Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Our People

Richard (Max) Melstrom, PhD

Title/s:  Endowed Assistant Professor of Ecological Economics

Office #:  BVM Hall 424

Phone: 773.508.2948


CV Link: MelstromCV


Max Melstrom joined the faculty at the Institute of Environmental Sustainability in 2017 with a specialty in ecological economics. He received a PhD in economics and agricultural economics from Michigan State University in 2012. Melstrom taught at Salisbury University (2012-2014) before accepting a research and extension appointment at Oklahoma State University (2014-2017). In 2016 the Southern Agricultural Economics Association named him an emerging scholar. Melstrom's published work appears in Ecological Economics, Energy Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Land Economics, and a number of other scholarly journals in economics and environmental science.


  • PhD Economics and Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics (dual major)
    Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • MA Economics
    Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • BA Economics and Business
    Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI
  • General Course
    London School of Economics, London, UK

Research Interests

Melstrom's research addresses the economics of environmental resources on topics related to ecosystem services, conservation, fisheries and environmental regulations. Recently, his research has focused on measuring the economic effects of land use regulations to protect imperiled species, and examining different methods for valuing the environment. 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

  • Reviewer for Ecological Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Processes, Journal of Cultural Economics, Journal of Environmental Management, Journal of Wildlife Management, Oryx, Environments, Tourism Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education, Resource and Energy Economics, California Agriculture, International Review of Economics Education, and Water Resources Research.
  • Discussant at Thresholds, Tipping Points and Random Events in Dynamic Economic Systems workshop, Knoxville, Ten
  • Session moderator at annual meeting of Oklahoma Clean Lakes and Watersheds Association, 2016

Courses Taught

  • ENVS 335: Ecological Economics
  • ENVS 398: Special Topics: Natural Resource Economics


  • Emerging Scholar Award, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, 2016
  • Best Dissertation in the Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Department, Michigan State University, 2012.
  • Environmental Science and Policy Fellowship, Michigan State University, 2007{2009.

Selected Publications

Melstrom, R.T. Where to drill? The petroleum industry’s response to an endangered species listing. Energy Economics 66: 320-327.

Wietelman, D.C. and R.T. Melstrom. 2017. The effect of listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species on rural property values. Journal of Environmental Management 191: 155-161.

Melstrom, R.T. and D.H. Jayasekera. 2017. Two-stage estimation to control for unobservables in a recreation demand model with unvisited sites. Land Economics 93(2): 328-341.

For a complete list of publications, awards, and affiliations, see his CV.