in FH 138), T 2-3pm (in Library Café) & by appt.
Email: john.meyer@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-4497
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John M. Meyer, Professor

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

After college, I worked six years as a political organizer in Colorado, Washington D.C., and Ohio. The work was fulfilling, but I wanted to develop a broader perspective on the political world and where citizen activism might take us. This led me to pursue a Ph.D. in political science and an academic career.

Throughout my career I’ve been motivated by the conviction that our human relationship with the non-human environment is vitally important to our social and political values (and vice versa). As a result, I’ve immersed myself in the study of political theory and environmental ideas. At Humboldt, I am privileged to work in a place where many students and fellow faculty share my passions.

My current research focuses on ways in which environmental concerns can become the basis for effective social criticism. This has led me in several directions, including a critical analysis of the liberal concept of property; reflection upon the possibilities for — and limitations of — a democratic conception of sacrifice; and the tension between populist and paternalist appeals in environmental argument. I’m currently finishing up a book on some of these themes entitled Toward a Resonant Environmentalism: Property, Freedom, and Citizenship in Everyday Practice (MIT Press, 2015). I’ve written and edited other books, and published articles, essays, and reviews in both academic journals and political magazines. I’ve also been active in cultivating an international network of scholars who have similar concerns; we’ve created a listserv, an annual academic workshop, and working group on “environmental political theory.”

I was the founding coordinator of the interdisciplinary M.A. program in “Environment and Community” (2000-2004), have served as the faculty advisor for the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT), facilitated an effort to establish a new environmental studies major, and have served on the university’s sustainability steering committee. I am also a representative on the University Senate.

Courses Taught

  • PSCI 220 Introduction to Political Theory
  • PSCI 323 Contemporary Political Theory
  • PSCI 327 Radical Political Thought
  • PSCI 373 Politics of Sustainability
  • PSCI 485 Senior Seminar: Property and Politics
  • PSCI 485 Senior Seminar: Democracy
  • PSCI 485 Capstone Seminar: Politics of Everyday Life
  • EC 620 Politics of Sustainability


Office: FH 132
Office Hours: TR10:30-11:30am & by appt.
Email: Derek.Shaw@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-3148

Derek Shaw, Lecturer

Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder

I finished my Ph.D. in 1996 at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Since then I have made my home in Tofino, BC, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. I recently moved to Eureka in order to teach at HSU and I have been pleasantly surprised by how friendly people are here.
I have had a wide variety of jobs since completing my Ph.D., some academic, some definitely not. For example, I have worked as a fisheries observer, kayak guide, and environmental consultant. I served two terms as an elected municipal councilor in Tofino. For nine years, every summer I conducted 6-8 weeks of marine-based bird surveys in the inlets of coastal British Columbia.
On the academic side, I have taught in the Agricultural Sciences department at the University of British Columbia, the Phlisophy department at Simon Fraser University, and the Environmental Studies department at the University of Victoria. For the past four years, I taught for the International Honors Program on an academic year-long university program called Beyond Globalization. This program takes a group of around 30 undergraduates to Tanzania, India, New Zealand, and Mexico to explore issues around culture, ecology, and social justice through cross-cultural and trans-disciplinary perspectives.
The focus of my teaching and research these days is in the area of global politics and economics, with particular emphasis on the role of economic forces in shaping the current global situation. I am particularly interested in the history of economic relationships and the ability of international institutions to address pressing issues such as climate change, species loss, and social justice.


Selma Sonntag

Office: FH 132
Office Hours:
Email: sks1@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-3917

Selma (Sam) Sonntag, Professor

Ph.D., University of Washington

My research focuses on “language politics”: the politics of language choice and use. I have researched and written about the English-Only movement in the United States, the conflict between French and Dutch speakers in Belgium, and the language demands of Nepali-speakers in the Darjeeling area of the Himalayas. Most recently, I have been thinking and writing about the spread of English globally and the political and cultural implications of this. This is the topic of my book, The Local Politics of Global English: Case Studies in Linguistic Globalization (Lexington Books, 2003). My research interests stem from a love of languages, cultivated while growing up mainly outside of the United States, my home country, and being the natural “interpreter” for my traveling family.

My teaching interests are primarily in the areas of comparative politics and globalization. In the summer of 2008, I taught a course on contemporary politics and economics in South Asia in Bangalore, India, through USAC, a study abroad consortium to which HSU belongs.

I received my Ph.D. in Political Science and B.A. in South Asia Regional Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. I joined the Political Science faculty at Humboldt State in 1986. In 2007-2008, I spent the year as the Fulbright Research Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada. This was my second Fulbright award, the first being in the early 1990s when I spent a year in India and Nepal. Traveling remains a passion of mine, especially when I can count on returning to the beauty and serenity of Humboldt County!

Courses Taught

  • PSCI 230 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • PSCI 303 Third World Politics
  • INTL 310 Global Economics and Politics
  • PSCI 330 Political Regimes and Change: Asia
  • PSCI 360 Political Economy
  • PSCI 485 Senior Seminar: Politics and Culture

Noah Zerbe

Office: FH 139
Office Hours: T 8:30-10am, W 1-3pm & by appt.
Email: noah.zerbe@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-3911
» View my website

Noah Zerbe, Professor

Department Chair

Ph.D., York University, Toronto

I received my Ph.D. in international political economy from York University in Toronto in 2002. I then spent two years working at the Catholic University of Louvain just outside Brussels before joining the faculty at Humboldt State in the fall of 2004. I’ve spent a fair bit of time abroad—in places ranging from Belgium to Zimbabwe, from Canada to Russia.

In my research, I’m interested in exploring the intersection of politics, economics, and technology. I’ve published on questions arising from technological innovation in agriculture, particularly the debate over genetically modified foods in Europe, the United States, and Southern Africa. My current work takes me in a new direction, looking at the local food movement as a response to technological and economic imperatives of globalization. With our large number of cooperatives, community-supported agriculture, and farmers’ markets, Humboldt County is the perfect place to explore such a question.

Most of my classes are in the areas of international relations and comparative politics. I teach courses on development, Southern Africa, the politics of science and technology, global environmental politics, and the politics of food. I also teach our award-winning Model United Nations course, in which students participate in inter-collegiate competitions representing UN member states and debating issues currently under consideration by the actual United Nations.

Courses Taught

  • PSCI 110 American Government
  • PSCI 230 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • PSCI 240 Introduction to International Relations
  • PSCI 280 Discussion Seminar (IR on Film)
  • PSCI 303 Third World Politics
  • INTL 310 Global Economics and Politics
  • PSCI 330 Political Regimes and Change: Africa
  • PSCI 360 Political Economy
  • PSCI 364 Technology and Development
  • PSCI 376/77 Model United Nations
  • PSCI 485 Senior Seminar: Food Politics
  • EC 620 Globalism, Capitalism, and Environment
  • INTL 310 Global Politics and Economics

Our Staff

Peggy Stewart

Office: FH 180
Email: Peggy.Stewart@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-4494

Peggy Stewart, Administrative Support Assistant

When I joined the History/Politics/Environment & Community M.A. Program office in August 2009, it furthered a connection with HSU and Founders Hall that began when I came to HSU as a student to study English and geography. After I graduated in 2006, I worked as a copy editor at The Eureka Reporter until the newspaper folded, at which point I returned to HSU as a staff member. I feel very fortunate to be working in a university environment and especially in the History/Politics/Environment & Community office. Personally, I love books, sports (I was a member of the HSU women’s basketball team as a student), and cooking.


Photo Coming Soon

Office: FH 180
Email: llw7001@humboldt.edu
Phone: 707-826-4493

Linda Wilson, Administrative Support Coordinator

I began in 1992 working part-time in the History Department and now serve as the Coordinator for History and Politics and the Environmental & Community Masters Program. I have served with ten different department chairs and hope I have helped them achieve their respective goals while maintaining consistency and efficiency within the departments. My greatest joy and source of pride is my two children. I particularly love to travel including an annual sojourn to the Sundance Film Festival, Working at Humboldt is a unique experience. Every year there is new group of eager yet anxious students to meet. My most and least treasured day of the year is graduation when I watch students I have seen through tribulation and triumph walk down the aisle to claim their diploma.


Emeritus Faculty

William Daniel

Office:
Email: wrd1@humboldt.edu
Phone:

William Daniel, Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., Southern Illinois University


JeDon Emenhiser

Office:
Email: jae1@humboldt.edu
Phone:

JeDon Emenhiser, Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., University of Minnesota


Albert Harris

Office:
Email: awh2@humboldt.edu
Phone:

Albert Harris, Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., University of Washington