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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Aby Sène-Harper

Assistant Professor

Office: Sirrine Hall129A



Educational Background

Texas A&M University 2016

University of South Carolina 2008

Warren-Wilson College 2005

Courses Taught

Methods of Environmental Interpretation
Qualitative Research Methods


Dr. Aby Sène-Harper is a faculty of Parks and Conservation Area Management. She is a trained interdisciplinary environmental social researcher whose work advances socially and ecologically just approaches to managing public lands, natural and cultural resources in the US and in Africa. Her research lies at the intersections of parks and protected area governance, livelihoods, nature-based tourism, and Race and nature. In the US her work interrogates how history and culture mediate African American relationships with nature, and cultural landscapes. In Africa, her work centers on the colonial structures of power in conservation, and integrative conservation approaches such as livelihood-centered projects, ecotourism and community-based conservation. For over a decade, Dr. Sène-Harper has worked closely with government agencies in the US and Africa to inform and design integrated management plans for large scale conservation areas of international importance for biodiversity and socio-economic development (i.e., RAMSAR designated Wetlands; World Heritage Sites, National Parks). She has published multiple academic articles and technical reports on several topics including, community-based natural resource management, sustainable livelihoods, protected area management, ecotourism and relevancy, diversity and inclusion in US. Public lands.

Research Interests

Parks and conservation area management, community-based natural resource management, Race and nature, critical qualitative inquiry, critical leisure research, US, West Africa.

Research Publications

Selected refereed articles

Sene-Harper, A. & Seye, M. (2019) Community-based Tourism around National Parks in Senegal: Implications of Colonial Legacies in Current Management Policies. Tourism Planning and Development, 1-18.

Matarrita-Cascante, D., Sene-Harper, A., & Ruyle, L. (2019). A holistic framework for participatory conservation approaches. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 1-11.

Pinckney, H. P., Brown, A., Sene-Harper, A., & Lee, K. (2019). A case for Race scholarship: A research note. Journal of Leisure Research, 1-9.

Schultz, C. L., Bocarro, J. N., Lee, K. J., Sene-Harper, A., Fearn, M., & Floyd, M. F. (2018). Whose National Park Service? An Examination of Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion Programs from 2005–2016.Journal of Park and Recreation Administration

Sene-Harper, A., Matarrita-Cascante D., LR Larson (2019). Leveraging Local Livelihood Strategies to Support Conservation and Development in West Africa. Environmental Development.

Petriello, M., Redmore, L., Sene-Harper, A. & Katju, D. (2019). The Terms of Empowerment: Empowering Conservation or Communities? Oryx. DOI:10.1017/S0030605319000036

Matarrita-Cascante, D., Sene-Harper, A. & Stocks, G. (2015). International Amenity Migration: Examining Environmental Behaviors and Influences of Amenity Migrants and Local Residents in a Rural Community. Journal of Rural Studies, 38: 1-11.

Invited book chapter

Sene-Harper, A. (In press). Tourism Development in Senegal: Historical Overview and Future Directions for Community-based Tourism. In Adu-Ampong, E., Novelli, M. & Ribeiro, M. (eds). Routledge Handbook of Tourism in Africa. Routledge

Project reports

Sene-Harper, A, Floyd, M., Fearn, M. (2018) Diversity in partnerships research and development: Technical report. Washington, D.C: National Park Service.

Sene-Harper, A., Floyd, M., Fearn, M. & Lester, D. (2017) Black Philanthropy: A Review and Synthesis of the Literature. Washington D.C: National Park Service.

Seye, D. & Sene-Harper, A. (2014). Vingt ans de gestion intégrée du Parc National des Oiseaux du Djoudj : Les perceptions et attentes des populations de la périphérie. Dakar, Senegal : Departement des Parc Nationaux, Ministère de L'Environnement et du Développement Durable.

Manuscripts in progress

Sene-Harper, A., Floyd, M.& Fearn, M. W have our own cultural ways of being in nature: Black Americans and the National Parks. Target Journal: Journal of Leisure Sciences

Sene-Harper, A, Floyd, M., Fearn, M. & Lester, D. Black philanthropy and the National Park Service. Target Journal: Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

Honors and Awards

National Park Service. Data Collection of Oral History Related to Establishment of Freedom Riders National Monument, Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, and Reconstruction Era National Monument. August 2021 - May 2022.

National Science Foundation Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Research Traineeship. Applied Biodiversity Science NSF-IGERT Fellowship, Texas A&M University. September 2012 August 2014.

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
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