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Dr. Laurie Richmond

Assistant Professor of Environmental Planning
Graduate Faculty

For more detailed information about my research and teaching please visit my website:  Prospective graduate students should also visit my website for more detailed information about my research lab.

I approach environmental teaching and research from an interdisciplinary perspective that allows for the exploration of the connections between social and ecological systems.  At HSU I teach environmental and natural resources planning courses that bring together elements from the natural and social sciences.  My teaching is rooted in a question that I might pose to students at the beginning of the term: How can we develop approaches to environmental planning and management that are both ecologically sustainable and socially just?  This question challenges students to think about the ecological principles that underlie environmental concerns as well as the social, cultural, and political context of these issues.  For example, in one of my classes, Environmental Impact Assessment, students examine how planners must carefully consider environmental, social, and economic concerns before they approve development projects or implement government actions.  Whenever possible, I ground my teaching in real world cases from the region to allow students to apply their knowledge and critical thinking to environmental issues that are important to the local community.

My research focuses on developing collaborative relationships with natural resource-dependent communities to examine how they navigate both political and ecological changes in their resource systems.  I use this work to consider how environmental planning and management can better incorporate community concerns.  I generally work on marine and coastal issues, particularly questions in fisheries management.  Prior to coming to HSU I worked for two years as a social scientist for NOAA Fisheries in Hawai`i.  My work has also paid particular attention to indigenous groups in order to explore how the continuing context of colonialism impacts community relationships to natural resources.  I have worked with indigenous communities in New Mexico, Alaska, Hawai`i and California on natural resource issues.  My research draws from a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies including semi-structured interviews, oral histories, surveys, ethnography, and policy analysis.  Though I rely on diverse methodologies, my research nearly always incorporates a strong ethnographic component that includes sustained in-person interactions with communities.  Through this I highlight the importance of sense of place, stories, and even humor to questions of environmental planning and management. 

Contact Information

Ph.D. in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology 2011, University of Minnesota
B.S. in Biology 2002, Middlebury College, VT

Courses Taught

EMP 425 Environmental Impact Assessment
EMP 462 Coastal & Marine Planning
EMP 475 Senior Planning Practicum
EMP 510 Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (Research Methods)

Research Interests

Human dimensions of ocean and coastal management and planning; indigenous and community natural resource issues; sustainable fisheries and seafood; coastal communities and climate change; politics of environmental knowledge; environmental justice; environmental geography and sense of place; governance of the commons; environmental conflict; interdisciplinary research approaches


I have published my research in a wide array of venues including: Applied Geography, Ocean & Coastal Management, Ecology & Society, Environmental Management, NOAA Technical Reports, and various edited volumes. For an updated list of my publications view my google scholar page (