University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics

Richard Watts

richard watts

Richard Watts, PhD Assistant Research Professor

  • PhD 2006 University of Vermont
  • MA 1989 Syracuse University
  • BA 1985 State University of New York at Cortland
Areas of Expertise:

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

View/Download CV (PDF)
Contact Information
Office: 208 G Morrill Hall
Phone: 802.656.9775
Email: email Richard
Google+: Richard Watts

Click here for Courses and Syllabi

Richard A. Watts, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on the relationships between communications and public policy. 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, as a journalist and a consultant to government agencies, advocacy organizations and business groups.


Richard directs the Center for Research on Vermont which supports and celebrates Vermont research through grants, awards, speaker series, research papers and books.


R. Watts, S. Heiss, M. Moser, J. Kolodinsky, R. Johnson. Tobacco Tax Vs. Soda Tax Framing: A Media Analysis Of Tobacco And Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Policy Debates In Vermont. Health Behavior and Policy Review. (in press, 2014)

L. Keir, R. Watts, and S. Inwood. Environmental Justice and Citizen Perceptions of a Proposed Electric Transmission Line.  Journal of Community Development. March, 2014. Community Development. Volume 45, Issue 2, 2014.

R. Watts, R. Mills, R. Fish. The Highway Coalition Revisited: Using the Advocacy Coalition Framework to Explore the Content of AASHTO’s Daily Transportation Update. Public Voices (2013). Vol. 13 Issue 1, 79-99.

R. Watts, S. Kaza. Planning for power: frame production in an environmental conflict over the siting of a high-voltage transmission line. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, (2013). Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 247-258.

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

S. Kaza, R. Watts. (2012). The Environmental Program 40 Years. The University of Vermont/Environmental Program.

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.

J. Maddison, R. Watts. (2011). The Technological Fix as a Frame in Media Debates about Tailpipe Emissions. Technology in Society.

R. Watts, P. Hines, J. Dowds. (2010). The Debate over Re-Licensing the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. The Electricity Journal.

R. Watts, (2010). An Examination of Gasoline Taxes in News Media Discourse. New York Transportation Journal.

R. Watts. (2010). Increasing Carpooling in Vermont: Opportunities and Obstacles. Transportation Research Center.

A. Weeks, R. Watts, L. Aultman-Hall. (2009). The Transportation Impacts of Smart Growth in Two Maine Rural Towns. Transportation Research Center.

S. Letendre and R. Watts. (2008). Effects of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles on the Vermont Electric Transmission System. Transportation Research Center.

R. Watts, E. Wang, L. Aultman-Hall. (2008). Transportation Efficiency in Vermont. Transportation Research Center.

R. Watts. (2007). Voices of Vermonters on Vermont’s Transportation Future.

R. Watts. (2006). Engaging Vermonters in Vermont’s Energy Future. Snelling Center for Government.

2014-2015 COURSES

CDAE 006: Energy Alternatives (ENVS 185)
ENVS 185: Energy Action Seminar
ENVS 195: Sustainable Transportation Planning
CDAE 251: Contemporary Policy Issues:  Organizing for Social Change
VS 52: Introduction to Vermont – Myth & Reality

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