Matto Mildenberger, Assistant Professor of Political Science, received the 2016 Virgina M. Walsh Best Dissertation Award, which was awarded by the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) Section of the American Political Science Association. His winning dissertation is titled Fiddling while the world burns: Organized economic interests and the comparative politics of carbon pricing. The committee noted that his dissertation was:
Comprehensive, rigorous and very well written, this is an excellent piece of scholarship that we are very pleased to recognize with the STEP dissertation prize. Matto makes a strong theoretical contribution, which is supported by a rigorous and systematic methodological approach. We were also really impressed with the extent of work that was done to accomplish the project, which was original and comprehensive.
Sarah Anderson, Affiliated Associate Professor, along with other collaborators from UCSB, including department alumna Heather Hodges, received STEP’s Paul A. Sabatier Award for best paper presented at the previous annual conference. Their paper, “Salience of Wildfire Risk and the Management of Public Lands” demonstrates that “wildfires garner public attention and motivate the public to push for fuel treatment on federal land, influencing forest managers’ fuel management decisions.” The selection committee notes that their paper was “theoretically driven, empirically creative, and policy relevant” and best exemplifies the “intellectual legacy of Paul A. Sabatier’s work.”
Environmental politics is a high priority in the Political Science Department and it draws on university-wide strengths in the environment.