Dr. Melissa K. Merry was presented with the inaugural Arnold Vedlitz Award during the 2017 Southern Political Science Association Annual Conference held January 12-14 in New Orleans. Merry is the author of Framing Environmental Disaster: Environmental Advocacy and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, published in 2016.
The award will be given annually to authors of seminal books or articles focusing on the environmental politics of the American South, with special consideration given to the Gulf Coast area. The $400 annual research award, and accompanying plaque, was created by Vedlitz to encourage scholars to study the region and its unique environmental challenges.
Dr. Vedlitz hails from Shreveport, Louisiana, and holds the Bob Bullock Chair in Government and Public Service at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Vedlitz is renowned in his field for his extensive research in science, technology, the environment, and public policy.
Dr. Merry is a professor of political science and faculty member at the University of Louisville, where she studies environmental politics and policy, interest groups, and communications. She received her MA and PhD in political science from the University of Washington, and has been published in the academic journal American Politics Research.