Brian Dowd Uribe Head Shot

Brian Dowd-Uribe

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty
Department Chair
Kalmanovitz Hall 222F


Brian Dowd-Uribe is an associate professor in the international studies department at the University of San Francisco. His current research explores the social, agro-ecological, and economic dimensions of food, agriculture, and water policy, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America. Specifically Professor Dowd-Uribe’s research examines whether and to what extent transgenic crops benefit small farmers, the role of decentralized water governance committees in mitigating water-related conflicts, and the role of farmers’ markets in achieving both food and farm security.

Before joining USF, Prof. Dowd-Uribe was chair of the Department of Environment and Development at the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. He also previously served as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Prof. Dowd-Uribe received an interdisciplinary PhD in environmental studies from the UC Santa Cruz. Prior to his graduate work, he served as an environmental protection Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa.

Research Areas

  • Rural Development
  • Food Systems
  • Political Ecology
  • Agroecology
  • Water Security


  • Department Chair, International Studies
  • Program Director, MA in International Studies
  • Co-founder and Executive Editor, Globus
  • Member, Faculty Advisory Board on Internationalization


  • UC Santa Cruz, PhD in Environmental Studies, 2011
  • UC Santa Cruz, MA in Environmental Studies, 2008

Prior Experience

  • Assistant Professor and Department Chair, University for Peace, Costa Rica
  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Lecturer, Environmental Studies Institute, Santa Clara University

Awards & Distinctions

  • Visiting Scientist, Montpellier Advanced Knowledge Institute on Transitions, 2022-2023
  • Awardee, Jesuit Foundation Grant, 2019

Selected Publications

  • Schnurr, M. A., & Dowd-Uribe, B. (2021). Anticipating farmer outcomes of three genetically modified staple crops in sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from farming systems research. Journal of Rural Studies, 88, 377-387.
  • Fletcher, R., Dowd-Uribe, B., and G. Aistara (eds), (2020). “The Eco-Laboratory: Environmental Governance and Economic Development in Costa Rica.” University of Arizona Press
  • Luna, J., and B. Dowd-Uribe, (2020). "Knowledge Politics and the Bt Cotton Success Narrative in Burkina Faso. World Development 136
  • Petrovic, N., Simpson, T., Orlove, B., & Dowd-Uribe, B. (2019). Environmental and social dimensions of community gardens in East Harlem. Landscape and Urban Planning, 183, 36-49.
  • Gray, L. C., Dowd‐Uribe, B., & Kaminski, J. (2018). Weaving cotton‐led development? Liberalization, cotton producer organizations, and uneven development in Burkina Faso. Journal of Agrarian Change, 18(4), 831-847.
  • Dowd-Uribe, B., Sanon, M., Roncoli, C., & Orlove, B. (2018). Grounding the Nexus: Examining the Integration of Small-Scale Irrigators into a National Food Security Programme in Burkina Faso. Water Alternatives, 11(2).