• B.A., College of Wooster (Anthropology) 1998
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin- Madison (Environmental Studies) 2004
  • Ph.D., Ohio State University (Rural Sociology) 2009
Areas of Interest

I conducted my dissertation research on the commodification of ecosystem services, and more specifically the trading of water quality credits within watersheds. The work has since appeared in several journals of rural studies and environmental sociology.

My current research interests center primarily on the worldwide movement by small family farmers and peasant farming communities to transition away from industrialized, input-intensive, export-oriented agricultural practices and (back) towards more ecological, low-input, and locally-oriented farm systems. In my qualitative research approach I interview farmers and others associated with agriculture to understand the social forces that propel and impede these changes. I have conducted reseach on the topic in Ohio among Amish farmers; in Thailand along with former student Erin Plews-Ogan ’13; and most recently in southern Chile.

Other research topics of interest include local food cooperatives, biological pesticides, and campus gardens as learning sites.

Courses Taught
  • ENVS 110: Science, Society, and Environment
  • ENVS 20002: CAFOs and the Environment
  • ENVS 20003: Waste and Environmental Contamination
  • ENVS 220: From Farm to Table: Understanding the Food System
  • ENVS 230: Sustainable Agriculture: Theory to Practice (lab course)
  • ENVS 310: Sustainable Development: Principles & Practices
  • Mariola, Matt J. and David McConnell. 2013. “The shifting landscape of Amish agriculture: Balancing tradition and modernity in an organic farming cooperative.” Human Organization. 72(2): 144-153.
  • Mariola, Matt J. 2012. “Farmers, trust, and the market solution to water pollution: The role of social embeddedness in water quality trading.” Journal of Rural Studies 28: 577-589.
  • Mariola, Matt J. 2011. “The commodification of pollution and a preemptive double movement in environmental governance: The case of water quality trading.” Organization & Environment 24(3): 231-248.
  • Miller, Melanie and Matthew J. Mariola. 2009. “The Discontinuance of Environmental Technologies in the Humid Tropics of Costa Rica: Results from a Qualitative Survey.” Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education 16(1): 31-42.
  • Mariola, Matthew J. 2008. “The local industrial complex? Questioning the link between local foods and energy use.” Agriculture & Human Values 25 (2): 193-196.
  • Mariola, Matthew, Adam Schwieterman, and Gillian Desonier-Lewis. 2022. “What do local foods consumers want? Lessons from ten years at a local foods market.” Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 11(3): 211-227. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2022.113.011
  • Mariola, Matthew, Amyaz Moledina, and Larry A. Nye. 2021. “Are Beginning and Small-Scale Farmers Drawn to Diversification? Ten Years’ Findings From Ohio” Journal of Extension. 58(5): Article16. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol58/iss5/16
  • Mariola, Matt J. 2018. “Limited fertility, limited land: Barriers to sustainability in a Chilean agrarian community.” In Sustainability of Agroecosystems, Alexandre Bosco de Oliveira (ed.). IntechOpen. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.75210.
  • Mariola, Matt J. 2017. “Sustainable agriculture outreach in a marginalized farming village in southern Chile: Observations from a rural sociologist.” International Journal of Agricultural Extension. 5(2): 67-71.
  • Plews-Ogan, Erin, Matt J. Mariola, and Amphika Ananta. 2017. “Polyculture, autonomy, and community: The pursuit of sustainability in a Northern Thai farming village.” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. 15(4): 418-431.