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E. Edna Wangui

Dr. E. Edna Wangui, portrait
Professor & Chair
Lindley N382, Athens Campus

Office Hours

Monday, 9 to 11 a.m.; Wednesday, 2 to 4 p.m.

Recent News


Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2004


  • Gender
  • Rural livelihoods and landscape change in East Africa

My research examines the gendered dimensions of rural development and rural livelihood change, environmental conservation, and climate change adaptation. Currently I am examining the gendered dynamics of sustainable land management practices in the Upper Tana watershed in Central Kenya. I have also looked at the gendered consequences of climate, land use/cover and livelihood change among pastoralists in Africa’s drylands. Interactions of biophysical and socio-economic processes have forced pastoralists formerly dependent on migration into more sedentary livelihoods. From an environment and development perspective, it is important to understand the nature of these transitions in order to critically think about better intervention measures for environmental conservation and social and economic progress. A critical starting point is an examination of local knowledge and local practices on which any external intervention should build on.

My research has focused on three specific areas: 1) Identifying the nature and root causes of land use/cover and livelihood change, 2) Linking land use/cover and livelihood change to gender relations and gendered labor availability within the household. 3) Investigating the livelihood factors that influence the nutrition security of grandparent caregivers of AIDS orphans. Over the years my research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Canadian International Development and Research Council, and the International Fund for Agriculture and Development.

Courses Taught

  • GEOG 1310 Globalization and the Developing World
  • GEOG 3310/5310 Geography of Africa
  • GEOG 3430 Global Issues in Environment
  • GEOG 4450/5450 Gender, Environment and Development
  • GEOG 6310 Regional Seminar on Africa –focus on Environment and Development
  • CAS 1415 Introduction to Sustainability

Representative Publications

Wangui, E. E. 2018 Adaptation to current and future climate in pastoral communities across Africa. ORE: Climate Science DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.604

Wangui, E. E., and Smucker, T. A 2018 Gendered Opportunities and Constraints to Scaling Up: A Case Study of Spontaneous Adaptation in a Pastoralist Community in Mwanga District, Tanzania, Climate and Development 10(4):369-376. DOI:10.1080/17565529.2017.1301867

Smucker, T. A., and Wangui, E. E. 2016 Gendered knowledge and adaptive practices: Differentiation and change in Mwanga District, Tanzania. Ambio, 45(Suppl. 3):S276-S286.

Wangui, E. E. Space and the performance of gender: Negotiating inequality in the context of pastoral livelihood shifts in East Africa’s rangelands. 2014 Annals of the Association of American Geographers. Vol 104(5):1068-1081

Wangui, E. E. 2009. Livelihood strategies and nutritional status of grandparent caregivers of AIDS orphans in Nyando District, Kenya. Qualitative Health Research 19(12):1702-1715

Wangui, E. E. 2008. Development interventions, changing livelihoods, and the making of female Maasai pastoralists. Agriculture and Human Values 25(3):365-378

Selected Student Projects

Rachel Gaunce, B.FA Theater Performance and B.A Environmental Studies, 2018. Using theatre to address women and environmental concerns in Mathare, Kenya. Honors Tutorial College undergraduate thesis.

Balkissa Diallo, M.S. Environmental Studies, 2018. Social impact assessment of water management projects: The case of the Niger Basin.

Briana Karl, M.A Geography, 2016. Navigating the unknown: Immigrant’s maternal health experiences in Southeast Ohio.

Ashley Doria, M.A Geography, 2015. Exploring the existence of women's emotional agency in livelihood adaptation strategies: a case study of Maasai women in Northern Tanzania.

Audrey Komey, M.S. Environmental Studies, 2015. Institutional adaptation to climate change and flooding in Accra, Ghana.

Juneann Garnett, M.A. International Studies – Latin American Studies, 2015 Bridging the gap between agricultural innovation and implementation: the way forward for Guyana.