Gund Fellow, Assistant Professor, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

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.



  • 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

  • Future Earth Young Scholars network
  • North American Association for Environmental Education

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Cultural ecosystem services, environmental education, environmental values, environmental behavior, justice, equity


  • PhD, Environment and Resources, Stanford University
  • MS, Forest Service, Land Conservation, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • BA, Environmental Science and Public Policy, Harvard College