University of Vermont

Richard Watts

Richard Watts

Lecturer/Research Assistant Professor, CDAE/Director Center for Research on Vermont

Phone: 802-656-9775
Office: 208G Morrill Hall
CDAE website profile:

Areas of Interest

Strategic communications & media discourse, public policy, energy use and transportation behavior, citizen participation

Richard A. Watts, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on the relationships between public communications and policy outcomes. Richard examines the role of strategic communications in the development and implementation of public policy related to energy, transportation and public health. This research builds on his experience as a policy and communication professional in public policy and political campaigns, as a journalist and a consultant to government agencies, advocacy organizations and business groups. Richard most recently completed a book using this approach sponsored by the Center for Research on Vermont; Public Meltdown: The Story of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Richard grew up in Putney, Vermont and currently lives in Hinesburg with his wife and daughter and two dogs.


Ph.D. 2006 University of Vermont, Natural Resource Planning
M.A. 1989 Syracuse University, Newspaper Journalism
B.A. 1985 State University of New York at Cortland, Political Science

Selected Publications

R. Watts. (2012). Public Meltdown: The Story of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Amherst, MA: White River Press.

R. Watts. (2012). The 30-Year Campaign to Reduce Smoking Rates In Vermont. White paper. Community Development & Applied Economics.

R. Watts, A. Witham. (2012). Social Network Analysis of Sustainable Transportation Organizations. UVM Transportation Research Center.

R. Watts. (2012). The Role of Media Actors in Reframing the Media Discourse in the Decision to Reject Relicensing the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.

R. Watts, K. Frick, J. Maddison. (2012). Policy Making, Incrementalism and News Discourse: Gasoline Tax Debates in Eight U.S. States. Public Works Management & Policy.

J. Maddison, R.Watts. (2012). Newspaper Source Prominence in News Media Coverage of Motor Vehicle Emissions 2000-2008. Newspaper Research Journal.