Brian King

Director of Resident Graduate Programs, Associate Professor, Department of Geography
Affiliate Professor of International Affairs
(814) 865-2612
312A Walker Building
Department of Geography, College of Earth and Mineral Science
  • Ph.D. Geography with certificate in Development Studies, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2004
  • M.A. Geography, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1999
  • B.A. Environmental Studies with Honors, Bucknell University, 1995

Honorary Research Associate, African Climate and Development Initiative, University of Cape Town

Faculty Research Associate, Population Research Institute, Penn State University

Faculty Research Affiliate, Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, Penn State University

My research concentrates upon several topics, particularly the impacts of conservation and development in Southern Africa, social and environmental justice, and the intersections between livelihoods, health and environment. 

Livelihoods, health and environment

My research examines the production of livelihoods and environmental change in the developing world. This work evaluates the relationships between health and environment, focusing in particular on the effects of HIV/AIDS upon social and environmental systems. I am the PI on a NSF CAREER grantPolitical Ecologies of Health: Coupling Livelihood and Environment Responses to HIV/AIDS ($485,292, September 1, 2011 – August 31, 2017, GSS 1056683).  This CAREER program is conducting intensive research in South Africa working in close collaboration with research institutes and governmental agencies to examine how livelihood systems adjust in response to HIV/AIDS, how livelihood responses to HIV/AIDS rework access patterns and the rules governing resource use, and whether intra-household and intra-community variations shape livelihood responses to HIV/AIDS. This work asserts that attending to health-environment interactions is needed to understand how disease results in transformations to social and environmental systems, and how these systems in turn shape the trajectories of disease and the possibilities for sustainable disease management.