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.

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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. 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 sense of place, stories, and even humor to questions of environmental planning and management.

The Region: Northern California

humboldtIf 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). This area has a unique cultural and natural history and provides a great setting for research on the human dimensions of natural resources. 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 and often contentious commercial, recreational, and Tribal fisheries. We are next to Humboldt Bay which is the largest producer of oysters in California. Humboldt Bay is also facing the highest rate of sea level rise in California and has begun planning for adaptation.


There are 11 federally recognized and unrecognized Tribes, rancherias and sovereign Tribal governments within Humboldt State University’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. We are interested in generating and continuing research collaborations with local Tribal communities. Our work with Tribes is collaborative and designed to answer questions of interest to the community — often in response to direct requests from Tribal entities. Students are required to receive Tribal Council approval prior to conducting any research activities. Generally research findings and products are co-owned by the researcher and the Tribe. Graduate students conducting work with Tribal communities are encouraged to have a Tribal member on their thesis committee.

Most students in the lab do work locally, however some work on projects abroad depending on their interests and the funding/projects available.

Facilities: Our Lab/Closet


One day it’s a storage closet for broken computer equipment, the next day it’s the space for the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Lab! The space may not be pretty but it 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 mountains of the region and students spend much of their time out in the field.

Contact Information:


Laurie Richmond
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Science and Management
Humboldt State University
1 Harpst St
Arcata, CA 95521

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