Professor Emeritus, Department of Global Development
Max J. Pfeffer is a Professor Emeritus of Global Development whose expertise and research in key policy areas—including land use and environmental planning, rural and agricultural labor markets, and rural-to-urban and international migration—have helped Cornell develop a reputation with policy makers for innovative solutions to pressing social issues. His academic work has focused on a variety of rural and urban communities in New York, Mexico, and Central America. Funding for his research has been provided by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative and its Fund for Rural America, and the Social Science Research Council. Pfeffer has published a wide range of scholarly articles and has written/co-edited four books, including (with John Schelhas) Saving Forests, Protecting People? Environmental Conservation in Central America. Pfeffer has served on and led National Research Council committees of the Water Science and Technology Board, and has served as Chair of the New York Sea Grant Board of Governors. He has been Executive Dean, Senior Associate Dean, Chair of the Development Sociology Department and the Associate Director of both the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cornell University Center for the Environment.
Max has conducted research on a variety of topical areas including community development, international migration, agricultural labor, rural labor markets, land use and environmental planning. Primary data collection and field research have been a defining features of his research which has centered on a variety of rural and urban communities with a particular emphasis on rural/urban fringe areas in rural New York, Mexico and Central America.
- Freitag, A., & Pfeffer, M. J. (2013). Process, Not Product: Investigating Recommendations for Improving Citizen Science "Success." PLOS One. 8:e64079.
- Pfeffer, M. J., & Parra, P. (2009). Strong Ties, Weak Ties, and Human Capital: Latino Immigrant Employment Outside the Enclave. Rural Sociology. 74:241-269.
- Pfeffer, M. J. (2008). The Underpinnings of Immigration and the Limits of Immigration Policy. Cornell International Law Journal. 41:83-100.
- Pfeffer, M. J., Schelhas, J., & Meola, C. (2006). Environmental Globalization, Organizational Form, and Expected Benefits from Protected Areas in Central America. Rural Sociology. 7:429-450.
- Pfeffer, M. J., Schelhas, J., DeGloria, S. D., & Gomez, J. (2005). Population, conservation, and land use change in Honduras. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 110:14-28.
Presentations and Activities
- Immigrants and Communities. 2018 ICMA Annual Conference. January 2018. International City/County Management Association. Baltimore, MD United States.
- Doctorate, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1986
- Master of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1979
- Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado, 1976
mjp5 [at] cornell.edu
Max in the news
Benjamin Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean, recognized 41 faculty and staff members for their remarkable accomplishments at the 2021 CALS Research, Extension and Core Value Staff Awards ceremony.
- Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
- Department of Communication
- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Max Pfeffer, a distinguished researcher of rural and urban communities and a leader who helped reshape the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for the 21st century, will become emeritus professor of global development on July 1.
- Department of Global Development
- Global Development