Profile picture of Richard York

Richard York

Director of Environmental Studies, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies, SAIL, Sociology
Phone: 541-346-5064
Office: 730 PLC
Office Hours: W24: By appointment
Research Interests: Place and Environment, Population and Ecology, Theory Knowledge Science, Quantitative Approaches


Professor Richard York received his B.S. in Psychology from Southern Oregon State College in 1994, his M.S. in Environmental Studies from Bemidji State University in 1997, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington State University in 2002.  He joined the University of Oregon in 2002, and is now Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies.  He is an environmental sociologist whose work combines human ecology and political economy.  He is both a theorist and an empirical researcher, who primarily uses quantitative methods.

One focus of his research is on how the structural characteristics of societies, including demographic, economic, and technological factors, influence levels of resource consumption and pollution emissions.  Additionally, he examines the connections between animals and societies.  He also studies the sociology, philosophy, and history of science.

Research Interests

  • climate change, energy, and society
  • critical human ecology
  • philosophy, history, and sociology of science

Honors and Awards

Frederick H. Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award. 2017. Environmental Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. “This award was founded to express appreciation when a person's life work is deemed extraordinarily meritorious.”

Distinguished Scholarship Award. 2015. Section on Animals and Society of the American Sociological Association. Received for “The Invisible Animal: Anthrozoology and Macrosociology,” co-authored with Philip Mancus.

Faculty Excellence Award.  2013.  University of Oregon.  Received for a “sustained record of distinction in research, teaching, and leadership.”

Thomas F. Herman Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching.  2013.  University of Oregon.  The University’s highest teaching award, received for long-standing excellence in teaching.