Spotlight: Dr. Seth Appiah-Opoku

Dr. Seth Appiah-Opoku began his journey as a planner. In 2002, he was hired to a tenure-track position in geography and planning in the geography department at the University of Alabama, where he was charged to teach at least two courses in planning, one of which was to focus on land use regulation. He also contributed to the undergraduate concentration in urban and regional planning, as well as the Master’s program in geography. Since then, Dr. Appiah-Opoku has taught Principles of Planning, Environmental Management, Land Use Regulation, Regional Planning and Analysis, Geography of Africa, and World Regional Geography.

Currently Dr. Appiah-Opoku’s research focuses on international development, urban planning, ecotourism, environmental impact assessment, and resource development. He has contributed to research and publication on the theoretical orientations of Environmental Impact Assessment and their applications to developing countries, which led to an invitation to serve on the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Environmental Impact Assessment Review in 2003, which he still serves on today. He has been listed as a minority environmental professional in the United States by the Minority Environmental Leadership Development Initiative at the University of Michigan. Dr. Appiah-Opoku’s research on eco-tourism has received attention from both the media and scientific communities, including pieces in Science News Magazine and The Why Files (a Worldwide Web magazine founded by the National Science Foundation). In August of 2015, he was invited to serve on a technical advisory team to prepare a 40-year development plan for Ghana.

Dr. Appiah-Opoku is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Environmental Impact Assessment Review and the Environment and Social Psychology Journal. He has served as Editor of the Journal of African Geographical Review from 2016 to 2018. He has published scholarly articles in several renowned journals, including Environmental Management, Society and Natural Resources, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Journal of Cultural Geography, and Plan Canada. Dr. Appiah-Opoku has written four books: The Need for Indigenous Knowledge in Environmental Impact Assessment: The Case of Ghana (Edwin Mellen Press, NY, June 2005); Environmental Land Use Planning (InTech Publishers, 2012); A Study of Urban Sprawl Management in Ghana With Lessons from the American Planning System (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2015); and International Development (InTech Publishers, 2017). One of his most recent publications it titled Spatiotemporal evidence of recent climate variability in Ghana, which explores the spatial differences in the Ghana agro-ecological systems which result from climate variability.

Dr. Appiah-Opoku earned his Ph.D. in Regional Planning and Resource Development from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (1997); an M.S. in International Rural Planning & Development from the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada (1992); a Bachelor of Applied Arts (B.A.) in Urban & Regional Planning from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1990); and a B.S. in Urban Planning from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Ghana (1985).

Dr. Seth Appiah-Opoku