Fenda Akiwumi

Associate Professor
Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Dr. Fenda A. Akiwumi is an associate professor in the Geography, Environmental Science and Policy program, School of Geosciences at the University of South Florida, USA. She holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in geology from the University of Manchester, UK, an M.Sc. in hydrogeology from University College London, UK, and a Ph.D. in environmental geography from Texas State University-San Marcos, USA. She carries out research in three broad areas: Resource use and policy; African development and Africa-African Diaspora collaborations for development and Geographic Education (Ethnic). Her primary research area of expertise is water and mining development in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Her research takes a holistic approach to resource management and includes topics such as socio-culturally sensitive and sustainable resource policy and legislative reform, resource conflicts, cultural diversity and perception in resource use, sustainable livelihoods, environmental management, and sustainable development. Dr Akiwumi has co-edited a peer-reviewed book Teaching Ethnic Geography in the 21st Century, and published numerous book chapters, and papers in top-tier academic journals including Antipode, Journal of Cleaner Production, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Social Indicators Research, Community Development Journal, Habitat International, SustainableCities and Society, Greener Management International, andIEEE Power and Energy Magazine. Dr Akiwumi has been a co-Principal Investigator on large NSF, EPA and USF Internal grants. She has served in international and national professional organizations and was the inaugural chair of the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP) Expert Advisory Group on Water and Cultural Diversity (2008-2010) convened to develop culturally sensitive methodological guidelines and policy recommendations on mainstreaming cultural diversity into Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). She also served on the board of the Association of American Geographers Ethnic Geography Specialty Group (EGSG) and on the EGSG Student Paper Competition Committee. In 2016 she received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Liberal Arts, Texas State University. Before joining academia Dr Akiwumi worked as a hydrogeologist and served as Head of the Water Resources Division within the UNDP/FAO Land Resources Survey Project that became the Land and Water Development Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Sierra Leone from 1978-1991.Dr Akiwumi’s research touches upon varied aspects of environmental resources, particularly water, and minerals. She is interested in the political ecology of the production, management and distribution of these resources. Her work in this area engages issues in broad areas: resource extraction and policy, resource problems (equitable distribution, environmental deterioration, conflict), and resource issues (sustainability and development, livelihoods, gender, cultural diversity). Her focus area is West African development issues where she studies the intricate relationships between sustainable resource use and development, livelihoods, culture and conflict in this region. She also researches the interconnection between urban water provision, perceptions, wetlands, and climate change in the Tampa Bay region. She uses development theories such as world-system, political ecology and sustainable livelihoods framework and a mix of quantitative and qualitative field data collection methods for a holistic analyses that examines the interaction of political, economic, and socio-cultural institutions with natural systems and consequences for environmental and cultural sustainability.

Award Type: Others
Awarded: 2016