Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Global Equity, Environmental Program

Rachelle Gould is part of UVM’s Sustainability and Global Equity Cluster, and is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies program and the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Her work addresses two primary topics: the nonmaterial values associated with ecosystems and environmental education.

Issues of equity, justice, and connecting with communities motivate and guide Dr. Gould’s research. In her values-related work, she studies Cultural Ecosystem Services and relational values, which include phenomena such as ecosystem-based recreation, spiritual connections with ecosystems, and cultural heritage associated with ecosystems. In her environmental education work, she studies how people learn about the environment in their everyday lives – for instance, when buying food or deciding how to get from place to place – and how that learning connects (or does not connect) to their behavior.

Dr. Gould’s current research projects, all undertaken jointly with hardworking students, include: understanding how Cultural Ecosystem Services work can connect to decision-making; working with local organizations to understand how people relate to a peri-urban agricultural and recreational site (Burlington’s Intervale); exploring how coral reef degradation affects the nonmaterial benefits that people of different backgrounds receive from those reefs; and in-depth analysis of the social impacts of and responses to Harmful Algal Blooms in St. Albans, Vermont.

To learn more about all of this work, and before seeking advising from Rachelle Gould, please visit her research group website.


For a full and updated list of Dr. Gould’s publications, please see her Personal Website or her Google Scholar page. A few recent publications are:

  • Gould, R.K., Phukan, I, Mendoza, M., Ardoin, N.M. 2018. Seizing opportunities to diversity the environmental movement. Conservation Letters. Online first.
  • Gould, R.K., Lincoln, N. 2017. Expanding the suite of Cultural Ecosystem Services to include ingenuity, perspective, and life teaching. Ecosystem Services. 25: 117-127.
  • Gould, R.K., Ardoin, N.; Biggar, M.; Cravens, A. 2016. Environmental behavior’s dirty secret: The prevalence of waste-related discussions in community discussions of environmental action. Environmental Management.
  • Chan, K.M.A., Balvanera, P., Benessaiah, K., Chapman, M., Díaz, S., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Gould, R., Hannahs, N., Jax, K., Klain, S., Luck, G., Martín-López, B., Muraca, B., Norton, B.,  Ott, K, Pascual, U., Satterfield, T., Tadaki, M., Taggart, J., and Turner, N. 2016. Opinion: Why protect nature? Rethinking values and the environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, 1462–1465.
  • Gould, R. K., S. Klain, U. Woodside, N. Hannahs, T. Satterfield, K. M. A. Chan, J. Levine, N. M. Ardoin, and G. C. Daily. 2015. A Protocol for Eliciting Nonmaterial Values Using a Cultural Ecosystem Services Frame. Conservation Biology. doi:10.1111/cobi.12407.

Associations and Affiliations

  • Lead author, IPBES Values Assessment (the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ Assessment of the Multiple Values of Nature)
  • UVM Faculy Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion, 2019-2020
  • Faculty advisory committee, UVM Master’s in Leadership for Sustainability
  • North American Association for Environmental Education


Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Sustainability values, well-being, learning, policy, diversity, equity, and behavior


  • PhD, Environment and Resources, Stanford University
  • MA, Forest Science, Land Conservation, Yale University of Vermont
  • BA, Environmental Science and Policy, Harvard University


Office Location:

312J Aiken Center

Office Hours:

Tuesdays 1:30 - 3:00pm and Thursdays 3:30 - 4:00pm

Courses Taught

  • ENVS 195 Nonmaterial Values Ecosystems

Other Courses:

  • NR 002 Nature and Culture