Rachelle Gould – RSENR

Rachelle Gould

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources Assistant Professor, Sustainability and Global Equity

Dr. Gould uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods to study the connection between ecosystems and human wellbeing. She has a B.A. in Environmental Science and Public Policy at Harvard College, an M.A. in Forest Science from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a Ph.D. Environment and Resources from Stanford University. She is currently a researcher and assistant professor at the Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources.Her most recent qualitative research projects are through her graduate students. In locations including Hawaii, New York City and Vermont, they are researching how people learn about the environment, how people value the nonmaterial benefits of nature, and how these values are incorporated into policy. Research questions include: How are Hawaiians affected by coral reef degradation in terms of their identity and heritage? What can Vermonters’ stories about experiences with coyotes reveal about their views of this species, and policy surrounding this issue? How do people understand algal blooms? How have Hawaiians’ cultural impact statements been included into policy, and how do they feel about the results of this? Methods used in these projects include semi-structured interviews, mental models, and story collection.

“That’s my motivation: trying to figure out what do people think about this? How important is it? And these nonmaterial benefits can be particularly important for marginalized communities that don’t have a lot of political power, indigenous communities that are very connected to the land, and those values aren’t getting incorporated into policy when you’re looking at an economic framework. So to me that’s important—to try to bring those voices and perspectives that don’t get incorporated into the conversation.”

Contact: rachelle.gould@uvm.edu