Weston M. Eaton, Ph.D.
- PhD Sociology, Michigan State University, 2015
- BA Sociology, Grand Valley State University, 2003
Weston M. Eaton is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education (AESE) Department at Penn State. His dissertation examined renewable energy technology development from the perspective of people living in communities where bioenergy facilities were proposed for development. A key part of this research explored how communities construct cultural resources around previous and ongoing extractive and industrial development and draw on these resources when making sense of and responding to new technological projects. As a postdoctoral researcher with the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD), Wes partnered with Extension professionals to develop resources intended to improve university-public engagement around emergent, complex, and contested science and technologies. A next step is to extend existing and develop new partnerships in order to apply the resources developed with the NCRCRD. As a postdoctoral research associate at Penn State, his research focuses on efforts to expand the emerging bioeconomy in the Northeast USA.
Burnham, Morey, Weston M. Eaton, Theresa Selfa, and Clare Hinrichs. “Sociotechnical Imaginaries for Bioenergy Development in the Northeast United States: An Imaginaries Conflict Approach.” Geoforum (accepted, in press).
Eaton, Weston M., Morey Burnham, Clare Hinrichs, and Theresa Selfa. 2017. “Bioenergy Experts and Their Imagined “Obligatory Publics” in the United States: Implications for Public Engagement and Participation.” Energy Research & Social Science.
Eaton, Weston M. 2016. “What's the Problem? How ‘Industrial Culture’ Shapes Community Responses to Proposed Bioenergy Development in Northern Michigan, USA.” Journal of Rural Studies 45:76-87
Eaton, Weston M. and Wynne Wright. 2015 “Hurdles to Engaging Publics around Science and Technology." Michigan Sociological Review 29:48-74
Eaton, Weston M., Stephen P. Gasteyer and Lawrence Busch. 2014. "Bioenergy Futures: Framing Sociotechnical Imaginaries in Local Places." Rural Sociology 79:227-256.
Eaton, Weston M., Wynne Wright, Kyle Whyte, Stephen P. Gasteyer, and Pat Gehrke. 2014. "Engagement and Uncertainty: Technologies Challenge the Work of Engagement." Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement 18(2):151–77.
Public Engagement Resources
Socio-Cultural Factors Shaping Landowner Support for and Willingness to Plant Bioenergy Crops. 2016. NEWBio Webinar Series. Penn State Extension. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv9440NjOtc&feature=youtu.be
Improving Public Engagement Around Emergent, Complex, or Contested Science and Technology Issues. 2015. A Roadmap. North Central Regional Center for Rural Development. http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/ncrcrd/policy_briefs
Michigan’s Energy Future: Is there a Role for Woody Biomass? 2012. An Issue Guide. Michigan State University Extension & Michigan AgBioResearch. http://www.fooddemocracyproject.org/biomass_archive/index.php.