Franklin Graham

Visiting Assistant Professor of Geosciences and Environmental Studies

Franklin Graham

Office Location:Rieke Science Center - Room 142

Office Hours: Mon - Fri: By Appointment

Curriculum Vitae: View my CV

  • Professional
  • Biography


  • Ph.D., West Virginia University, 2011
  • M.A., History, St. John's University, 1998
  • B.A., Geography, University of Washington, 1995
  • B.A., History, Western Washington University, 1994


  • Sustainability: Global Issues, Global Perspectives Chapters p. 101-113 (Cognella Academic Publishing 2016) : View Book
  • Sustainability: Global Issues, Global Perspectives Chapters p. 21-36 (Cognella Academic Publishing 2016) : View Book
  • Conflict and Security in Africa Chapters p. 146-162 (James Currey 2013) : View Book

Selected Presentations

  • Association of American Geographers Annual Conference, Architectural Resilience in Mauritania, New Orleans, LA (2018)
  • Association of American Geographers Annual Conference, Development over biodiversity: Post-conflict development and its threat to conservation efforts in Somaliland, Chicago, IL (2015)

Selected Articles

  • Graham, Franklin, C. "We Eat With Different Spoons These Days; The Maintenance of Pastoralism as a Social Formation in the Sahara and Sahel." Human Geography Vol. 6, 2013: 46-59.
  • Graham, Franklin, C. "Plusieurs chemins: How different stakeholders at different scales in Malian society are fragmenting the state." Review of African Political Economy Vol. 39, 2012: 512-524.


  • 2016 American Institute of Maghreb Studies, Three Month Fellowship
  • 2006 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, Drought and Livelihood Change of Pastoralists in Mali and Niger

Professional Memberships/Organizations


I am an American geographer who has conducted extensive development and ethnographic work with pastoral groups across Africa for over eight years. These origins date back to 1997, when I was a volunteer case worker with African refugees at the DC Refugee Center, Washington, USA. It was during this experience that I began learning basic words and phrases in African languages as part of the programs facilitating the integration of refugee families into American society. Immediately following, I joined Peace Corps Mauritania, serving in the northern Adrar Region from 1999 to 2001. I worked in the domain of small enterprise development, health and agroforestry assisting displaced and sedentarized herders. It was during this experience that I became fluent in French and Arabic, languages that assisted my doctorate studies later. During my Ph.D. candidacy at West Virginia University, Morgantown, USA, I worked with Dr. Brent McCusker and earned a National Science Foundation grant to study food security among pastoralists in northern Mali and Niger from 2006 to 2009. It was during this period that ethnobotanical studies and the conservation of biodiversity were expressed as important concerns by local African peoples, a direction that influences my work and research interests today.

I defended and completed my dissertation entitled Contests Over Pastoralism in the southern Sahara and northern Sahel (see, graduating in May 2011. Since receiving my doctorate I have interviewed clandestine migrants at the Harmondsworth Detention Centre in the United Kingdom, some of whom were African and facing difficulties in either separating from their families or alienation in Europe. In 2012, I joined an ethnomedicine research team sponsored by Doctors without Borders in the Rajasthan Province, India. Here, I was a co-investigator conducting ethnographical fieldwork with traditional healers and apothecary owners to understand their use of local plants. With the financial support of a private consulting firm, Double Gemini Consulting, I was the principal investigator of dual-faceted research project looking at socioeconomic changes and ethnobotanical uses of local plants among pastoral groups in the Western Sahara (Morocco) and Mauritania in 2013.

Since my doctorate studies to present, I publish in peer-reviewed journals, including Human Geography and the Review of African Political Economy. I gravitate to work and research that creates both a greater awareness of Africa and empowers Africans through voice, action, and securing their rights to the natural resources present around them. I worked with Malagasy farmers to create ‘forest corridors’ in proximity to national parks in Madagascar last winter (2018-2019). I join the learning community of Pacific Lutheran University this Fall 2019.