UMass Amherst Professor Wins National Honor From American Political Science Association

AMHERST, Mass. - Craig W. Thomas, assistant professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, will receive the 1998 Leonard D. White Award from the American Political Science Association (APSA) for the best political science dissertation in the field of public administration. The APSA holds its annual meeting in Boston on Sept. 3, 1998 and the award will be presented at that time.

Thomas’s dissertation tracks the emergence of cooperation among state and federal resource management agencies in California during the 1990s. He found that the preservation of biodiversity is an area where state and federal officials cooperate to protect endangered species and their habitats.

Political scientists have long argued that public agencies are far more likely to compete with one another than to cooperate. However, Thomas found a fear of lawsuits filed by environmental groups under the federal Endangered Species Act proved to be an important incentive in getting state and federal agencies to work together.

Thomas’s dissertation, titled "Bureaucratic Leadership: Interagency Cooperation and the Preservation of Biodiversity," was submitted to the University of California at Berkeley last summer. Thomas joined UMass in September 1997 after completing his master’s degree in public policy and doctorate at Berkeley. He teaches undergraduate courses in environmental policy and public administration in the new UMass Center for Public Policy and Administration.