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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

DASNR’s Max Melstrom earns top regional recognition

STILWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State University’s Max Melstrom has become one of the go-to professionals when it comes to determining the value of natural resource use and environmental policy in Oklahoma, the region and beyond.
DASNR’s Max Melstrom earns top regional recognition

Max Melstrom joined the OSU department of agricultural economics faculty in 2014. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

An agricultural economist with OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Melstrom’s own value received a very special stamp of approval during the spring semester, when he was named the 2017 Emerging Scholar Award recipient by the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

“Dr. Melstrom’s research program in valuing natural resources and in wildlife conservation contributes significantly to the field of natural resource economics and environmental policy,” said Mike Woods, head of the OSU department of agricultural economics. “This work is highly sought after and fills an important professional need in Oklahoma and the region.”

The SAEA Emerging Scholar Award highlights the work of high-performing early-career professionals in agricultural economics.

Tom Coon, DASNR vice president, dean and director, said Melstrom embodies many important aspects of the land-grant mission, especially in terms of filling an important leadership role regionally and nationally on matters related to the economics of wildlife conservation.

“Dr. Melstrom’s research on the economic impacts of endangered species protection laws has him working closely with natural resource professionals and land managers and has the potential to alter how endangered species conservation is handled not only in Oklahoma but throughout the United States,” he said.

Coon stressed wise use and management of America’s natural resources can have significant effects not only on the current generation but on generations yet to come. “Wildlife conservation can be challenging in that we’re not only talking about government land but the extremely large percentage of American acreages owned and operated by private non-industrial landowners, including farmers and ranchers” he said.

Melstrom regularly consults the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation on economic issues. He also serves as the economist on the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture multistate research project “Understanding the Ecological and Social Constraints to Achieving Sustainable Fisheries Resource Policy and Management.”

“Dr. Melstrom has developed research program since joining our faculty in 2014, and his work and expertise have resulted in several significant grant awards,” Woods said.

In addition to collaborating on a National Science Foundation project that initiated his appointment, Melstrom has secured four additional grants that have supported graduate students, post-doc and full-time undergraduate research assistants, and several part-time undergraduate assistants.

Melstrom’s research has been published in professionally renowned resource economics journals including Land Economics and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, as well as interdisciplinary journals such as Water Resources Research.

Prior to joining the OSU faculty, Melstrom was an assistant professor at Salisbury University in Maryland for two years.

The purposes and objectives of the SAEA are to foster the study and understanding of agricultural economics and its applications to problems in the Southern United States; to promote unity and effectiveness of effort among all concerned with those problems; to promote improvement in the professional competence and standards of members; to cooperate with other organizations and institutions engaged in similar or related activities; and to increase the contribution of agricultural economics to human welfare.

DASNR is comprised of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the university’s two state agencies: The statewide Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.


Donald Stotts
DASNR News and Media Relations
Agricultural Communications Services
132 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4079
Fax: 405-744-5739

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078

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