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Dr. Laurie Richmond

Assistant Professor of Environmental Planning
Graduate Faculty

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, and Hawai`i on natural resource issues.  My research draws from a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies including semi-structured interviews, oral histories, surveys, network analysis, 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 475 Senior Planning Practicum
EMP 480 Coastal & Marine Planning
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

Research Projects:
• Socioeconomic Monitoring of California’s North Coast Marine Protected Area Network
I am beginning to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team at HSU to develop monitoring of Northern California’s newly implemented MPA network.  I plan to focus on how the MPA implementation has impacted fishing communities and other social and economic systems in the region.

• Institutional Analysis of Community-Based Marine Management Initiatives in the Western Pacific
I have been working with colleagues to conduct interviews and policy analysis to examine the success of community-based marine management programs in the Western Pacific region of the US.  Our research focuses on two initiatives: the Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area Legislation (CBSFA) in Hawai`i and the Community-based Fisheries Management Program (CFMP) in American Samoa.

• Alaska Native Fishing Communities and Political and Ecological Change in the Pacific Halibut Fishery
This interdisciplinary and ongoing research project examines how Alaska Native communities have navigated changes in the science, management, and biology of the cultural and economically important Pacific halibut fishery.  Important changes have included the privatization of the fishery in 1995, recent declining growth rates in the halibut stock, and the development of increasingly technical and Western processes for science and management of the resource.  Research is grounded in over five years of work with the Alaska Native (Sugpiaq) community of Old Harbor in Kodiak, AK.

• Hawai`i Fish Flow Study: Sociocultural Dimensions of Fish Distribution from the Honolulu Fish Auction
In Hawai`i, nearly all of the commercial longline fish catch (including tuna, mahi mahi, ono, and swordfish) is landed and sold at a centralized fish auction.  Through qualitative interviews and ethnographic research with fishermen, auction employees, buyers, dealers, wholesalers, retailers, restaurant owners, and consumers we are developing an understanding of the different distribution channels for Hawai`i-caught seafood as well as the sociocultural context in which these markets are situated.

• Monitoring Socioeconomic Impacts of the 2010 Closure of Hawaii’s Longline Bigeye Tuna Fishery This project utilizes qualitative and quantitative data to examine how a wide variety of stakeholders in the commercial longline bigeye fishery (fishermen, fish dealers and retailers, consumers, and support industries) were affected by the first significant closure of the fishery.


Richmond, L. (in press). Confronting the Colonial Legacy of Fisheries Management: Comparing Policy Challenges and Potentials from Alaska and Hawaii. Environmental Management.

Richmond, L. (in press). Anagyuk (Partner): Personal Relationships and the Exploration of Sugpiaq Fishing Geographies in Old Harbor, AK. A Deeper Sense of Place: New Geographies of Indigenous-Academic Collaboration: Edited Volume Oregon State University Press Indigenous Studies Series. Editors: Jay Johnson and Soren Larson.

Richmond, L. and A. Levine (in press). Institutional Analysis of Community-based Marine Resource Management Initiatives in Hawai`i and American Samoa. NOAA Technical Memorandum: Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. Honolulu, HI.

Richmond, L. D. Kotowicz, J. Hospital, S. Allen (in review).  Adaptations in a Fishing Community: Monitoring Socioeconomic Impacts of Hawaii’s Bigeye Tuna Closure. Ocean & Coastal Management.

Richmond, L.S., D. DiPiero, F. Espinoza, T. Simeonoff, and M. Faraday. 2010. We Shared the Same Chapter: Collaboration, learning, and transformation in the Environment and Community Well-being Native Youth Exchange in Old Harbor, Alaska. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. 14 (4): 63 - 82.

Weisberg, S., G. Spangler, and L. Richmond. 2010. Mixed Effects Models for Fish Growth. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 67(2): 269-277.