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Franklin Charles Graham IV

Franklin Charles Graham IV

Franklin Charles Graham IV
Visiting Instructor


Office: NES 218 D
Phone: 813/974-4943
Email (alt):



I am an American geographer who has conducted extensive development and ethnographic work with pastoral groups across Africa for over seven 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 agro-forestry assisting displaced and sedentarized pastoral groups. 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 ethno-botanical 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, 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 ethno-medicine 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 socio-economic changes and ethno-botanical 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 am currently preparing ethnographical research in Mauritania and Algeria in the summer of 2016. I will join a photographer/visual artist, Ms. Claire Harlan of Los Angeles, California, USA, in documenting both visually and through written record Mauritania’s trans-Saharan architecture.


2011 PhD West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA
2004 Arabic Language Training, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco
1998 MA, History, St. John's University, Queens, NY, USA
1995 BA, Geography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
1994 BA Cum Laude, History, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, USA

Specialty Area

Political Ecology, Natural Resource Management