Dale Lightfoot

 Dale Lightfoot

Professor and Head

Department of Geography
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, Oklahoma  74078-4073

Office:  373 Murray Hall
Phone:  (405) 744-9177  or  (405) 744-6250
Fax:  (405) 744-5620
e-mail:  d.lightfoot@okstate.edu

Personal Homepage   |   Lightfoot Field Research (UNESCO video)




Geography University of Colorado


 M.S. Geography Oklahoma State University



Industrial Arts Education Oklahoma State University



• Resource Management
• Cultural Ecology
• Ground Water
• Historic Irrigation
• North Africa / Middle East / Central Asia


Professor and Head, Department of Geography
Oklahoma State University, 2001 - Present.

Associate Professor, Department of Geography
Oklahoma State University, 1996 - 2001.

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
Oklahoma State University, 1994 - 1996.

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and Geography
Old Dominion University, 1990 - 1994.



Lightfoot, D.R. "Function, Distribution, and History of Old World Qanats". In V. Scarborough(ed.), Water History and Humanity. Paris: UNESCO Publishing. In press.

Wikle, T.A. and D.R. Lightfoot, "Landscapes of the Slave Trade in Senegal and The Gambia," Focus on Geography 57(1): 2014, pp.14-24.

Lightfoot, D.R. “Iraq.” In A.A.S. Yazdi and M. Labbaf K. (eds.), pp.149-189, Qanat in It’s Cradle. Yazd, Iran: ICQHS, 2012.

Lightfoot, D.R. “Galerias, Water Mines, and the Myth of Qanats in the Canary Islands.” Technical Report submitted to the National Geographic Society, Committee for Research and Exploration, grant number 8997-11, July 2012.

Lightfoot, D.R. "Survey of Infiltration Karez in Northern Iraq: History and Current Status of Underground Aqueducts." United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Report IQ/2009/SC/RP/1, 2009. 

Lightfoot, D.R., Mavlyanov, N., Begimkulov, D., and Comer, J. "Reliability of Interview Data for Monitoring and Mapping Groundwater." International Association of Hydrological Sciences Red Book 334: 2009, 40-43.

Lightfoot, D.R. Iraq, Modern World Nations (series). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2007. Won the 2007 Middle East Outreach Council's Middle East Book Award for the best non-fiction/reference.

Tas, H.I. and Lightfoot, D.R. "Gecekondu Settlements in Turkey: Rural-Urban Migration in the Developing European Periphery." Journal of Geography, Volume 104(6), 2005, pp. 263-271.

Lightfoot, D.R. "The Landscape Context of Rock-Bordered Grids: GIS Analysis and Mapping." In Doolittle and Neely, eds., The Safford Valley Grids: Prehistoric Cultivation in the Southern Arizona Desert, Tucson: University of Arizona Press. 2004.

Homburg, J.A., Sandor, J.A., and Lightfoot, D.R. "Soil Investigations at a Late Prehistoric Agricultural Complex in the Safford Basin." In Doolittle and Neely, eds., The Safford Valley Grids: Prehistoric Cultivation in the Southern Arizona Desert, Tucson: University of Arizona Press. 2004.

Lightfoot, D.R. "Traditional Wells as Phreatic Barometers: A View from Qanats and Tube Wells in Developing Arid Lands." Proceedings of the UCOWR Conference: Water Security in the 21st Century, Washington, D.C. 2003.

Lightfoot, D.R. "The Origin and Diffusion of Qanats in Arabia: Ne Evidence from the Northern and Southern Peninsula." The Geographical Journal, Volume 166(3), 2000.

Lightfoot, D.R. "Ghayl and Miyan in Arabia Felix: The Ecology of Diffusion and Recession of Use." The Arab World Geographer, Volume 3(1), 2000.

Lightfoot, D.R. "Qanats in the Levant: Hydraulic Technology at the Periphery of Early Empires." Technology and Culture, Volume 38(2), 1997, pp. 432-451.

Wikle, T.A. and Lightfoot, D.R. "The Stream Table in Physical Geography Instruction." Journal of Geography, Volume 96(1), 1997, pp. 23-30.

Lightfoot, D.R. "The Nature, History, and Distribution of Lithic Mulch Agriculture: An Ancient Technique of Dryland Agriculture." The Agricultural History Review, Volume 44(2), 1997, pp. 206-222.

Lightfoot, D.R. "Moroccan Khettara: Traditional Irrigation and Progressive Desiccation." Geoforum, Volume 27(2), 1996, pp. 261-273.

Lightfoot, D.R. "Syrian Qanat Romani: History, Ecology, Abandonment." Journal of Arid Environments, Volume 33(3), 1996, pp. 321-336.

Eddy, F.W., Lightfoot, D.R., Welker, E. and Wright, L. "Air Photographic Mapping of San Marcos Pueblo." Journal of Field Archaeology, Volume 23(1), 1996, pp. 1-13.

Lightfoot, D.R. and Miller, J. "Sijilmassa: The Rise and Fall of a Walled Oasis in Medieval Morocco." Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Volume 8(1), 1996, pp. 78-101.

Lightfoot, D.R. "The Construction and Configuration of Anasazi Pebble-Mulch Gardens in the Northern Rio Grand." American Antiquity, Volume 60(3), 1995, pp. 459-470.

Lightfoot, D.R. "An Assessment of the Relationship between Development and Institutionally Preserved Lands." Area, Volume 26(2), 1994. pp. 112-123.

Lightfoot, D.R. "Morphology and Ecology of Lithic Mulch Agriculture." Geographical Review, Volume 84(2), 1994, pp. 172-185.

Lightfoot, D.R. and Eddy, F.W. "the Agricultural Utility of Lithic-Mulch Gardens: Past and Present." GeoJournal, Volume 34(4), 1994, pp. 425-437.

Lightfoot, D.R. and Eddy, F.W. "Effects of Environment and Culture on the Distribution of Prehistoric Dwellings and Chimney Rock Mesa, Colorado." The Geographical Journal, Volume 159(3), 1993, pp. 291-306.

Lightfoot, D.R. "The Cultural Ecology of Puebloan Pebble Mulch." Human Ecology, Volume 21(2), 1993, pp. 115-143.

Lightfoot, D.R. "The Landscape Context of Anasazi Pebble-Mulched Fields in the Galisteo Basin, Northern New Mexico." Geoarchaeology, Volume 8(5), 1993, pp. 349-370.


National Geographic Society grant for "Qanats in the Atlantic: History and Ecology of Galerias in the Canary Islands ."
Dale R. Lightfoot
National Geographic Society, Committee for Research and Exploration
Awarded September 2011. Research conducted 2012.  Amount: $20,000

UNESCO grant for "Survey of Infiltration Karez in Northern Iraq: History and Current Status of Underground Aqueducts."
Dale R. Lightfoot
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Awarded May 2009. Research conducted 2009.   Amount: $31,391

Multi-Country Research Fellowship, for "Foggra and Chain-Wells in Mediterranean Irrigation: History and Ecology of a Subterranean Technology."
Dale R. Lightfoot
Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC)
Awarded March 2006. Research conducted 2007-2008.   Amount: $9,000

Higher Education and Development Program (HEAD), for "Center of Excellence in GIS and Remote Sensing at the University of Technology, Baghdad and Salahaddin University, Eribil, Iraq."
Dale R. Lightfoot
United States Agency for International Development (USAID), subcontract with Al-Sharaka Program for Higher Education, Oklahoma Higher Education Partnership (OHEP) with Iraq University Partners (IUP)
Awarded March 2004. Research conducted 2004-2006.   Amount: $374,073

COBASE Project Development and Initiation Grants for Collaborative Research with Central/Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States, for "Hydro-geological Calibration of Interview-Based Mapping for Assessing Groundwater Fluctuations at a Multi-Oblast Level in Uzbekistan"
Dale R. Lightfoot
National Academies of Science
Awarded 2004. Research conducted 2004-2005.   Amount: $10,300

"Mapping Groundwater Development in Samarkand Oblast, Uzbekistan"
Dale R. Lightfoot
International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)
Awarded 2000. Amount: $1,400

"Falaj Irrigation in Yemen: History, Ecology and Changing Technology"
Dale R. Lightfoot
Social Science Research Council
Awarded 1998. Amount: $11,400

"Falaj Irrigation in Yemen: History, Ecology and Changing Technology"
Dale R. Lightfoot
Social Science Research Council
Awarded 1998. Amount: $8,000

Instructional Laboratory Improvement Program for "Simulations Laboratory for Undergraduate Geography Instruction"
Dale R. Lightfoot (Co-PI with T. Wikle and S. Stadler)
National Science Foundation
Awarded 1997. Amount: $36,442

"Ancient Agricultural Landscapes of the Middle Gila Valley, Arizona"
Dale R. Lightfoot, project team member (with W.E. Doolittle, PI)
National Geographic Society
Awarded 1996. Amount: $3,290

"Local Economy and Long Distance Trade in Medieval Sijilmassa, Morocco"
Dale R. Lightfoot, project team member (with R. Messier, PI)
National Geographic Society
Awarded 1994. Amount: $4,500

Near and Middle East Advanced Research Grants, for "Foggara Irrigation in the Middle East: Ancient Technology in a Modern World"
Dale R. Lightfoot
Social Science Research Council
Awarded 1994. Amount: $6,000

"Foggara Irrigation in the Syrian-Jordanian Desert: Contemporary Impacts on Ancient Technology"
Dale R. Lightfoot
American Schools of Oriental Research/USIA
Awarded 1993. Amount: $8,667


Association of American Geographers
National Council for Geographic Education
American Schools of Oriental Research
Phi Beta Delta (Epsilon Chapter) for International Scholars
Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) International Geographic Honor Society


Outstanding Faculty Study Abroad Leader Award, International Studies and Outreach (IS&O), Oklahoma State University, 2016

Bud Birks Award for Outstanding Environmental Research, Environmental Institute
  Oklahoma State University; 2010

Outstanding Faculty Award, School of International Studies
 Oklahoma State University; 2009

Middle East Book Award, for best non-fiction/reference
 Middle East Outreach Council; 2007

International Faculty Excellence Award, for outstanding contributions to international education, research and outreach
 Oklahoma State University; 2007

NCGE Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award, for outstanding teaching at the university level
 National Council for Geographic Education; 1999

Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence (Social and Behavioral Sciences)
 College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University; 1997