Laurie Richmond, Ph.D.

Professor - Environmental Planning

Laurie Richmond, Ph.D.
(707) 826-3202
Natural Resources (NR) Building, Rm. 218
For more detailed information about my research and teaching, including information about current and past graduate students, 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 Humboldt 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, economic, and political context of these issues. For example, in one of my classes, Environmental Impact Assessment, students examine how planners carefully consider environmental, social, and economic concerns before they approve development projects or implement government actions. In Coastal and Marine Planning, students bring an interdisciplinary lens to explore strategies for addressing planning and management challenges in the dynamic coastal environment. 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.

Specialty Area

Research Areas:

  • Marine, Coastal and Community Resilience


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)


Dr. Richmond's research focused on human dimensions of natural resources with an emphasis on marine and coastal systems. She has done research related to the health and sustainability of fishing communities, the social and cultural dimensions of fisheries management and policy, socioeconomic outcomes from marine protected areas, social considerations for the development of offshore renewable energy projects, and planning and community engagement related to sea level rise.

Humboldt Bay is experiencing the fastest rate of sea level rise (SLR) on the entire West coast. Dr. Richmond is part of the Humboldt Sea Level Rise Initiative which brings together an interdisciplinary team of scholars and practitioners from local governments and agencies, Tribes, NGOs, planning firms, and academia to help develop coordinate research and planning related to SLR in the region.

In 2019, Dr. Richmond completed a collaborative project with the commercial fishing communities of Shelter Cove and Eureka on the California North Coast. She collaborated with a variety of partners to engage the communities in a bottom-up planning process that led to the development of Fishing Community Sustainability Plans for each community that included community-driven recommendations to improve each community's overall well-being. The communities have already begun implementing priority recommendations. Details on that project can be found here.


I have published my research in a wide array of venues including:

Marine Policy, Sustainability, Applied Geography, Ocean & Coastal Management, Ecology & Society, Environmental Management, and NOAA Technical Reports. For an updated list of my publications view my google scholar page here.