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Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences

Leslie Gray


Leslie Gray


Ph.D., University of Illinois

Teaching and Research Vision

Leslie Gray is a geographer conducting research in sub-Saharan Africa and California.  She has worked in Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Sudan examining issues of agrarian change, land use patterns, and gendered access to resources. Her local work in California’s Silicon Valley examines the socio-environmental nature of urban agriculture and the loss of farmland at the peri-urban edge.  She received her PhD in Geography from the University of Illinois, her masters in International Agricultural Development from U.C. Davis and an undergraduate degree in history from Georgetown University.



ENVS 22: Introduction to Environmental Studies

ENVS 50: World Geography

ENVS 101: Capstone Seminar

ENVS 147: International Environment and Development

ENVS 149: African Environment and Development



Edited Books

Coles Anne, Leslie Gray and Janet Momsen, editors,  February 2015. Handbook of Gender and Development, Routledge Press. 

Moseley, William and Leslie Gray, editors.  2008.  Hanging by a Thread: Cotton, Globalization and Poverty in Africa, Ohio University Press. 


Selected Journal Articles

Baker, G. A., Gray, L. C., Harwood, M. J., Osland, T. J., & Tooley, J. B. C. 2019. On-farm food loss in northern and central California: Results of field survey measurements. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 149, 541-549.

Gray, L., Boyle, A., Francks, E., & Yu, V. 2018. The power of small-scale solar: gender, energy poverty, and entrepreneurship in Tanzania. Development in Practice, 29(1), 26-39. Practice, 29(1), 26-39.

Gray, L.C., B. Dowd-Uribe, J. Kaminski, 2018. Weaving cotton-led development? Liberalization, cotton producer organizations and uneven development in Burkina Faso, Journal of Agrarian Change.

Diekmann, L. O., Gray, L. C., & Baker, G. A. 2018. Growing ‘good food’: urban gardens, culturally acceptable produce and food security. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 1-13.

Diekmann, L. O., Gray, L. C., & Baker, G. A. 2017. Drought, water access, and urban agriculture: a case study from Silicon Valley. Local Environment, 22(11), 1394-1410.

Algert, S. J., Baameur, A., Diekmann, L. O., Gray, L., & Ortiz, D. 2016. Vegetable Output, Cost Savings, and Nutritional Value of Low-Income Families’ Home Gardens in San Jose, CA. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 11(3), 328-336.

Algert, S., Diekmann, L., Renvall, M., & Gray, L.  2016. Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California. California Agriculture, 70(2), 77-82.

Galt, R. E., Gray, L. C., and Hurley, P. 2014. Subversive and interstitial food spaces: transforming selves, societies, and society–environment relations through urban agriculture and foraging. Local Environment, 19(2), 133-146. 

Gray, L., P. Guzman, K. Glowa and A. Drevno. 2014 Can home gardens scale up into movements for social change? The role of home gardens in providing food security and community change in San Jose, California. Local Environment 19.2: 187-203.

Gray, L., and B. Dowd-Uribe. 2013. A political ecology of socio-economic differentiation: debt, inputs and liberalization reforms in southwestern Burkina Faso. Journal of Peasant Studies, 40(4), 683-702.

Gray, Leslie, J. Johnson, N. Latham, M. Tang, and A. Thomas.  2012.   Critical Reflections on Experiential Learning for Food JusticeJournal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development. Vol 2(3): 137–147, 

Tellman, B., L. C. Gray, and C. M. Bacon. 2011. Not Fair Enough: Historic and Institutional Barriers to Fair Trade Coffee in El Salvador Journal of Latin American Geography 10(2): 107-127.

Gockel, C. 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 L.C. Gray.  2009.  Integrating Conservation and Development in the Peruvian AmazonEcology and Society, Vol 14(2):11

Kevane, Michael and Leslie Gray.  2008.  Darfur: Rainfall and Conflict.  Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 3:1-10.

Gray, L. C.and W. Moseley. 2005. A Geographical Perspective on Poverty-Environment Interactions, Geographical Journal, Vol. 171(1): 9-23.

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


In the News

November 30, 2022

Leslie Gray participated in a panel discussion at the 2-day event celebrating a new biography of Fazle Hasan, Hope Over Fate: Fazle Hasan Abed and the Science of Endging Global Poverty by Scott Macmillan.