His research has been funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the J. S. Mott Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the National Institute for Chemical Studies, the European Social Science Council, and other organizations.
Professor Rich was the Editor of the State University of New York Press Urban Public Policy book series which won the Aaron Wildavsky Award for Contributions to Policy Analysis. He is coauthor of Empirical Political Analysis, 8th ed. (Longman, 2010). His articles have been published in such journals as Administration and Society, American Journal of Community Psychology, The Environmental Professional, American Journal of Political Science, American Behavioral Scientist, Community Psychology, Environmental Practice, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs, Urban Studies, Policy Studies Journal, Policy Studies Review, Risk Analysis, Risk, and Social Policy.
Professor Rich's areas of teaching and research include: domestic and global environmental policy, public policy analysis, urban ecology, and research methods.
Part of Professor Rich's teaching has involved organizing and leading a series of study abroad programs focused on environmental policy in Western Europe.
He is a member of the National Council for Science and the Environment and the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Council. He also serves on the Expert Panel advising the U.S. Climate Change Research Program, and is the Environmental Policy Editor of the on-line Encyclopedia of the Earth. He is the Director of the Center for Environmental and Energy Studies, and was formerly Chair of the Department of Political Science and Director of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech.
He represented the U.S. at two international conferences organized by the United Nations. He has held fellowships from the Kellogg Foundation and the National Association of Schools of Public Administration, and was Benjamin Bannaker Professor of Metropolitan Area Affairs at George Washington University.