Office: 541-737-5471

Bexell Hall

Bexell Hall 314

2251 SW Campus Way

2251 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
Additional Information: 

Professor, Sociology Program

314 Bexell Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-3703
Phone: 541-737-5471
Fax: 541-737-2289


  • Soc 205 - Institutions & Social Change
  • Soc 430/530 - Gender & Society
  • Soc 442/542 - Sociology of Organizations
  • Soc 456/556 - Science & Technology in Social Context
  • Soc 519 - Applied Research Methods

Research Interests

  • Environmental Natural Resource Sociology
  • Applied Sociology including social impact assessment, program evaluation, and organizational development
  • Organizational Sociology
  • Water Conflict and Dispute Resolution

Current Projects

  • Examination of changing roles and expectations for science and scientists in natural resource decision making
  • Institutional resistance to changes in the water sector
  • Transformation of water resources governance structures

Curriculum Vitae


Brief Vita


  • Ph.D. - Sociology, University of Oregon 1992
  • M.S. - Sociology, University of Oregon 1988
  • B.S. - English/Education, University of Minnesota 1976 

Selected Publications

  • Lach, Denise.  2009.  Moving Science and Immovable Values Regarding Old Growth Forests: Clumsy Solutions for Wicked Problems.  Pages 233-243 in Spies and Duncan, Eds. Old Growth in a New World: A Pacific Northwest Icon Re-examined.  Washington, DC: Island Press.
  • Larson, Kelli and Denise Lach.  2008.  Participants and non-participants of Place-Based Groups:  An Assessment of Attitudes and Implications for Public Participation in Water Resource Management.  Journal of Environmental Management 88: 817-830.  Also available on line at 10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.04.008.
  • Lackey, Robert, Denise Lach, and Sally Duncan, eds. 2006.  Salmon 2100: The Future of Wild Pacific Salmon.  Bethesda, MD: American Fisheries Society.
  • Steel, Brent, Denise Lach, and Vijay Satyal.  2006.  “Ideology and Scientific Credibility: Environmental Policy in the Pacific Northwest.”  Public Understanding of Science 14: 1-15.
  • Lach, Denise, Helen Ingram, and Steve Rayner.  2006.  “You Never Miss the Water ‘Till the Well Runs Dry: Crisis and Creativity in California.”  Chapter 10 in Verweij, Marco and Michael Thompson (eds), Clumsy Solutions for a Complex World.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Duncan, Sally and Denise Lach.  2006.  Privileged Knowledge and Social Change: Effects on Different Participants of Using Geographic Information Systems Technology in Natural Resource management.  Environmental Management 38(2): 267-285. 

Recent Grants

  • National Science Foundation: “Changing Expectations for Science and Scientists in Natural Resource Decision Making”
  • US Department of Energy: “Using a Consensus Conference to Characterize Regulatory Concerns”
  • USGS and Institute for Water and Watersheds (IWW): “Building Capacity to Manage Conflict and Change through Oregon’s Water Governance Structures”

Honors and Awards

  • 2004 James and Mildred Oldfield/E.R. Jackman Team Award (for Water Allocation in the Klamath Reclamation Project, 2001)
  • 2008 OSU College of Liberal Arts, Robert J. Frank Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Award
  • 2012 OSU President's Excellence Award (Beaver Champion)

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
Liberal Arts Admin
OSU Main Campus