Meet the Team


Climate HQ was created to empower SF State's diverse students, staff, and faculty to become climate justice leaders. By actively advancing climate justice both within California and beyond, we strive to create a global impact in addressing climate challenges and fostering just and sustainable solutions.

Guided by our core value of climate justice, we are investing in people & community by developing equity-minded initiatives that reach across SF State to the broader CSU system to address climate change. Together, we are training student leaders, creating empowering events, and transforming our campus to face today's greatest climate justice issues.

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Co - Directors and Climate HQ Staff

Kai Burrus

Kai Burrus (She/They) - Co-Director

During her time at SF State, Dr. Burrus has broadened her focus from being a small-scale cultivator of equity and inclusion in the classroom and laboratory to a large-scale advocate for equity and inclusion in her department, across campus, and in the broader community. After 6 lovely years as the Chair of Biology, Dr. Burrus is now shifting the focus of her research, education, and action to climate change with a focus on training students from diverse backgrounds to become leaders in the field. She is also the co-lead on an NSF ADVANCE project that aims to increase the participation of women and BIPOC in STEM fields. Dr. Burrus is proud to be a queer scientist and is an avid amateur photographer who lives in San Francisco with her spouse, son, and dog.


Aritree Samanta

Aritree Samanta (She/Her) - Co-Director

Dr. Samanta is an Associate Professor in the School of the Environment at SFSU. She centers equity and justice in her teaching, research, and engagement with students and communities. Dr. Samanta proposes new and more meaningful engagement with the frontline stakeholders and communities confronting climate change in her research. She engages, mentors, and trains undergraduate, often first-generation students, and students from underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds in research so that they see themselves as active producers of knowledge and not passive consumers. Dr. Samanta currently also serves as the chair of the SFSU-wide steering committee for the interdisciplinary undergraduate Climate Change Certificate. 


Autumn Thoyre

Autumn Thoyre (She/Her) - Co-Director

Dr. Thoyre is an Associate Professor in the School of the Environment. In her role as Interim Co-Director of this new school, she supports a community that prepares students to become environmental justice leaders. Her research contributes to our understanding of the equity implications of climate change mitigation by analyzing the politics of sustainable energy. Dr. Thoyre is committed to inclusive, anti-racist, student-centered teaching, focusing on environmental justice, climate policy, and energy systems. Dr. Thoyre enjoys reading and writing speculative fiction and can often be found hiking, swimming, climbing trees, and gardening with her partner and their 4- and 8-year-old kids.


Lisa Galli

Lisa Galli (She/Her) - Budget Specialist

Lisa Galli is Climate HQ's Budget Specialist. She graduated from SFSU with degrees in Accounting and Cell/Molecular Biology. In 1999, she was hired by Dr. Burrus to run their research lab. Currently, Lisa continues doing research in SFSU's Biology Department and has also transitioned to managing grants and their associated budgets. Lisa was recently hired by Climate HQ to manage its budget and facilitate their objectives to bring about transformative change to the SFSU campus and beyond.


Alcides Fuentes

Alcides Fuentes (He/They) -  Program and Communications Specialist

A first-generation immigrant from El Salvador, Alcides holds the role of Program and Communications Specialist at Climate HQ. Having grown up in the Bay Area, with a background spanning Global Climate Activism, Digital Media, and Higher Ed, he aims to utilize his experiences to connect students to Climate HQ's initiatives and the larger, ever-expanding Environmental Justice Movement. In the past, he has worked with organizations such as the Sunrise Movement, where he created oral history videos chronicling local community organizers. Alcides’ dream is to bridge together his two passions of Global Environmental Justice and Digital Media Communications in order to bring higher awareness to these topics in a way that is entertaining, engaging, and gets people excited about Climate Action and shaping a better, and brighter future.


Student Staff

Zoe Enriquez

Zoe Enriquez - Graphic Design and Visual Strategy Student Lead

Zoe is a fourth-year Visual Communication Design student at San Francisco State University. Prior to attending SFSU, she received an Associate’s Degree in Communication Studies at Las Positas College in Livermore, CA. Throughout her studies as a VCD major at SFSU, Zoe has gained strong, structural design skills and a knack for creating compelling layouts. She is proficient at Adobe Suite and will utilize her design skills as a Program and Communications intern and Design Lead. Zoe is excited to use visual design as a tool to create a positive global impact through ClimateHQ.


Mikayla Trujillo

Mikayla Trujillo - Videography and Content Production Student Lead

Mikayla Trujillo is a third-year Communications student with a minor in Cinema at San Francisco State University. Currently, she has the title of Videography and Production Lead for Climate HQ, and she is committed to environmental justice and creating content to bring awareness around the subject in a way that makes people want to be involved. She urges communities to become involved and strives to create a safe space where people feel as if their actions make an impact. Mikayla can be found in her free time crocheting, thrifting, or practicing traditional dance.  


Faculty and Staff Leadership

Adrienne Cool
Adrienne Cool
Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Climate Action Fellows
Photo of Gopal
Gopal Dayaneni
Faculty in Race and Resistance Studies
Climate Certificate Capstone Experience
Caitlin Steele
Caitlin Steele
Director of Sustainability and Energy
Climate Symposium
Sheldon Gen
Sheldon Gen
Professor of Public Administration
School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement
Geoff Desa
Geoff Desa
Professor of Management
Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business Management
Constance Gordon
Constance Gordon
Assistant Professor in Communication Studies
Climate Ambassadors
Erica Pulley
Erica Pulley
Lecturer Faculty in Broadcast & Electronic Communications
Annual Events Committee
Savita Kumari Malik
Director of Curriculum & Faculty Development
Metro College Success Program
Kevin Simonin
Kevin Simonin
Associate Professor of Biology
College of Science and Engineering
Stephanie Sisk-Hilton
Professor in the Department of Elementary Education
PK - 12 Climate Justice Certificate for Teachers
Charli Sakari
Charli Sakari ( She/Her/Hers )
Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
PK - 12 Climate Justice Certificate for Teachers
Zubaida Qamar ( She/Her/Hers )
Associate Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics
Campus Farm