Joan Brehm, Associate Professor of Sociology, is the 2013 winner of the Janice Witherspoon Neuleib Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement. The award, one of the highest honors given to a tenured faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences, recognizes truly outstanding scholarly achievement in the preceding calendar year.
Brehm’s research focuses on the role of natural environment amenities, values, and attitudes in community attachment, and their relationship to community well-being and ecological health in rural and rapidly urbanizing landscapes. She has published over a dozen peer-reviewed articles on various related topics. She has received research grants from USDA/CSREES/ NIWQP and IL-EPA and is currently working on her second IL-EPA funded research project, “A Social Assessment of the Nippersink Creek Watershed – Phase II” which is funded by Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, though the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. This project focuses on facilitating effective and targeted implementation of various conservation efforts (as outlined in the Nippersink Creek Watershed Plan) though a more accurate understanding of current values and attitudes toward the natural resources within the watershed.