I am an ecological anthropologist broadly interested in the human ecology of global change. This means I am interested in the ways individuals, households and societies adapt to the impacts of climate change and globalization. I mostly conduct social-ecological fieldwork in the Sahel of West Africa where I have worked in the northern Central Plateau region of Burkina Faso. Some of my research has also been in Western Alaska and the Southwest United States. I have more recently started working in the Savanes Region of northern Togo.
My research themes include: climate change, sustainable livelihoods, food security, and especially households. I employ a wide range of methods that include: GIS, remote sensing, ethnography, household survey, and agent-based modeling. I currently have a National Science Foundation project integrating ethnography with remote sensing in Burkina Faso and Togo.
I am recruiting graduate students for the Human Ecology Lab. Candidates can apply through the UNC Department of Anthropology or Ecology, Environment, and Energy Program (E3P). Please contact me beforehand so we can discuss fit.
Ilboudo Nébié, E.K., C.T. West, and T.A. Crane. 2020. ‘Where’s the Map?’: Integrating Ethnography with Maps to Understand Complementarity between Pastoral Mobility and Border Formation. Journal of Political Ecology 27:795-818.
West, C.T., S. Benecky, C. Karlsson, I. Reiss, and A.J. Moody. 2020. Bottom-up Perspectives on the Re-greening of the Sahel: An Evaluation of the Spatial Relationship between Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) and Tree-cover in Burkina Faso. Land 9:208.
West, C.T., Ilboudo Nébié, E.K, and A.J. Moody. 2020. Participatory Mapping with High-resolution Satellite Imagery: A Mixed Method Assessment of Land Degradation and Rehabilitation in Northern Burkina Faso. Journal of Ecological Anthropology 22(1):1.
West, C.T., A. Moody, and E.K. Nébié. 2017. Ground-truthing Sahelian Greening: Ethnographic and Spatial Evidence from Burkina Faso. Human Ecology 45(1):89-101.
West, C.T. 2009. Domestic Transitions, Desiccation, Agricultural Intensification, and Livelihood Diversification among Rural Households on the Central Plateau, Burkina Faso. American Anthropologist 11(3):275-288.