I am originally from Edinburg in the Rio Grande Valley. I received my B.A. in Sociology from Rice University in 2005, my M.A. in Sociology from Texas State University in 2009, and my Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington State University in 2013. I taught at Texas Christian University from 2013-2018. I began teaching at Texas State University in 2018.
I have taught courses in introductory sociology, quantitative methods, environmental sociology, energy across disciplines, statistics, and work and society.
My research interests are related to environmental concerns, risk perceptions, perceptions of science, social inequality, and quantitative and qualitative methods. Past research studies have included a qualitative study of community organizers for farmworkers in Texas, a survey of Washington and Nebraska residents on water governance issues, and a qualitative study of stakeholder perceptions of risk related to hydraulic fracturing in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. I am currently working on a research project with Hannah Edwards and Briana Luna on how the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process is implemented for immigrant detention centers. I am also beginning a research project with Caden Ziegler on how NOAA employees engage with the public on Reddit's Science Ask Me Anything series.
Selected Scholarly/Creative Work
Edwards, M. L. (2018). “‘Just Report the Science’: How Scientists Frame Their Engagement in Contested Debates over Fracking in the Barnett Shale.” Energy Research & Social Science, 45, 67–74.
Edwards, M. L. (2018). “Public Perceptions of Energy Policies: Predicting Support, Opposition, and Nonsubstantive Responses.” Energy Policy, 117, 348–357.
Award / Honor Recipient:
Mitosfsky Innovators Award to the Dillman Research Team, American Association for Public Opinion Research. 2017