The editors of Case Studies in the Environment are excited to announce the winners of the 2019 Case Studies in the Environment Prize Competition for best environmental case study submitted to the journal through the October 15, 2019 submission deadline.

All entries to the competition went through a rigorous peer review process and were judged by the editors of the journal for their contributions to teaching environmental concepts to students or practitioners, including making the best use of the complement of learning support features that the journal provides, such as Case Study Questions, Teaching Notes, and Slides.

The top prize article for 2019 is The Spatially Explicit Water Footprint of Blue Jeans: Spatial Methods in Action for Sustainable Consumer Products and Corporate Management of Water, by the University of Southern California Spatial Sciences Institute’s Robert O. Vos.

“I am thrilled and honored to have my article recognized, and I am especially grateful to all the people who supported this work in various ways,” notes Dr. Vos. “The peer review and editorial process at CSE was rigorous and incredibly helpful in gaining clarity of expression for complex ideas and methodological innovations from the worlds of sustainable consumer products, life cycle assessment, water footprints, and the spatial sciences. I am also very grateful to Jaclyn Allen, Director of Corporate Sustainability at Guess?, Inc. for her assistance in working with data sources at the company and for the willingness of Guess?, Inc. to share the methods we developed to help students learn how to make progress on consumer product sustainability.”

Dr. Vos added, “I find that many students are inspired to think about how the products they purchase and use everyday can be redesigned and the production processes reimagined to make them more sustainable. I have used this case study in the classroom for both undergraduate and graduate courses, and I find there is vigorous discussion and a strong desire to work in this area. I very much hope my faculty colleagues will find this article useful to help students grasp some of the complexities in the way commodity chains intersect with space and place to affect how we might measure impacts and redesign consumer products for sustainability.”

Notably, this case study is also part of the special collection Case Studies from the Spatial Sciences, which was guest edited by USCSSI’s Jennifer M. Bernstein and Karen Kemp.

“As the co-guest editor of this CSE special collection that featured Dr. Vos’s work, which focused on the intersection of spatial science and environmental problem solving,” notes Jennifer Bernstein, “I am extremely proud of Dr. Vos’s award. It could not be more well-deserved. His meticulous approach to research and rigorous attention to detail, in addition to his expertise in education, makes this case study extremely useful for educators in spatial science, environmental studies, environmental education, geography, and more. The paper balanced complexity with accessibility. Now, as we increasingly see how embedded commodity chains are in the global economy, we must be aware of the ways in which they affect humans and the biophysical environment. This is a timely honor, and Dr. Vos’s paper demonstrates the way in which environmental problem solving is globally interconnected.”

The full slate of prize-winning articles from the 2019 Case Studies in the Environment Prize Competition, which will remain freely accessible throughout 2020, are:

First Prize:

The Spatially Explicit Water Footprint of Blue Jeans: Spatial Methods in Action for Sustainable Consumer Products and Corporate Management of Water
Robert O. Vos, Spatial Sciences Institute, University of Southern California (USA)

Runners up:

Using Concepts from the Study of Social Movements to Understand Community Response to Liquefied Natural Gas Development in Clatsop County, Oregon
Trang Tran, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, Anchorage (USA)
Casey L. Taylor, Energy and Environmental Policy Program, University of Delaware, Newark (USA)
Hilary S. Boudet, School of Public Policy, Oregon State University, Corvallis (USA)
Keith Baker, Department of Public Administration, SUNY College at Brockport (USA)
Holly L. Peterson, School of Public Policy, Oregon State University, Corvallis (USA)

Improving the Resilience of Water Resources after Wildfire through Collaborative Watershed Management: A Case Study from Colorado
Kyle Blount and Adrianne Kroepsch, Hydrologic Science and Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Thank you to all the authors who submitted articles to the 2019 Case Studies in the Environment Prize Competition! For previous Case Studies in the Environment Prize Competition winners, see Case Studies in the Environment announces winners of 2018 prize competition.

Case Studies in the Environment is a journal of peer-reviewed case study articles and case study pedagogy articles. The journal informs faculty, students, researchers, educators, professionals, and policymakers on case studies and best practices in the environmental sciences and studies.