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Falk College Professor receives Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award
The Rural Sociological Society (RSS) honored Rick Welsh, professor of food studies in the Falk College’s Department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition, for exceptional contributions to the field of rural sociology with the 2013 Fred Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award. This distinguished honor recognizes excellence in scholarly work in the same spirit exemplified by the late Fred Buttel, a prominent scholar of the sociology of agriculture and environmental sociology.
The award was presented to Welsh and co-investigators Leland L. Glenna, David Ervin, William B. Lacy and Dina Biscotti at the annual meeting of RSS in August 2013 for the journal article “Commercial Science, Scientists’ Values and University Biotechnology Research Agenda.” The study, published in Research Policy, examined the interaction between innovation, technology or research, and economic, social, political and organizational processes. Reviewers described Welsh’s collaborative work as “a major contribution to the literature on agricultural science and technology—a central dimension of Fred Buttel’s contribution to rural sociology.”
In addition to 2013 Buttel Scholarly Achievement Award, Welsh recently received a grant from the University of Michigan’s Water Center for the project “Wetlands for Wildlife: Understanding Drivers of Public-Private Partnership Restoration Success.” This project is one of six projects led by multidisciplinary teams that received funding from the Water Center to support and enhance restoration and protection efforts of the Great Lakes basin.
The research will measure the ecological, social and economic impacts of 50 restored public-private partnership (PPP) wetlands on private landholdings within the Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River watershed in New York State. PPP wetlands are important for conserving and restoring wetlands in the Great Lakes watershed. However, minimal assessments have been conducted to understand how these programs impact wetland-associated biodiversity within agricultural landscapes. Even less is known about the impact of wetland restoration on property values, as well as landowner motivations for participation in these projects.
The Water Center is part of the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute and is supported by funds from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation and the University of Michigan. Welsh will be working with co-investigators Tom Langen (Clarkson University) and David Chandler (Syracuse University). The project will engage the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.