LAB DIRECTOR: Laurie Richmond

Dr. Laurie Richmond is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Science & Management at Cal Poly Humboldt. She received her PhD in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota in 2011. She then worked for two years as a social scientist for NOAA Fisheries prior to coming to Cal Poly Humboldt. Dr. Richmond also works a quarter time for California Sea Grant as an extension specialist where she seeks to connect communities and institutions on the California North Coast with the resources, expertise and partnerships needed to understand and address sea-level rise, coastal hazards, and other important marine and coastal issues. She loves spending time on the rocky and occasionally sandy shores of the North Coast, connecting with people, seafood, waves, ecosystems, and communities.


Natalie Arroyo


Project: Perceptions of trail safety in Humboldt County, California:
An analysis of public safety concerns and factors that impact trail use

Natalie is using a combination of intercept surveys with trail users and interviews with community members to explore community perceptions of trail safety on two important urban trails in Humboldt County: the Hikshari’ Trail in Eureka and the Hammond Trail in McKinleyville.

Nayre Herrera (she/her)

Project: Equitable Adaptation to Sea Level Rise across Wigi (Humboldt Bay)

NayreHerrera_MadRiver (1)

Through interviews, document review, and roundtable discussions, Nayre will explore avenues for better incorporating an equity lens into sea-level rise planning across Wigi (Wigi is the Wiyot name for Humboldt Bay). A key focus will be on avenues to better incorporate tribal leadership, knowledge, sovereignty, and goals in sea-level rise planning and adaptation in the region. This project is part of a larger Cascadia Coastlines and Peoples Hazards Research Hub.  

Jocelyn Enevoldsen

Project: Building Knowledge for Social-Ecological System Restoration Decision-Making: The Case of Kelp Connected Communities along the Mendocino Coast


Beginning in 2014, a ‘perfect storm’ of events including a marine heatwave (period of abnormally warm water in the ocean) contributed to a greater than 90% loss of bull kelp canopy on the California North Coast. Loss of the kelp affected other components of the ecosystem including abalone, red urchins, and several nearshore fish populations. The change in the ecosystem has also affected human communities who are connected to the kelp system through a variety of means. Jocelyn will be conducting interviews with kelp-connected community members along the Mendocino Coast to understand their knowledge, values, and perceptions of the kelp system as well as their views and priorities related to long-term stewardship or management of the system. This work is situated in conversations related to ecological restoration or stewardship in the context of a changing climate; it is part of the NSF Funded Kelp RISES Project with UC Davis and UCSC.


Alexandra Toyofuku

Amelia Vergel De Dios

Alexandra and Amelia are research assistants for the Cal Poly Humboldt Sea Level Rise Institute where they help with network coordination, report and publication writing, communications, and more.


Kristen Orth-Gordinier (MS)

orthThesis: Social science research to advance regional coordination and collaboration of sea level rise adaptation and planning on Humboldt Bay

Where Are They Now? Environmental Planner at GHD

Sam Cook (MS)

Samantha_Cook_PhotoThesis: Assessing California commercial fishing community well-being in the context of Marine Protected Area formation

Where Are They Now? California Sea Grant State Fellow – NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Zane Eddy (MS)


Thesis Title: On the management of urban beavers in Martinez, CA

Where Are They Now? Works for a youth mentorship/support program in Oregon

Bente Jansen (BS – ESM)


Where Are They Now? Planner at the California Coastal Commission – North Coast Office

Mikayla Kia (BS – ESM)

Mikayla Kia photo

Where are They Now? Graduate program at University of Hawaii, Hilo in Heritage Management

Ciara Emery (MA)

ciaraThesis Title:  Bringing climate change home to meet your community: stakeholder perceptions of offshore wind energy in Humboldt County, California

Where Are They Now? First: Field Representative for Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-02) in Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity counties. Now:

Kristina Kunkel (MS)


Thesis Title: Exploring community knowledge and perceptions of flooding and sea-level rise in King Salmon, California

Where Are They Now? Deputy Controller for the Environment, California

Robert Dumouchel (MS)


Thesis Title: Fishing community capitals & regulatory ghosts: Planning for sustainability in Eureka, California

Where Are They Now? City Manager Homer, AK

Laura Casali (MS)


Thesis Title: The role of social capital in fishing community sustainability: case of Shelter Cove, CA

Where Are They Now? Contractor for National Marine Fisheries Service

Wyatt Smith (MA)

wyattThesis Title: Evaluating socioeconomic dimensions for a resilient shellfish mariculture industry in Humboldt Bay: Assessing the strengths, vulnerabilities, and potential of Humboldt’s expanding industry

Where Are They Now? Hiking from Mexico to Canada

Kelda Britton (MA)


Thesis Title: Dinjik enjit nerrzhrii (we are hunting for moose): an evaluation of tribal co-management in the Yukon flats, interior Alaska

Where Are They Now? Teaching at Round Valley School District

Kara Simpson (MA)

KaraThesis Title: Overlooked fisheries of Baduwa’t: An oral history study exploring the environmental and cultural histories of eulachon and Pacific lamprey in the Mad River basin, a Wiyot watershed

Where Are They Now?: Owner of a wellness business

Lucia Ordonez-Gauger (MS)

Thesis Titlucia_fishle: Assessing Fishermen’s Perceptions of the Ecology and Management of the California North Coast Marine Protected Area Network

Where are they now? Working as a research assistant at San Diego State University on a project collecting local ecological knowledge from commercial fishermen.

Emma Lundberg (MA)

Thesis TiEBTtle: Using Q methodology to examine socioecological dimensions of conflict in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, California

Where are they now? PhD program at University of Rhode Island




Trinity is a hound mix with a nose for food. She enjoys eating
berries and fruits off the tree, stealing other people’s lunches, running on the beach, lying the sun, and lounging by the wood stove. She is named after a local river – one of the most beautiful in the world.

trin_cliffs      trin_fire

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