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Richard (Max) Melstrom, PhD

Title/s:  Endowed Associate Professor of Ecological Economics

Specialty Area: Environmental valuation, natural resource conservation, environmental justice

Office #:  BVM Hall 424

Phone: 773.508.2948


CV Link: Melstrom_CV


Max Melstrom is an economist whose research focuses on environmental valuation, wildlife conservation, and environmental justice. He is a passionate teacher and mentor on topics related to ecological and environmental economics. He developed and manages the Environmental Economics and Sustainability Minor in the School of Environmental Sustainability. Max’s research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Ecological Economics, Land Economics, and American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Many of Max’s publications are based on external grant-funded projects and coauthored with students. He is a past managing editor of the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association’s journal, Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.


  • BA, Economics and Business, Kalamazoo College
  • MA, Economics, Michigan State University
  • PhD, Economics and Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University

Program Areas

Environmental valuation, environmental justice, wildlife conservation

Research Interests

Among other projects, Melstrom has researched the value of fisheries in the Great Lakes, inland lakes and reservoirs, rivers and streams, and urban settings; the effect of the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) on landowners and industry; and the contribution of household sorting, moving and displacement patterns to inequitable access and proximity to environmental quality improvements. Working with and mentoring students in research is an important part of Melstrom’s research program. Many of his recent publications are coauthored with students.

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
  • Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association
  • Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Courses Taught

  • ENVS 327: Food Systems Analysis
  • ENVS 335: Ecological Economics
  • ENVS 398: Special Topics: Natural Resource Economics