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Dr. Kwame Owusu-Daaku


Kwame N. Owusu-Daaku, an Assistant Professor, is a qualitative researcher with interests in human geography, urban planning, and international development. He teaches courses related to human geography, environmental management and planning, and sustainability and is also interested in community engagement, and civic scholarship. His current research interests include climate change adaptation and resilience, brownfield redevelopment, international development, science education, and the social aspects of biophysical science.

Dr. Owusu-Daaku joined the Kugelman Honors Program as a Faculty Fellow in Fall 2019. He teaches Honors Core III - Systems Thinking and Sustainability and encourages Honors students joining the two-year pathway to explore their education through an interdisciplinary lens.

Kwame has been awarded funding from the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program of the National Science Foundation and the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.


Ph.D. Geography, University of South Carolina, 2017
MS Urban and Regional Planning, University of Iowa, 2013
BSc Development Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, 2009


His research focuses on the impacts of climate change and pollution on marginalized groups in coastal and inland coastal communities and the efforts of these groups to build resilience to these impacts. Specifically, he is interested in the ways in which climate change adaptation and brownfield redevelopment influence the practice of planning, producing new and unique impacts on marginalized populations in both rural and urban settings, locally and internationally. The goal of his research program is to pair this focus on unequal impacts with strategies such as citizen science to build awareness of -- and inspire action to improve – socio-environmental problems.

His international research has examined sea defense systems as an adaptation to climate change in the Volta River Delta of Ghana from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders and how such projects responded to (or failed to respond to) the needs of the populations for which these projects were intended. He has also worked on climate change adaptation projects in Ghana, Mali, and Malawi as a member of the Humanitarian Response and Development Lab (HURDL) at Clark University. Between 2014 and 2018, Kwame also worked as a researcher on the DEltas, vulnerability, and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation (DECCMA) consortium. DECCMA employed to survey, participatory, economic, and integrated modeling methods to produce stakeholder-driven, co-produced assessments of the potential contribution of the migration of women and men in river deltas in Bangladesh, Ghana, and India to climate change adaptation efforts and vice versa. Kwame’s DECCMA work contributed to the project's understanding of the political economy of resettlement, displacement, and abandonment; in addition to efforts that helped frame the concept of adaptation from the perspective of multiple stakeholders; and research that helped understand how climate change adaptation projects can be used to govern populations and their livelihoods (in)directly – across scales from the local to the national.


Peer-reviewed journal articles
Owusu-Daaku K.N. (2020) Engaging students in planning for superfund site remediation and redevelopment. Journal of Environmental Management Volume 278, Part 2, 15 January 2021, 111567

Owusu-Daaku K.N., Rosko, H. (2019) The Discursive Construction of Adaptation Subjects via the Ada Sea Defense System in the Volta River Delta of Ghana. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space

Owusu-Daaku K.N. and Onzere S.N. (2019) The Application of Ethnography in Agricultural Research: A tool for diagnosing problems and sustaining solutions. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development 19(1): 14090-14112 

Owusu-Daaku K.N. (2018) (Mal)Adaptation Opportunism: When Other Interests Take Over Stated or Intended Climate Change Adaptation Objectives (and Their Unintended Effects). Local Environment 23 (9): 934-951


Chapter in edited volume
Owusu-Daaku K.N. and Diko S.K. (2018) Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Initiatives in Africa: The Case of the CDKN “Working with Informality to Build Resilience in African Cities” project in Galderissi, A., Colucci, A. [eds] Smart, Resilient and Transition Cities: Emerging Approaches and Tools for a Climate-Sensitive Urban Development. Elsevier