Courtney Gallaher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Fields of Study

  • Women in science
  • Sustainable agriculture and food systems
  • Environmental management and sustainability



  • Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture
  • Soils
  • Human-Environment Interactions
  • Environmental Management and Sustainability
  • Gender Issues
  • International Development
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Specific Research Endeavors

As an associate professor in the departments of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences (GAS) and the Center for the Study of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (CSWGS) program. I have broad research interests that integrate aspects of both physical and human-environment geography.  I am most interested in thinking about how we sustainably manage our environment in ways that incorporates social justice concerns.  

I have extensive experience working in Eastern and Southern Africa on issues related to food security and urban agriculture, including thinking about exposure to environmental contamination and the role of urban agriculture as an adaptation to household stress related to climate change. I have also collaborated on issues related to sustainable agriculture in the United States, including examining farmer motivations for cover cropping, and soil phosphorous availability in conventional and organic cropping systems. 

Another avenue of my research examines environmental risk perception in a variety of settings. I have collaborated on projects related to farmer risk perception of environmental contamination, perceived risk related to natural hazards in the Republic of Dominica, drivers of spatial risk perception in the United States, and environmental risk perception and decision making in the Riviera Maya of Mexico. 

A third avenue of my research has focused on gender-based discrimination in the sciences, examining how the current tools being used to encourage women’s participation in STEM often promote individual responses to structural barriers.   

Courses Taught

  • GEOG 101/102 - Introduction to Environmental Geography
  • GEOG 425/525 - Geography of Food and Agriculture
  • GEOG 453/553 - Environmental Management
  • WGSS 201 Global - Gender Issues
  • WGSS/GEOG 324 - Women in Science
  • WGSS 435 - Gender and the Environment
  • WGSS 610 - Research in Women's and LGBTQ+ Studies

Selected Publications

  • Myers, K., Gallaher, C.M., and McCarragher, S. (2019). STEMinism. Journal of Gender Studies, 1-13.
  • Furness, W., Gallaher, C.M. (2018) Food Access, Food Security, and Community Gardens in Rockford, IL. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 23 (4) 414-430.
  • Gallaher, C. M. (2017) Regreening Kibera: How urban agriculture has changed the physical and social environment in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. In A.M.G.A. WinklerPrins (ed.) Global Urban Agriculture: Convergence of Theory and Practice between North and South, CABI International.
  • Gallaher, C. M., and WinklerPrins, A. M. (2015). Effective use of mixed methods in African livelihoods research. African Geographical Review, 35(1) 1-11.
  • Luo, W., Pelletier, J., Duffin, K., Ormand, C., Hung, W., Shernoff, D., Zhai, X., Iverson, E., Whalley, K., Gallaher, C., and Furness, W. Advantages of computer simulation in enhancing students' learning about landform evolution: A case study using the Grand Canyon. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Accepted Nov. 12, 2015
  • Gallaher, C. M., M. Njenga, N.K. Karanja, A. M.G.A. WinklerPrins. 2015. Creating Space: Sack gardening as a livelihood strategy in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, 5(2), 155-173
  • Gallaher, C.M., D. Mwaniki, M. Njenga, N. Karanja, A. WinklerPrins. 2013. Real or perceived: The Environmental Health Risks of Urban Sack Gardening in Kibera Slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Ecohealth 10 (1) 9-20.
  • Gallaher, C.M., J.M. Kerr, M. Njenga, N.K. Karanja, A.M.G.A. WinklerPrins. 2013. Urban agriculture, social capital, and food security in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Agriculture and Human Values, 30(3) 389-404.
  • Gallaher, C.M., S. Snapp. 2013. Organic management and legume presence maintained phosphorus bioavailability in a 17-year field crop experiment. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 30(3), 211-222


Department of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences
Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality

Davis Hall 211


Ph.D., Michigan State University