Laurie Richmond, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Environmental Planning

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. 


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

Courses Taught

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


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.


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 (

Laurie Richmond
(707) 826-3202
Natural Resources (NR) Building, Rm. 218