Courtney Gallaher

Research Emphasis

Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture, Soils, Human-Environment Interactions, Gender Issues, International Development, Sub-Saharan Africa

Specific Research Endeavors

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and the Women’s Studies program. I have broad research interests that integrate aspects of both physical and human-environment geography. My most recent research has focused on urban agriculture in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya, looking at the impacts of a specific type of urban agriculture on household food security and people’s exposure to environmental contaminants. In other research, I have looked at community-based forest management in Kenya, soil phosphorous availability in conventional and organic cropping systems in Michigan and farmer adoption of new irrigation technologies in southern Malawi.

Frequently Taught Courses

GEOG 101/102: Survey of Physical Geography 
GEOG/WOMS 324: Women in Science 
GEOG 453/553: Environmental Management 
WOMS 235: Women Across Cultures & Centuries
WOMS 630: Research in Women's Studies

Representative Publications

Gallaher, C. M., M. Njenga, N. Karanja, A. WinklerPrins. 2013. Urban agriculture, social capital and food security in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Agriculture and Human Value, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 30 (3) 389-404.

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., S.S. Snapp. 2013.Organic management and legume presence maintained phosphorus bioavailability in a 17-year field crop experiment. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. Accepted Sept. 23, 2013.

Gallaher, C.M. and M. Njenga. 2013. Urban Agriculture. In, Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, Springer Reference. Accepted Feb. 23, 2013.

Gallaher, C. M., M. Njenga, N.K. Karanja, A. M.G.A. WinklerPrins. Creating Space: Sack gardening as a livelihood strategy in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development. In review.


Assistant Professor 
Office: Davis Hall 211


Ph.D., Michigan State University

Contact Us

Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences
Davis Hall, Room 118
815-753-6872 (Fax)

Directions and Maps