Ryan Thomson

Assistant Professor

Agricultural Economics & Rural Sociology

(334) 844-5631 



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313 Comer Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849



  • Ph.D., Sociology University of Florida, 2019
    GradC, Geospatial Analytics (GIST) North Carolina University, 2014
  • M.S., Sociology North Carolina State University, 2012
  • B.A., Sociology North Carolina State University, 2010
  • B.A., Political Science North Carolina State University, 2010


  • Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University
  • Co-Director, Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Sociology


  • Rural Sociological Society (RSS) 2021 Early Career Award
  • University of Florida Graduate School Teaching Award, University of Florida Graduate School Dissertation Research
  • Award, University of Florida Jerome A. Connor Dissertation Award, University of Florida J.S. Vandiver Teacher of the Year
  • Award, University of Florida Gorman Award for Excellence in Quantitative Research


  • Rural Sociological Society
  • American Sociological Association
  • American Association of Geographers
  • American Society of Criminology


Dr. Thomson’s research examines the intersection environment and community health as it pertains to issues of inequality. His work frequently employs geospatial and network analysis to inform public policy and grassroots responses to complex social problems. His latest work uses participatory action research to examine a series of community-driven research questions with the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition surrounding issues of heir’s property, access, and land loss.

See also Alabama Grassroots Clearinghouse & Alabama Timberland.


  • RSOC 7700 – Methods of Social Research (Spring)
  • RSOC 3560 – Environment, Justice, & Society (Fall)
  • RSOC 5510/6510 – Social Welfare, Family, & Poverty (Fall)


  • Bailey, Conner, Abhimanyu Gopaul, Ryan Thomson, and Andrew Gunnoe. (2020). “Taking Goldschmidt to the Woods: Timberland Ownership and Quality of Life in Alabama.” Rural Sociology.
  • Thomson, Ryan, Johanna Espin, and Tameka Samuels-Jones. (2020). “Green Crime Havens: A Spatial Cluster Analysis of Environmental Crime.” Social Science Quarterly.
  • Thomson, Ryan and Tameka Samuels-Jones. (2020). “Toxic Colonialism in the Territorial Isles: A Geospatial Analysis of Environmental Crime on U.S. Territorial Islands 2013 – 2017.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology – Green Crime Special Issue.
  • Thomson, Ryan, Johanna Espin, and Tameka Samuels-Jones. (Forthcoming). “Green Crime Havens: A Spatial Cluster Analysis of Environmental Crime.” Social Science Quarterly.
  • Samuels-Jones, Tameka, Ryan Thomson, and Johanna Espin. (2019). “Green Crime on the Reservation: A Quantitative Analysis of U.S. Indian Reservations 2011 – 2015.” In International Handbook of Green Criminology (2nd Edition). Routledge. Edited by Avi Brisman and Nigel South.
  • Thomson, Ryan, Tameka Samuels-Jones, and Liam Downs. (2019). “The Branches of Green Criminology: A Bibliometric Citation Analysis 2000 – 2017” In Quantitative Studies in Green and Conservation Criminology. Routledge. Edited Lynch, Michael, and Stephen Pires.
  • Perz, Stephen, Heather Covington, Johanna Espin, Lauren Griffin, Flavia Leite, Anne Mook, Christine Overdevest, Tameka Samuel-Jones, and Ryan Thomson. (2018). “Future Directions in Environmental and Resource Sociology: Reflections on the Specialty and Suggestions for Going Forward.” Environmental Sociology.