AESS Best Student Paper Award


The Award

  • Artwork with the award name inscription
  • AESS Conference travel grant/scholarship

Description

This award recognizes the potential in graduate student research to create new insights and impact in environmental science and studies, and to engage with environmental policy, practice, and education.  Empirical, theoretical, qualitative, or quantitative work is welcomed, and papers that use mixed methods are particularly welcomed. The paper may be a work in progress, but must have methods, results, analysis and some conclusions, even if preliminary.

Eligibility Criteria

    • Original research or review papers (co-)authored by graduate and post-graduate level students in any discipline.
    • Paper may be up to 5000 words (maximum word count strictly enforced)
  • Papers co-authored with advisors or other faculty and professionals will be considered if the student is the lead author with two or fewer co-authors.

Submission Guidelines

  • This award is self-nominated.  Students must submit a paper by February 10, 2019 for consideration at the conference of the same academic year. Submissions should include a CV and one letter of reference that explains the career trajectory and potential of the student and significance of the submission to environmental studies. Papers will be judged based on the quality and novelty of the methods and results.
  • Send files in pdf format to awardscommittee@aessonline.org.
  • Andrew McCumber
    PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara

    Received the 2019 AESS Outstanding Student Paper Award for his paper, “‘You Can’t Ignore the Rat’: Cultural Narrative and the Roots of Social and Interspecies Hierarchies,” based on research on Alberta, Canada’s provincial rat control program. His research lies at the intersection of environmental and cultural sociology and centers on ideas of nature, meaning making, and human-animal relationships. His dissertation project is a multi-sited examination of various programs of rat extermination, eradication, and control, titled “The Pest We All Live With: The Cultural Meanings of the Life and Death of Rats.” Andrew says, “In this project I combine diverse forms of data, including ethnographic participant observation, interviews, archival historical materials, and survey data. By looking at these violent geographies of rat control, I examine how relationships with some of our least-loved nonhuman companions reverberate through the broader fabric of social life.” read more

  • Lauren Richter
    Northeastern University
    Social Sciences Environmental Health Research Institute

    Received the 2018 AESS Outstanding Student Paper Award for her paper, Constructing Insignificance: Critical Race Perspectives on Institutional Failure in Environmental Justice Communities.  Drawing on fieldwork in the San Joaquin Valley (CA), Lauren’s paper uses critical race perspectives for theorizing the failures of institutions tasked with the protection of environmental quality and human health in low-income communities and communities of color. Lauren Richter defended her doctoral dissertation, Unseen Science: The Social Re-Discovery of Per- and Polyfluorinated Compounds, in August, 2018.  Dr. Richter is continuing her research with the Silent Spring Institute as a Research Fellow and impactful work with the SSERHIR team.

  • Drew F. Bush
    Ph.D. Candidate
    Department of Geography & School of Environment

    McGill University

    A guest scientist at the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, NY, Drew Bush is working to complete his McGill University doctoral dissertation in the Department of Geography and School of Environment. His research examines how inquiry-based teaching using a classroom adapted NASA-GISS global climate model (GCM) impacts student learning of climate change science. He has started the Be A Climate Modeler For A Week summer camp at McGill, conducted educational research at John Abbott College in Montreal, QC, and taught environmental studies students at New York University in New York, NY.

  • N.K. Chung
    Environmental Outreach Organizer

    N.K. Chung is an Environmental Outreach Organizer where she grows and diversifies grassroots coalitions in raising awareness to a variety of environmental issues alongside the Hudson River in New York. Her research and experience includes water resource management, development, project evaluation, and analytical chemistry. Chung’s academic background in Analytical Chemistry (BS, Marist College, NY) and Environmental Science (MS, Pace University, NY) set the groundwork for her interest in the water crisis.  In 2014, she was a recipient of the US Fulbright award, where she spent some time in Sub-Saharan Africa studying water development and implementation of rural water services. From her thesis research, “Who is Empowering Whom? Divergent Perceptions of Water Empowerment in Swaziland’s Hhohho Region”, Chung identified a disconnect between development agency goals in creating empowerment and how rural communities perceive it. Her efforts continue to concentrate on engaging and connecting communities to environmental issues, specifically on the scarcity and quality of preserving and conserving our water resources.