My name is Leif Brottem and this is my website ‘Dry Seasons.’ I work as a scholar and development consultant on agrarian livelihoods and environmental change in West Africa. ‘Dry Seasons’ provides an overview of my ongoing research, writings, past work, and related matters of interest that I write about occasionally on my blog. I hold a PhD from the Department of Geography and an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dryland West Africa is seen as a region that is highly vulnerable to climate change yet its inhabitants demonstrate an astounding capacity to adapt to ecological and political uncertainty.  One thing is certain: livelihoods and landscapes are experiencing rapid change in this part of the world and I am working to shed light on how they are unfolding as well as policies that may mitigate their negative impacts.

My ongoing research in West Africa is situated at the intersection of specific political and environmental trends such as democratic decentralization and the expansion of agricultural frontiers. I utilize a theoretical framework grounded in political ecology and a methodological approach that combines geospatial and social science techniques.  The goal of my research is to seek to understand the patterns of change and responses that I have been observing since I began working in rural West African communities eleven years ago.

Please feel free to read more about my research, other activities and interests, check out my CV, articles written about Africa, and occasional blog posts.