Gund Graduate Fellow, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Alison is a PhD Student at the Rubenstein School and in the Gund Institute's Economics for the Anthropocene program. She studies the nonmaterial benefits humans receive from nature, looking particularly at how environmental change impacts individuals' well-being, cultural practices, and behavior, and the justice and equity implications of these effects. She's also interested in the ways an ecological economics approach to systems thinking can reshape how people view and actualize their relationship(s) with nature. With a background in spatial modeling and land cover change, Alison explores how spatial patterns affect and emerge from people's interactions with nature, and is often considering the most effective way to visually represent these patterns. She has a BA from Yale in History of Art and received her MS in Natural Resources from UVM.

Advisor: Rachelle Gould



  • Hackenburg, D., Adams, A., Brownson, K., Borokini, I. T., Gladkikh, T., et al. 2019. Meaningfully engaging the next generation of ecosystem services specialists. Ecosystem Services. in press.
  • Adams, A., Pontius, J., Galford, G., Merrill, S., & Gudex-Cross, D. 2019. Simulating forest cover change in the northeast: decreasing forest area and increasing fragmentation. Landscape Ecology 34(10): 2401-2419.
  • Gould, R., Morse, J. & Adams, A. 2019. Cultural ecosystem services and decision-making: How researchers describe the applications of their work. People & Nature (currently online only).
  • Adams, A., “Photographs, performance, and protest: The fight for climate justice through art.” 2019. In Local Activism for Global Climate Justice: The Great Lakes Watershed, ed. P.E. Perkins. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Adams, A. & Morse, J. 2019. Non-Material Matters: A call for integrated assessment of benefits from ecosystems in research and policy. Land Use Policy 80: 400-402.   
  • Crownshaw, T., Morgan, C., Adams, A., Britto dos Santos, N., Sers, M., Gilbert, L., Damiano, A., Haage, G. Y., Clare, S., Kumar, K., & Greenford, D. 2018. Over the Horizon: exploring the conditions of a post-growth world. The Anthropocene Review.
  • Adams, A., Pontius, J., Galford, G, Merrill, S., & Gudex-Cross, D. 2018. Modeling carbon storage across a heterogeneous mixed temperate forest: the influence of forest type specificity on regional-scale carbon storage estimates. Landscape Ecology 33(4): 641-658.
  • Gudex-Cross, D., Pontius, J. & Adams, A. 2017. Enhanced forest cover mapping using spectral unmixing and object-based classification of multi-temporal Landsat imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 196: 193-204.
  • Adams, A. 2009. Tripping through Canvas: Psychedelia in Morris Louis’s Unfurleds, then and now. Yale University Senior Thesis. *awarded the Vincent D. Andrus prize

Awards and Recognition

SESYNC Graduate Student Pursuit Project Award – in-kind and travel support, 2018

(Mentor) UVM Environmental Studies Ian Worley Award - $4,650, 2018

UVM Rubenstein School Chrysalis Award - $5,000, 2018

UVM Rubenstein School Outstanding TA of the Year (nominated), 2017

USDA NSRC Graduate Research Assistantship Grant - $10,000, 2015

Vincent D. Andrus prize – Best senior essay on a topic in American art, Yale University, 2009

Distinction in History of Art – Yale University, 2009

Gund PhD Student Alison Adams

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Ecosystem services, nonmaterial benefits from nature, climate change, spatial analysis, land cover and land use change, equity and justice, ecological art



  • MS, Natural Resources, University of Vermont
  • BA, History of Art, Yale University