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About William L. Graf

William L. Graf is University Foundation Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina, as well as Senior River Scientist, The Nature Conservancy in Columbia, South Carolina His Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a major in physical geography and a minor in water resources management. His specialties include fluvial geomorphology and policy for public land and water, with emphasis on river channel change, human impacts on river processes and morphology, contaminant transport and storage in river sediments, and the downstream impacts of large dams. Much of his work has focused on dryland rivers, though for the past several years his work has been national in scale. He has served as an officer in the Geological Society of America, and has been President of the Association of American Geographers. In the area of public policy he has emphasized the interaction of science and decision-making, and resolution of the conflict between economic development and environmental preservation. His work has been funded by 61 grants and contracts from federal, state, and local agencies, ranging from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cities, tribes, and private companies.


Present University Foundation Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography, University of South Carolina - Columbia


Research Interests

Fluvial Geomorphology, Hydrology, Public Land and Water Policy, Aerial Photographic Interpretation, and Geographic Information Analysis

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Honors and Awards

  • Mel Marcus Career Achievement Award, 2008 (Association of American Geographers)
  • Meredith F. Burrill Award, 2006 (Association of American Geographers)
  • John Wesley Powell Award, 2005 (U.S. Geological Survey)
  • National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, 2003
  • Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, 2001
  • David Linton Research Award, 2000 (British Geomorphological Research Group)
  • Kirk Bryan Award, 1999 (Geological Society of America)
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship, 1999


  • Fluvial Geomorphology
  • Geography of Public Land and Water Policy
  • Contemporary Approaches in Geography
  • Introduction to Physical Geography
  • Seminar in Geography (Capstone)
  • Seminar, Regional Geography

Contact Information

Department of Geography
Callcott, Room 220
Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: (803) 777-4437
Fax: (803) 777-4972


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