Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Carroll Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

PULLMAN, Wash. – Matthew S. Carroll, a professor in the Washington State University department of natural resource sciences, is this year’s recipient of the Merit and Excellence Award from the Natural Resource Working Group of the Rural Sociological Society.

Courtney Flint presents award to WSU's Matthew Carroll. Flint teaches rural sociology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Click to download high-resolution image.

The award was presented to Carroll with the following comments from Richard S. Krannich, treasurer and executive director of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources and professor and sociology department head at Utah State University, and Al Luloff, secretary of the IASNR and professor of agricultural economics and rural sociology at Penn State.The award has been given each year since 1983 to a North American rural sociologist doing meritorious research in the area of natural resources and the environment. The award was presented at the annual meeting of the Rural Sociological Society, held this year in Santa Clara, Calif.

“It is no small feat that Matt has successfully woven sociological theory and rural sociological application into his work in forestry…Matt’s 1995 book Community and the Northwestern Logger: Continuities and change in the Era of the Spotted Owl is a modern day classic that focused much-needed attention on the ways rural people identified with their ‘occupational communities.’ It demonstrated how these relationships influenced responses to and the impacts of changes in natural resource utilization and management. Similarly, his work on the role of place meaning and place attachments has had major impact in this rapidly expanding area of social science inquiry. Matt’s more recent work on the social dimensions of wildfire is both extensive in scope and substantial in impact—he is without doubt at the forefront of research dealing with the ways in which people and communities interpret, respond to and are impacted by wildfire events.”

Carroll recently received a Fulbright fellowship in 2006 to study local response to afforestation in Ireland. Afforestation is the process of establishing a forest on land not previously forested or that has not been forested in a long time. He is currently lead co-editor-in-chief of the international journal Society and Natural Resources and co-editor of a newly published book People, Fire and Forests: A Synthesis of Wildfire Social Science.

The only other WSU faculty members to have received the award were rural sociology professors William Catton and Riley Dunlap, who jointly received the award in 1985.