For Richard Stedman, associate professor of natural resources, a “sense of place” transcends nostalgia. It’s a measurable, predictable, potent driving force in how people respond to environmental and social change; it shapes public policy and resource management in crucial ways. His work has played a pivotal role in defining this area of inquiry.
Since completing his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stedman has published more than 100 articles in this area of scholarship across a diverse range of topics and settings, including management of invasive aquatic pests and wildlife/fishery management. His approach is highly collaborative, and he was honored with the William R. Freudenburg Research Award of Merit from the Rural Sociological Society in 2014.
In addition to growing his signature course, Society and Natural Resources, now with more than 150 students per year, Stedman has embraced the role of public scholar. His commitment to the Land-Grant tradition of engagement with communities and his commitment to New York State issues have made him a valuable resource for communities, including those grappling with potential social, environmental, and economic impacts of natural gas development. He was a member of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marcellus Shale Team that earned the 2011 Cornell University David J. Allee and Paul R. Eberts Community and Economic Vitality Award.
Stedman joined the faculty in 2007, was promoted to associate professor in 2009, and has served as the director of the Department of Natural Resources Human Dimensions Research Unit since 2013.