Dr. Matthew Sanderson
Professor of Geography and Randall C. Hill Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
204 Waters Hall
Ph.D., 2008, University of Utah
I am a social scientist working at the multiple intersections of population and environment. I am interested in the human dimensions of environmental change, and the environmental causes and consequences of social change. My recent projects examine how social structures influence groundwater management at multiple scales (community to global; how social factors affect the adoption of irrigation technologies; how culture influences perceptions of the science, knowledge, and information used to make decisions about agricultural adaptations; and when, how, why, and where global change interacts with national, regional, and local social structures to encourage or constrain people’s decisions to migrate.
- Sanderson, Matthew R. 2020. People Pipelines: Occupational Channeling and Economic Incorporation in a Great Plains New Destination Region. Great Plains Research 30(2): 125-136.
- Sanderson, Matthew R., and Vivian Hughes. 2019. Race to the Bottom (of the Well): Groundwater in an Agricultural Production Treadmill. Social Problems 66(3): 392-410.
- Lauer, Stephen and Matthew R. Sanderson. 2019. Irrigated Agriculture and Development: A Cross-County Analysis, 1980-2010. Environment, Development, and Sustainability 22(5): 4407-4423.
- Sanderson, Matthew R., Jason S. Bergtold, Jessica L. Heier Stamm, Marcellus M. Caldas, Steven Ramsey, and Joseph A. Aistrup. 2018. Explaining Climate Change Beliefs in an Agricultural Context: The Role of Held Values. Climatic Change 150(3): 259-272.
- Sanderson, Matthew R., Jason S. Bergtold, Jessica L. Heier Stamm, Marcellus M. Caldas, and Steven Ramsey. 2017. Bringing the ‘social’ into socio-hydrology: Conservation Policies in the Central Great Plains of Kansas, USA. Water Resources Research 53(8): 6725-6743.
- Editor-in-Chief, Agriculture and Human Values
- Chair, Sociology of Development Section, American Sociological Association (ASA)
- Member, Inter-Institutional Network on Food, Agriculture, and Sustainability (INFAS)
- Executive Committee, Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS)
- Executive Committee, Permanent Forum of Binational Waters/Transboundary Forum
Short Biographical Sketch
Matthew R. Sanderson is Randall C. Hill Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work and Professor of Geography and Geospatial Sciences at Kansas State University. He has been Visiting Professor at the Center for Environmental Resource Management, University of Texas-El Paso, and Research Fellow at the Hugo Centre for Population Research, University of Adelaide, Australia. He is Editor-in-Chief of Agriculture and Human Values, the leading journal for critical, interdisciplinary research on agriculture and food systems. Through his research, teaching, and outreach, he is exploring means of developing more regenerative, socially and ecologically resilient communities.
Sanderson’s work focuses on the issue of development as a practice, a problem, and an ideal. He is especially interested in understanding the relations between people and ecosystems in the context of globalization – the social processes integrating economies, polities, and cultures into an increasingly shared, but contested, space. Most of his work is comparative and historical, employing quantitative and qualitative methods. His work has been recognized with awards the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, Great Plains Research, the World Congress of Sociology and the International Sociological Association. His research has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Australian Research Council.
A Kansan by birth and by choice, Dr. Sanderson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics, and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Kansas State University. He earned his Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Utah.