Loyola University Chicago

School of Environmental Sustainability

Our People

Richard (Max) Melstrom, PhD

Title/s:  Endowed Associate Professor of Ecological Economics

Office #:  BVM Hall 424

Phone: 773.508.2948


CV Link: Melstrom CV 2022


Max Melstrom is an Endowed Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Sustainability whose research focuses on environmental valuation, conservation and restoration policies, and environmental justice. He is a passionate teacher and mentor on topics related to economics, natural resources, and food systems. 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. His work is respected regionally and nationally on matters related to valuation and conservation.


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

Program Areas

Environmental valuation, environmental policy, environmental justice

Research Interests

Among other topics, Max has studied the effects of state and federal policies designed to protect habitat, climate, and human health; the value of fisheries in the Great Lakes, inland lakes and reservoirs, rivers and streams, and urban settings; and the contribution of household sorting, moving and displacement to inequitable access and proximity to green space. He is currently studying the effect of removing pollutants on residents living near Great Lakes Areas of Concern. Working with and mentoring students in research is an important part of Max’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