Section Awards

Below are the descriptions and procedures for our Section Awards. If you have questions or would like to inquire about submission deadlines, please contact the chair of the respective award.

Marvin E. Olsen Student Paper Award

The Marvin E. Olsen Student Paper Award recognizes outstanding papers presented by graduate students at the annual American Sociological Association meetings. In addition to recognition, recipients will receive a modest monetary award to help defray expenses associated with attending the ASA meetings. Nominees are limited to graduate students who are giving presentations at this year’s annual meeting in Philadelphia. (The paper can be presented at any session or roundtable at ASA). All members of the ASA and the Section on Environmental Sociology are invited to submit nominations for the award. To nominate a paper, please send a PDF copy of the paper along with a nomination letter or other supporting documentation by March 15, 2019 to John Zinda at

Allan Schnaiberg Outstanding Publication Award

The Allan Schnaiberg Outstanding Publication Award is given for publications of special noteworthiness in the field of environmental sociology. It is given in alternate years for either (a) a book in even years or (b) a single article in odd years. This year the committee will consider articles published within the period, January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2018. All members of the ASA and the Section on Environmental Sociology are encouraged to submit nominations; self-nominations are welcome. To nominate a book, please send three copies of the book along with a nomination letter by March 1, 2019 to John Zinda at

Fred Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award

The Fred Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award is to recognize individuals for outstanding service, innovation, or publication in environmental sociology or sociology of technology. It is intended to be an expression of appreciation, to be awarded when an individual is deemed extraordinarily meritorious by the Section. All members of the Section are invited to submit nominations for the award, together with supporting documentation. Nominations for this award must be received by March 1, 2019. To nominate an individual for this award, please send a letter of nomination describing the nominee’s contribution to environmental sociology and/or the sociology of technology, accompanied by a copy of the nominee’s CV, to the chair of the award committee, Tammy Lewis, at

Robert Boguslaw Award for Technology and Humanism

The Robert Boguslaw Award for Technology and Humanism is conferred bi-yearly (every odd year) to a doctoral student or other young investigator who has obtained a Ph.D. in the past five years. The purpose of the award is to recognize work that investigates the relationship between technology and humanism or otherwise proposes innovative solutions to emerging social issues associated with technology. Unpublished papers or articles published within the period January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2018, are eligible. All members of the ASA and ETS Section are encouraged to submit nominations; self-nominations are welcome. To submit a nomination, please send the article and a nomination letter by March 1, 2019 to Jill Harrison at

The Environmental Sociology Teaching and Outreach Award

The biennial Teaching and Mentorship Award honors faculty members who have provided especially dedicated service to the teaching of environmental sociology and the mentorship of students at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. Section members are encouraged to nominate colleagues, but all members, especially those in smaller institutions, are encouraged to self‐nominate.

Nomination packets should include the following:
1. Letter of Nomination, not to exceed 2 pages.
2. Personal statement on teaching philosophy, not to exceed 3 pages.
3. CV with the following relevant components highlighted: teaching/mentoring awards and activities; publications or presentations co‐authored with students (underline the names of student co‐authors and indicate whether undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral student).
4. Maximum of 5 letters of student support (any mix of present or past undergraduate and/or graduate students).
5. Maximum of 2 additional letters of support from colleagues who are not former students.
6. Maximum of 3 syllabi of relevant coursework (with no more than 2 graduate syllabi), all from within the previous 5 years.
7. Summary of teaching evaluations for the courses in #6.

Nomination packets should be scanned into a single PDF and submitted by email to Erica Morrell at by March 15, 2019.

Previous Award Winners

Marvin E. Olsen Student Paper Certificate

  • 2018 Erik Kojola (University of Minnesota), “Who Speaks for the Place? Identity and Nostalgia in Conflicts over Resource Extraction and Conversation”
  • 2018 (Honorable Mention) Camila H. Alvarez and Kathryn G. Norton-Smith, University of Oregon, “Environmental Inequality in Latino Destinations: Estimated Cancer Risk from Air Toxics in Latino Traditional and Emerging Destinations”
  • 2017 Amanda McMillan Lequieu, “We Made the Choice to Stick it Out’: Negotiating a Stable Home in the Rural, American Rust Belt,” Journal of Rural Studies 53:202-213. 2017.
  • 2016 Kevin T. Smiley, “Race and Air Quality in Urban America: How Metropolitan Contexts Condition Environmental Risk”
  • 2015 Rebecca Elliott (University of California-Berkeley): “Calculative Ambivalence: Climate Change and the Mapping and Pricing of Flood Risk in New York City.”
  • 2014 Asad L. Asad (Harvard University): “Context of Reception, Post-Disaster Migration, and Socioeconomic Mobility.”
  • 2013 Matthew Clement (University of Oregon): “Urbanization of the Countryside: A Sociological Study of Cropland Lost to Development in the United States, 2001-2006.”
  • 2012 Justin Farrell (University of Notre Dame): “Moral Outpouring: The BP Oil Spill and Americans’ Responses to Large-Scale Disasters.”
  • 2011 (co-winner) Maria Akchurin (University of Chicago): “Constructing the Rights of Nature: Environmentalism, Indigenous Politics, and Legal Mobilization in Ecuador, 1970-2008.”
  • 2011 (co-winner) Cristina Lucier (Boston College): “Obstacles to Precaution and Equity in Global Environmental Governance: Applications to the Basel Convention.”
  • 2010 KuoRay Mao (University of Kansas): “The Neoliberal Conundrum: The Western Development Policies, Migration, and Environmental Degradation in Northwestern China.”
  • 2009 Stefano Long (University of Oregon): “Mediterranean Rift: The Metabolic Rift in the Sicilian Bluefin Tuna Fishery.”
  • 2008 Eric Bonds: “The Knowledge-Shaping Process: Elite Mobilization and Environmental Policy.”
  • 2007 Norah Mackendrick: “Contaminants, the Human Body and the Framing of Risk: A Study of Canadian News Coverage, 1986-2006.”
  • 2006 Jessica Crowe: “Community Economic Development Strategies in Rural Washington: Toward a Synthesis of Natural and Social Capital.”; Honorable mention: Lisa Asplen: “Decentering Environmental Sociology: Lessons from Post-Humanist Science and Technology Studies.”
  • 2004 Rebecca Gasior-Altman
  • 2003 Kari Marie Norgaard
  • 2002 Andrew Jorgensen
  • 2001 Michael Mascarenhas
  • 2000 Allison Shore
  • 1999 Reid Helford
  • 1998 Michael J. Handel
  • 1997 Zsuzsa Gille
  • 1996 Beth Caniglia
  • 1994 Karen O’Neill
  • 1993 Adam Weinberg
  • 1992 Hal Aronson

Allan Schnaiberg Outstanding Publication Award

  • 2018 Alissa Cordner (Whitman College), Toxic Safety: Flame Retardants, Chemical Controversities, and Environmental Health. Columbia University Press. 2016.
  • 2018 (Honorable Mention) Justin Farrell (Yale University), The Battle for Yellowstone: Morality and the Sacred Roots of Environmental Conflict. Princeton University Press. 2015.
  • 2017 Jill Harrison, “Coopted Environmental Justice? Activists’ Roles in Shaping EJ Policy Implementation,” Environmental Sociology 1(4):241-255. 2015.
  • 2016 Liam Downey, Inequality, Democracy, and the Environment. New York University Press. 2015.
  • 2016 Riley Dunlap and Robert Brulle, Climate Change and Society. Oxford University Press. 2015.
  • 2015 Andrew K. Jorgenson and Brett Clark (University of Utah), “Are the Economy and the Environment Decoupling? A Comparative International Study, 1960–2005,” American Journal of Sociology
  • 2014 Lisa Sun-Hee Park and David N. Pellow (University of Minnesota), The Slums of Aspen: Immigrants vs. the Environment in America’s Eden. (New York University Press 2011)
  • 2013 John Bellamy Foster (University of Oregon) and Hannah Holleman (Amherst College) “Weber and the Environment: Classical Foundations for a Post-exemptionalist Sociology.” American Journal of Sociology. 2012. 117 (6):1625-1673
  • 2012 William Freudenburg (University of California-Santa Barbara) and Robert Gramling (University of Louisiana) Blowout in the Gulf. (MIT Press 2010)
  • 2011 Sherry Cable (University of Tennessee), Tamara Mix (Oklahoma State University), and Thomas Shriver (Oklahoma State University): “Risk Society and Contested Illness: The Case of Nuclear Weapons Workers.” 2008. American Sociological Review. Vol 73 (3): 380-401.
  • 2010 Dorceta Taylor (University of Michigan) The Environment and the People in American Cities, 1600s-1900s: Disorder, Inequality, and Social Change (Duke University Press 2009).
  • 2009 Liam Downey (University of Colorado at Boulder).
    This year the committee considered series of thematically-related articles published between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2008:
  • Downey, Liam. 2005. “The Unintended Significance of Race: Environmental Racial Inequality in Detroit,” Social Forces 83(3):971-1008.
  • Downey, Liam. 2006. “Using Geographic Information Systems to Reconceptualize Spatial Relationships and Ecological Context,” American Journal of Sociology 112(2):567-612.
  • Downey, Liam. 2006. “Environmental Racial Inequality in Detroit,” Social Forces 85(2):771-796.
  • Downey, Liam. 2007. “US Metropolitan-area Variation in Environmental Inequality Outcomes,” Urban Studies 44(5/6): 953-977.
  • 2008 Thomas Rudel: “Tropical Forests: Paths of Destruction and Regeneration.”
  • 2007 Brett Clark and Richard York
  • 2006 Peter Dickens: “Society and Nature: Changing our Environment, Changing Ourselves.”
  • 2005 Dara O’Rourke: “Community-Driven Regulation: Balancing Development and the Environment in Vietnam”
  • 2004 Richard York, Eugene Rosa, and Thomas Dietz.
  • 2002 Carlo Jaeger, Ortwin Renn, Eugene Rosa and Thomas Webler: “Risk, Uncertainty, and Rational Action”
  • 2000 Jeffery Broadbent: “Environmental Politics in Japan: Networks of Power and Protest”

Fred Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award

Note: Established in 1983 as the “Distinguished Contribution Award,” the award was renamed to honor Fred Buttel in 2005

  • 2018 Kenneth A. Gould, City University of New York, Brooklyn College
  • 2017 Richard York, University of Oregon
  • 2016 Robert J. Brulle, Drexel University
  • 2015 Dorceta Taylor, University of Michigan
  • 2012 Kathleen Tierney, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • 2011 Andrew Szasz, University of California-Santa Cruz
  • 2010 Arthur Mol, Wageningen University, Netherlands
  • 2009 Harvey Molotch, New York University
  • 2008 J. Timmons Roberts, College of William and Mary
  • 2007 Robert Gramling (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and Penelope Canan (University of Central Florida)
  • 2006 Phil Brown, Brown University
  • 2005 Lee Clarke, Rutgers University
  • 2004 Steve Kroll-Smith, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • 2003 Craig Humphrey, The Pennsylvania State University
  • 2002 John Bellamy Foster, University of Oregon
  • 2001 Steve Picou, University of South Alabama
  • 2000 Shirley B. Laska, University of New Orleans
  • 1999 Gene Rosa, Washington State University
  • 1998 Robert Bullard, Clark Atlanta University
  • 1997 Tom Dietz, George Mason University
  • 1996 William R. Freudenburg, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 1995 Thomas Rudel, Rutgers University
  • 1994 Frederick Buttel, University of Wisconsin
  • 1993 Marvin E. Olsen, Washington State University
  • 1992 David Sills, Social Science Research Council
  • 1991 Kai T. Erikson, Yale University
  • 1990 James T. Short, Jr., Washington State University
  • 1989 Denton E. Morrison, University of Minnesota
  • 1988 Adeline Levine, SUNY Buffalo
  • 1987 William Michelson, University of Toronto
  • 1986 William R. Catton, Jr., and Riley Dunlap, Washington State University
  • 1984 Allan Schnaiberg, Northwestern University
  • 1983 C. P. Wolf, Social Impact Assessment Center

Robert Boguslaw Award for Technology and Humanism (given bi-yearly)

  • 2017 Amalia Leguizamon, Tulane University
  • 2013 Shannon E. Bell, University of Kentucky
  • 2010 Govind Gopakumar, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • 2005 Dr. William James Smith, Jr.
  • 2001 David Pellow
  • 1999 Chris Wellin
  • 1997 Valerie Kuletz
  • 1994 Thomas Webler

ETS Teaching and Mentorship Award (given bi-yearly)

  • 2018 Michael Bell, University of Wisconsin
  • 2016 John Foran, University of California-Santa Barbara
  • 2014 Andrew Szasz, University of California-Santa Cruz
  • 2012 Tom Shriver, Oklahoma State University
  • 2011 Richard York, University of Oregon

ETS Practice and Outreach Award (given bi-yearly)

  • 2017 David Pellow, University of California-Santa Barbara
  • 2015 Phil Brown, Northeastern University
  • 2013 Shannon E. Bell, University of Kentucky
  • 2010 Daniel Faber, Northeastern University