Santa Clara University

Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences

Leslie Gray


Leslie Gray

Associate Professor

Office: Varsi Hall 204
Phone: (408) 551-7054

Ph.D., University of Illinois

Curriculum Vitae

Teaching and Research Vision

Leslie Gray is a geographer who teaches classes that emphasize global environment, development and population issues. Her current research considers the environmental and equity dimensions surrounding global cotton production, focusing on how the agricultural subsidies given to farmers in wealthy countries affect poor farmers in West Africa. She has published articles on environmental policy, land degradation, and women's access to resources in Burkina Faso and Sudan. This research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Fulbright/IIE and the Social Science Research Council. She has also done work for several international organizations, including CARE, Catholic Relief Services, UNDP, ILO and the World Bank.

Courses Taught

ENVS 50: World Geography
ENVS 147: International Environment and Development
POLI 146: Politics of African Development


Representative Publications

Tellman, B., Gray, L. C. and Bacon, C.M.. (forthcoming) Not Fair Enough: Historic and Institutional Barriers to Fair Trade Coffee in El Salvador Journal of Latin American Geography.

Gockel, C. Kilbane and L. C. Gray. 2011. Debt-for-Nature Swaps in Action: Two Case Studies in Peru. Ecology and Society 16 (3): 13. [online] URL:

Kilbane, C. and Gray, L. 2009. Integrating Conservation and Development in the Peruvian Amazon. Ecology and Society 14(2):11. Article.

Kevane, M. and Gray, L. 2008. Darfur: Rainfall and Conflict. Environmental Research Letters 3:1-10.

Gray, L., & Moseley, W. 2008. Hanging by a Thread? The Future of Cotton in Africa. In Hanging by a Thread: Cotton, Globalization and Poverty in Africa, Moseley, W., & Gray, Leslie (eds.). Ohio University Press.
Gray, L. 2008. Cotton Production in Burkina Faso: International Rhetoric versus Local Realities. In Hanging by a Thread: Cotton, Globalization and Poverty in Africa, Moseley, W., & Gray, Leslie (eds.). Ohio University Press.

Gray, L. 2005. What Kind of Intensification?: Agricultural Practice, Soil Fertility and Socioeconomic Differentiation in Rural Burkina Faso. Geographical Journal 171(1):70-82.

Gray, L. 2005. Decentralization, Land Policy, and the Politics of Scale in Burkina Faso. In Globalization and Geographies of Conservation, Karl Zimmerer (ed.), Columbia University Press.

Gray, L. and Philippe Morant. 2003. Reconciling Local Perception with Scientific Assessment of Soil Quality Changes in Southern Burkina Faso, Geoderma 111: 425-437.

Gray, L. 2003. Investing in Soil Quality: Farmer Responses to Land Scarcity in Southwestern Burkina Faso, in African Savannas: New Perspectives on the Environment and Social Change, Bassett, T and Crummey, D (eds.). UK: James Curry and USA:  Heinemann.

Gray, L. 2002. Environmental Policy, Land Rights and Conflict: Rethinking Community Natural Resource Management Programs in Burkina Faso. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 20(2): 167-182.

Gray, L. and Kevane, M. 2001. Evolving Tenure Rights and Agricultural Intensification in Southwestern Burkina Faso (with Michael Kevane). World Development 29(4): 573-587. 

Gray, L. 1999. Is Land being Degraded?: A Multi-Scale Examination of Landscape Change in Southwestern Burkina Faso. Land Degradation and Development 10: 329-343.

Gray, L. and Kevane, M. 1999. Diminished Access and Diverted Exclusion: Women and Land in Africa. African Studies Review 42:2:15-39.

Kevane, M. and Gray, L. 1999. A Woman's Field is Made at Night: Gendered Land Rights and Norms in Burkina Faso. Feminist Economics 5(3): 1-27.