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 benefits that nature provides to people, and environmental education.
Issues of equity, justice, and connecting with communities underlie much of Dr. Gould’s research. In her nonmaterial benefits 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 investigate how Burlington’s New American population connects to local ecosystems; 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.