Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Kelly D. Alley

Kelly D. Alley


7058 Haley Center
(334) 844-7040


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990
  • B.S. Cornell University

Office Hours

  • By appointment

About Kelly D. Alley
Alma Holladay Professor of Anthropology

Alley has carried out research in northern India for over twenty years, focusing on public culture and environmental issues. Her latest book titled, On the Banks of the Ganga: When Wastewater Meets a Sacred River (University of Michigan press 2002), explores Hindu interpretations of the sacred river Ganga in light of current environmental problems.

In a new project funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Alley is examining the potential of decentralized programs of wastewater management to meet the wastewater challenge in India.

Dr. Alley has worked with the World Water Forum and UNESCO to incorporate understanding of cultural diversity into water management. She is now working on water governance in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin and with colleagues and students has produced an interactive website featuring hydropower projects and wastewater management infrastructure.  This research has been supported by the Center for Forest Sustainability and the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn. In 2011, she was awarded the President's Outstanding Collaborative Units award with members of the Center for Forest Sustainability at Auburn.

Dr. Alley worked with Julian Crandall Hollick, National Public Radio producer, on the "Ganga Radio Series," a series of features and documentaries about the culture and ecology of the river Ganges in India and Bangladesh. The series aired on NPR in the fall of 2007. See more information on this project.

For three years, Dr. Alley and M C Mehta, an environmental lawyer from Delhi, directed a project to facilitate professional exchanges between environmental lawyers,scientists and NGOs to solve river pollution problems in India. Her web based instructional program on environmental public interest litigation can be read at the Enviro-Litigators.

Dr. Alley is Past-President of the Anthropology and Environment Section ( of the American Anthropological Association and is the Associate Editor of Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water (Wires Water).

Representative Publications

Last Updated: September 13, 2019