Reshaping the Study of Sociology

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 registration fees for the ASA meeting. Nominees are limited to graduate student-authored papers accepted for presentation at the 2021 annual meeting. The paper can be presented at any session or roundtable at ASA. Papers with one or multiple graduate student authors are eligible. All members of the ASA and the Section are invited to submit nominations. To nominate a paper, please send a PDF copy of the paper along with a nomination letter and confirmation that it has been accepted for annual meeting presentation by March 15, 2021 to Sara Grineski at

Award Committee:

  • Michael Mendez, Jean Sapinski, Michael Murphy, and Anne Mook

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, 2019, through December 31, 2020. All members of the ASA and the Section on Environmental Sociology are encouraged to submit nominations; self-nominations are welcome. To nominate a paper, please send a PDF copy of the paper along with a nomination letter by March 1, 2021 to Sara Grineski at

Award Committee:

  • Tariq Niazi, Angela Mertig, and Evan Shenkin

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 15, 2021. 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, Jill Lindsey Harrison at

Robert Boguslaw Award for Technology and Humanism (Bi-yearly)

The Robert Boguslaw Award for Technology and Humanism, given in odd years, honors 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, 2019, through December 31, 2020, are eligible. All members of the ASA and Environmental Sociology Section are encouraged to submit nominations; self-nominations are welcome. To submit a nomination, please send a PDF copy of the paper and a nomination letter by March 8, 2021 to Norah MacKendrick at

The Environmental Sociology Teaching and Mentorship Award (Bi-yearly)

The Teaching and Mentorship Award, given in even years, honors faculty members who advance especially innovative pedagogical approaches in the teaching of environmental sociology, dedicated service to the teaching of environmental sociology, and / or exceptional mentorship of students at the undergraduate and / or graduate level who are involved in environmental sociology studies. Section members are encouraged to nominate colleagues, and all members are encouraged to self‐nominate.

To simplify the process, basic nomination packets should be scanned into a single PDF and submitted by email to Janet Lorenzen at by March 1, 2020. Nomination packets should include: (1) Letter of Nomination, not to exceed 2 pages, (2) personal statement on teaching and mentorship philosophy, not to exceed 3 pages, (3) CV with the relevant components highlighted, such as 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).

Nominations will be vetted by March 15, 2020, and a selection of candidates will be asked to submit additional materials by April 15, 2020, including: (1) a maximum of 5 letters of student support (any mix of present or past students), (2) a maximum of 2 additional letters of support from colleagues who are not former students, (3) a maximum of 3 syllabi or other relevant material from the past 5 years, and (4) excerpts or summaries of teaching evaluations as desired.

The Environmental Sociology Practice and Outreach Award (Bi-yearly)

This award, given in odd years, honors faculty scholar-activists who demonstrate outstanding practice and outreach contributions that advance equity in the context of socio-environmental relations. All members of the Section are encouraged to submit nominations; self-nominations are welcome.

In accordance with ASA policies, the recipient must be a current member of the association at the time the award is given to receive the award. The Teaching, Training, and Practice Committee of the Section and/or its award subcommittee(s) shall administer this award.

Each spring in an odd year, the Teaching, Training, and Practice Committee Chair, through the Section newsletter, official Section announcement listserv, and ASA Footnotes, shall invite nominations for the award, together with supporting documentation. Nomination packets may include statements of commitment to service activities, letters of support that delineate the nominee’s outstanding service and outreach accomplishments, and other evidence of especially dedicated service to the field. Nominations should be submitted by email to Janet Lorenzen at

In order to make nominations for awards more inclusive we created a 2-part process. Part 1 – submit a nomination by March 1, 2021. You only need to be nominated by one person to be under consideration. Please highlight contributions to equity in your nomination. Part 2 – a select number of nominees will be invited to submit a full award application packet by June 1, 2021.

Preliminary decisions on nominations will be made by the Committee by mid March. Those selected for further consideration, for the award will be asked to submit a CV and up to 5 letters of support from any mix of community members/public representatives, colleagues, and/or students by June 1 for final consideration for the award. The committee is not required to offer this award during a year when there is not an eligible recipient whose nomination materials fulfill the award criteria. Recipients will be recognized in the Section newsletter, Section website, ASA Footnotes, and at the Section reception or business meeting during the annual meeting of the ASA. The recipient will receive a certificate or plaque from the Section.

Previous Award Winners

Marvin E. Olsen Student Paper Certificate

  • 2020 Andrew McCumber (University of California, Santa Barbara), “Killing for Life: Species Eradication and the Ecology of Meaning in Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands”
  • 2020 (Honorable Mention) Danielle Falzon (Brown University), “Legitimately Paralyzed: How Fairness and Flexibility Have Doomed the UN Climate Negotiations from the Start”
  • 2019 Caleb Scoville (University of California, Berkley) “Constructing Environmental Compliance: Law, Science, and the Morality of Endangered Species Conservation in California’s Delta”
  • 2019 (Honorable Mention) Maricarmen Hernández (University of Texas at Austin) “To Build a Home: Everyday Placemaking in a Toxic Neighborhood”
  • 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 Jorgenson
  • 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

  • 2020 Norah MacKendrick (Rutgers University), Better Safe than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics. (University of California Press 2018).
  • 2020 (Honorable Mention) Jill Lindsey Harrison (University of Colorado, Boulder), From the Inside Out: The Fight for Environmental Justice within Government Agencies. (MIT Press 2019).
  • 2019 Rebecca Elliott (London School of Economics) “The Sociology of Climate Change as a Sociology of Loss.” The European Journal of Sociology 59(3):301-337.
  • 2019 (Honorable Mention) Junia Howell (University of Pittsburgh) and James Elliott (Rice University) “Damages Done: The Longitudinal Impacts of Natural Hazards on Wealth Inequality in the United States.” Social Problems 66(3):448-467.
  • 2018 Alissa Cordner (Whitman College), Toxic Safety: Flame Retardants, Chemical Controversies, 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). 2012. “Are the Economy and the Environment Decoupling? A Comparative International Study, 1960–2005.” American Journal of Sociology 118(1):1-44.
  • 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

  • 2020 Andrew Jorgenson, Boston College
  • 2019 Kari Marie Norgaard, University of Oregon
  • 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)

  • 2019 Matt Comi, University of Kansas
  • 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)

  • 2020 Sandra Marquart-Pyatt, Michigan State University
  • 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)

  • 2019 Leontina Hormel, University of Idaho
  • 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