Ethics and Public Policy

Douglas L. Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor of Geography Emeritus

Past Editor, Geographical Review
Graduate School of Geography
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

(508) 793-7336 phone
Member, George Perkins Marsh Institute

Curriculum Vitae (September 2015)

Professor Douglas L. Johnson received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1971. After teaching at Southern Illinois University for a year, he moved to Clark in 1972 where he remained until becoming an Emeritus Professor in 2010. He is a Fellow of the State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology (ESPRE) at Beijing Normal University, China.

His geographical career has focused on the culture and environment of North Africa and the Middle East. His master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago dealt with the history and spatial implications of nomadism. Studying North Africa and the Middle East and teaching students about the complexities of the region have been a central focus of his work, including lengthy field periods in Libya, Sudan, and Morocco and visiting appointments in the Middle Eastern Center at the University of California, Berkeley and Al-Akhawayn University in Morocco. He is coeditor of World Regional Geography, A Development Approach, 11th ed. (Pearson, 2015) and coauthor of the chapter on the Middle East and North Africa. His research has addressed issues of land degradation and desertification, arid land management, pastoral nomadism, and the cultural ecology of animal keeping. He is the coauthor of Land Degradation: Creation and Destruction, 2nd ed. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007). From 2003 to 2006 he served as coeditor of the Geographical Review. He is currently serving as part of the editorial team of the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science (IJDRS –, Beijing Normal University, China.

Selected Publications

Pastoral Nomadism

1990 John G. Galaty and Douglas L. Johnson, eds. The World of Pastoralism: Herding Systems in Comparative Perspective (New York: Guilford Press). 436 pp.

1993 Douglas L. Johnson. Pastoral Nomadism and the Sustainable Use of Arid Lands, Arid Lands Newsletter 33 (Spring/Summer), pp. 26-34.

1993 Douglas L. Johnson. Nomadism and Desertification in Africa and the Middle East, GeoJournal 31, No. 1 (September), pp. 51-66.

2002 Li, Ying, Douglas L. Johnson, and Abdelkrim Marzouk. Pauperizing the Pastoral Periphery: The Marginalization of Herding Communities in the World's Dry Lands,  Journal of Geographical Sciences 12, No. 1, pp. 1-14.

Land Degradation/Desertification

1998 Douglas L. Johnson. "Land Degradation in Dry Places: How Selective Desertification Produces Creative Destruction," in K. Goebel (ed.), International Seminar of Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies, 22nd Session, "E. Majorana" Centre for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy. 19-24 August 1997 (Singapore: World Scientific), pp. 227-240.

1999 Douglas L. Johnson. "The Human Dimensions of Desertification in Semi-arid Environments: The Case for Holistic Solutions to Sustainable Development," in K.Goebel (ed.), International Seminar on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies, 23rd session, "E. Majorana" Centre for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy. 19-24 August 1998 (Singapore: World Scientific), pp. 122-137.

2001 Douglas L. Johnson. "Linking the Conventions: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Desertification Control. A Report from the Desertification Permanent Monitoring Panel Workshop," in R. Ragaini (ed.), International Seminar in the Planetary Emergencies and Associated Meetings. 25th Session "E. Majorana" Centre for Scientific Culture. Erice, Italy, 19-24 August 2000 (Singapore: World Scientific), pp. 400-405.

2007 Douglas L. Johnson and Laurence A. Lewis.  Land Degradation: Creation and Destruction. 2nd ed. (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield). pp. 301.

Middle East/North Africa

1993 Abdellatif Bencherifa and Douglas L. Johnson. "Environment, Population Pressure and Resource Use Strategies in the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco," in Abdellatif Bencherifa (ed.), Montagnes et Hauts-Pays de l'Afrique (2): Utilisation et Conservation des Resources ([Rabat]: Unversité Mohammed V, Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines, Série Colloques et Seminaires No. 29), pp. 101-121.

1995 Douglas L. Johnson. "Development Trends and Environmental Deterioration in the Agropastoral Systems of the Central Middle Atlas, Morocco" in W. D. Swearingen and A. Bencherifa (eds.), The North African Environment at Risk: Environmental Sustainability and Economic Development (Boulder: Westview), pp. 35-54.

2015 Douglas L. Johnson and Viola Haarmann. "The Middle East and North Africa," in Douglas L. Johnson, Viola Haarmann, and Merrill L. Johnson (eds.), World Regional Geography, A Development Approach 11th  ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson), pp. 286-341.

Culture and Environment

2000 Alexander B. Murphy and Douglas L. Johnson with Viola Harrmann, eds. "Cultural Encounters with the Environment: Enduring and Evolving Themes" Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield, pg. 337.