This is the website for the research and teaching lab of Dr. Laurie Richmond, an Associate Professor in Environmental Science & Management at Humboldt State University.
The lab consists of a community of graduate students, undergraduates, academic colleagues, and community collaborators who work on projects related to the human dimensions of natural resources with an emphasis on marine and coastal resilience. The lab provides a space for open dialogue where we can all learn from one another. We strive to produce academically rigorous work that is community-driven and can be applied to management. We also have fun. We listen to and engage with our communities of study — highlighting the importance of socioeconomic factors and equity to questions of environmental planning and management.
The Region: Northern California
If you think that San Francisco is Northern California, you are wrong! We’re located in Humboldt County, a semi-rural area on the coast five hours north of San Francisco (see the H on the map). Cal Poly Humboldt sits in the northwestern portion of Wiyot ancestral territory. Our lab respectfully acknowledges the Wiyot people and other Tribal communities on the North Coast and in the northern California region. This area has a unique cultural and natural history and provides a great setting for research on the human dimensions of natural resources and marine and coastal resilience. We are next to Wigi or Humboldt Bay which is facing the highest rate of sea level rise in California and has begun planning for adaptation. Our coastal region is home to five major commercial fishing ports and numerous recreational, charter, and customary marine fisheries. In addition, our rivers and lakes contain important, diverse, and sometimes contentious fisheries. Humboldt Bay is the largest producer of oysters in California and the region is growing in other parts of the aquaculture sector. There have been conversations about developing offshore renewable energy projects in the area, projects such as these can have numerous socioeconomic implications.
There are 11 federally recognized and unrecognized tribes, rancherias and sovereign tribal governments within Humboldt’s service area (Humboldt/Del Norte/Trinity Counties). These include: Big Lagoon Rancheria, Blue Lake Rancheria, Elk Valley Rancheria, Hoopa Valley Tribal Council, Karuk Tribe of California, Resighini Rancheria, Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, Smith River Rancheria, Tolowa Nation, Trinidad Rancheria, Wiyot Tribe and the Yurok Tribe. Our research lab has pursued collaborative projects with Tribes in the region. We seek to do this work through a decolonizing perspective that emphasizes pursuing questions of interests to Tribes, providing avenues for Tribes to review products before they are released, and, where possible, providing compensation for Tribal staff and members who contribute to the work. This guide provides a helpful frame for thinking about research with Indigenous groups.
Facilities: Our Lab
We have a small office space in the first floor of the Natural Resource Building for the our Research Lab! The space has everything students need to conduct this type of work – digital recorders, transcription pedals and headphones, a telephone line, a printer, and computers with ArcGIS software, SPSS, and the qualitative analysis software Atlas.ti. But, our real lab space consists of the ports, oceans, forests, and communities of the region and students spend much of their time out in the field.
Department of Environmental Science and Management
Humboldt State University
1 Harpst St
Arcata, CA 95521