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Leif Brottem

Assistant Professor


I teach courses in Global Development Studies and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). My research focuses on the intersection of democratic decentralization and climate change adaptation in agrarian West Africa. I’m also interested in West African emigrant communities in Europe, North America, and, increasingly, China. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, I hold a PhD in Geography and an MS in Environment and Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA in Political Science from Carleton College. Prior to my graduate studies, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin (2002-2004), worked as a Program Officer at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability in Berkeley CA, and as an environmental policy assistant in the Alaska Governor’s office during the administration of Tony Knowles.

Campus Phone: 

(641) 269-4898


faculty info column 1

On-Campus Address: 

Carnegie 303
Grinnell, IA 50112
United States

Office Hours: 

On Leave

Education / Degrees: 

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison; BA, Carleton College

Courses Taught: 

Global Development Studies Geographic Information Systems

Primary Academic Interest: 

democratic decentralization and climate change adaptation in agrarian West Africa

Curriculum Vitae/Resume: 

Media Mentions: 

The 'Anti-Trump' Goes to Mali 

U.S. News / May 18, 2017