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Jennifer Alford

Jennifer Alford

Associate Professor Department Chair


Associate Professor
Office Phone(909) 537-5562
Office LocationSB-327H


Dr. Jennifer Braswell Alford BIO

Title: Department Chair (Interim), Associate Professor

College: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Department: Geography and Environmental Studies

Phone (909) 537-7900


Office SB-313

Office Hours: By appointment


B.A. Political Science, International Politics (Environmental Policy Focus) North Carolina State University 2003

M.A. Liberal Studies (Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Tourism Focus) The University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2005

Ph.D. Geography (Land Use and Water Quality Focus) The University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2014

North Carolina Environmental Education Certification 2007

California Environmental Education Certification (in progress) 2020-2021

Professional Experiences: 

District Director, New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District (Coastal North Carolina) (Spring 2008-Summer 2010)

Volunteer/Sustainability Coordinator, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR): North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher (Fall 2007-Spring 2008)

Environmental Education Coordinator, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Waste Reduction and Recycling; Office of Sustainability (Fall 2005 – Fall 2007)

Community Engagement:

Inland Empire Resources Conservation District, Associate Board Member (Fall 2018-Spring 2022)

Save Our Mountains Association Member, San Bernardino National Forests (Fall 2018-Present)

Yadkin Riverkeeper, Inc. Board of Directors, Vice-President (Spring 2016 – 2017)

North Carolina Geographical Society (2016-2017)

North Carolina Water Resources Association, Member (Spring 2015-2017)

Sustainable Sandhill Climate Resilience Planning Committee (2015-2016)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Cape Fear River Basin Plan Committee (Fall 2012-Spring 2015)

North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) (2005-2012) Board of Directors 

Association of American Geographers (AAG), Member (Summer 2011 - Present)


Recent Publications and Ongoing Projects:

Dr. Jennifer B. Alford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at CSUSB. She grew up along the North Carolina coast where she developed a passion for conserving the unique natural resources and ecosystems of the Southeastern United States. Prior to joining the faculty at CSUSB, her endeavors included teaching at small liberal arts colleges and large regional universities, developing public-private partnerships, and working with stakeholders to implement comprehensive environmental programs and policies. In her free time, Dr. Alford enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and traveling domestically and abroad.


The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, N.C. Ph.D. Geography, Department of Geography, August 2010-December 2014 4.0 GPA

Dissertation Title: Land-Use/Land-Cover and Water Quality in the Cape Fear River Basin: Spatial-Temporal Relationships

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellow, GK-12 STEM Program, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Summer 2011 – Spring 2013)

Independent Studies: Urban Form and the Natural Environment: Some Key Indicators; Land-Use: The Urban-Rural Continuum

Courses Completed: Natural Resource Geography, GIS Seminar, Research Methods and Design, Digital Image Processing of Coastal Wetlands, Soil and Watershed Processes, Advanced Spatial Analysis, History of Geographical Thought, Urban Planning, Regional Planning, Remote Sensing

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies: Focus: Environmental Policy and Conservation; Outdoor Recreation Stakeholder Theory, May 2005

Thesis Topic: Stakeholder Theory & Non-Motorized Boat Access to the Dan River in Stokes County, N.C.

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Concentration: International Politics with focus on International Environmental Policy, May 2003




GEOG 4250. Watershed Hydrology and Management, GEOG 4651. Coastal Resources Management, GEOG 4710. Water Wars, GEOG 3501 Environmental Sustainability, GEOG 1070 Environmental Studies Orientation Seminar, GEOG 2000. Environment and Society, GEOG 2040. Water in the West, GEOG 3004. Field Methods in Geography, GEOG 3520. Environmental Inquiry and Education, GEOG 3605. Geography in the Elementary and Middle School Classroom, GEOG 3701. Environmental Policy and Impact Assessment, GEOG 5551. Laboratory Experience, GEOG 5651. Field Experience

Research and Teaching Interests

Dr. Jennifer B. Alford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and Faculty Chair of the Water Resources Institute (WRI) Advisory Committee at CSUSB. Her teaching focuses on hydrology related to water quality, environmental sustainability, policy, environmental education and community engagement. Her courses often incorporate high impact practices including service based learning, community based research, environmental education and partnering with numerous community organizations so students can gain real-world experiences while completing courses. Her community partners include non-profit and government organizations across the San Bernardino National Forests, the Inland Empire Resources Conservation District and Surfrider Foundation just to name a few. 

Dr. Alford's research centers on monitoring and protecting surface water resources at the river basin and headwater stream watersheds scales across the Cape Fear River Basin in North Carolina and across the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) in Southern California. She currently monitors 21 sites across the SBNF for over 10 water quality metrics and is working with graduate students to develop an online mapping tool that displays water quality data to educate the community and to protect public and ecological health. She also collaborates with local, regional and state wide organizations to enhance environmental education opportunities for the public and K-12 settings across the Southern California region with current focus on the San Bernardino National Forest. 

Additionally, Dr. Alford works with the CSU Water Resources and Policy Institute (WRPI) to survey and identify water resources needs in disadvantaged and tribal communities across Los Angeles and Ventura counties and related river basins. Her most recent publication with Dr. James Fenelon (CSUSB Sociology) highlights avenues for changing the unsustainable trajectory of the Anthropocene by promote grass-roots, community-level sustainability through the adoption of Indigenous ideologies that balance human needs with ecological services. 

Geography has played a vital role in Dr. Alford's teaching, research and service endeavors. For example, understanding how water quality changes within a river basin or along a stream is vital to identifying pollution inputs and developing strategies to mitigate harmful impacts to water resources. Although this knowledge can be applied using GIS technology, it is the field data collection and experiences that are most impactful to understanding the spatial and temporal characteristics of water quality. As a result, Dr. Alford often includes students in her research endeavors so that they can learn to appreciate the value of geography in resolving real-world issues. In addition to her role with WRI and WRPI, Dr. Alford has also applied her geographical knowledge in several roles at CSUSB including serving as Co-Chair of the Sustainability Taskforce, as Faculty Associate for the Office of Community Engagement, Co-Director of the Faculty Center for Excellence, and Faculty Advisor for the Masters of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Masters of Social Science programs.