Edwards is a professor of economics, director of the Center for Great Plains Studies and former Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Edwards received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Before coming to UNL, he served as chair of the economics department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky.
In recent years, Edwards’ research has focused on aiding global efforts to preserve and restore the world’s endangered grasslands, including those in the Great Plains. He has worked with the Grassland Foundation and others to develop more effective policies for conserving bio-diversity, especially policies that connect the health of natural ecologies to economic prosperity in nearby human communities. A recent article with Eric Thompson on this topic in Great Plains Research won the Leslie Hewes Award.