Associate Research Scholar



Jesse Rodenbiker is an Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University with the Center on Contemporary China and an Assistant Teaching Professor of Geography at Rutgers University. Rodenbiker is a human-environment geographer researching environmental governance, urbanization, and social inequality in China and globally. His first book Ecological States: Politics of Science and Nature in Urbanizing China (Cornell University Press, 2023), draws on long-term fieldwork to examine how ecology has become instrumental to state power, urbanization, and involuntary resettlement in China.

Supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, Fulbright, Social Science Research Council, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, among others, Rodenbiker has written for Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Land Use Policy, and other venues. He has served as a Cornell University Atkinson Postdoctoral Research Associate in Sustainability with the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and as Visiting Scholar at Sichuan University School of Public Administration and Department of Land Resource Management. He holds a doctorate in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley.

Selected Publications

Rodenbiker, J. (2023). Ecological States: Politics of Science and Nature in Urbanizing China.                                              Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 

Rodenbiker, J. (2023) Urban Oceans: Social Differentiation in the City and the SeaEnvironment and Planning E: Nature and Space. 6(1) 412-432. 

Rodenbiker, J., N.O. Therkildsen, C.C Li, (2023). Global Shark Fins in Local Contexts: Multi-scalar Dynamics Between Hong Kong Markets and Mid-Atlantic Fisheries. Ecology and Society. 28(3): 5.

Rodenbiker, J. (2023). China's Ecological Migration from the Ground Up. New Security Beat. 6 (15).

Rodenbiker, J. (2023). Ecological Militarization: Engineering Territory in the South China Sea. Political Geography. 102932.

Rodenbiker, J. (2022). Social Justice in China's Cities: Urban-Rural Restructuring and Justice-oriented PlanningTransactions in Planning and Urban Research. 1(1-2): 184-198.

Rodenbiker, J. (2022) Green Silk Roads, Global Development, and Environmental Governance: Belt and Road Infrastructures on the Sino-East African FrontierCritical Asian Studies. DOI: 10.1080/14672715.2022.2150249 

Rodenbiker, J. (2022) Geoengineering the Sublime: China and the Aesthetic StateMade in China Journal. 7(2): 140-145 

Rodenbiker, J (2022). Adapting Participatory Research Methods for Reflexive Environmental Management. Qualitative Research. 22(4): 559-577.

Woodworth, M., Ren, X., Rodenbiker, J., Santi, E., Tan, Y., Zhang, L., and Zhou, Y. (2022). Researching China During the COVID-19 Pandemic. in Stanley Brunn (Ed.) COVID-19 and Emerging World of ad-hoc Geographies. Springer Publishing,


Rodenbiker, J. (2021). Making Ecology Developmental: China’s Environmental Sciences and Green Modernization in Global ContextAnnals of the American Association of Geographers, 111(7). 1931-1948.

Liu, R., Jiang, J., Yu, C., Rodenbiker, J., & Jiang, Y. (2021). The Endowment Effect Accompanying Villagers' Withdrawal from Rural Homesteads: Field Evidence From Chengdu. China. Land Use Policy101, 105107.

Rodenbiker, J. (2020). Urban Ecological Enclosures: Conservation Planning, Peri-urban Displacement, and Local State FormationInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 44(4), 691-710.

Rodenbiker, J. (2020). Sustainability as Environmental Justice: Uneven Inclusion into China's Ecological Cities. in Shades of Green: Notes on Eco-Civilisation. (Made in China Notebooks 1) edited by Luigi Tomba and Olivier Krischer, Canberra: Australia National University Press.

Rodenbiker, J. (2020). China's Global Reach: Urban Social Lives of the More-than-Human. Society and Space, (4) 8.

Rodenbiker, J. (2019). Uneven Incorporation: Volumetric Transitions in Peri-urban China's Conservation Zones. Geoforum104, 234-243.

Rodenbiker, J. (2017). Superscribing Sustainability: The Production of China’s Urban Waterscapes. UPLanD-Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design2(3), 71-86.