Postdoctoral Associate

Christine Carmichael is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and Gund Institute for Environment at UVM. Her recent Ph.D. in Forestry at Michigan State University focused on understanding reasons for resistance among residents in Detroit, Michigan to a street tree-planting program conducted by a non-profit organization. This study revealed that a key driver of resistance to tree-planting related to residents' desire for greater involvement in the decision-making process — a desire which stemmed from their historical experiences in the city expressed through stories called heritage narratives.

Christine's current research examines the role of heritage narratives, or selective representations of a community's past and character, in guiding responses of diverse human communities to a range of health impacts associated with global changes in temperature and precipitation trends (including extreme weather events) in the Northeast, Midwest, and Western U.S.


Carmichael, C. E. & McDonough, M. H. (2019). Community stories: Explaining resistance to street tree-planting programs in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Society and Natural Resources.

Carmichael, C.& McDonough, M. H. (2018). The trouble with trees? Social and political dynamics of street tree-planting efforts in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 31, 221-229.

Takahashi, B., Tandoc Jr., E. C., & Carmichael, C.(2015). Communicating on Twitter during a disaster: An analysis of tweets during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Computers in Human Behavior, 50, 392-398.

Carmichael, C. & McCole, D. T. (2014). Understanding motivations of potential partners to develop an outdoor recreation program in an urban area. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 7-8, 55-64.

Popular Media

“Free trees? Many Detroit residents say no thanks.” The New York Times. January 7, 2019. 

“Detroit residents oppose greening.” The Daily Beat podcast interview. January 7, 2019.

“Why Detroit residents pushed back against tree-planting.” The Atlantic’s CityLab blog. January 11, 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Most impactful paper in Sociology among all works published between December 30, 2018 and January 13, 2019. The Observatory of International Research. For the article, "Community Stories: Explaining Resistant to Street Tree-planting Programs in Detroit, Michigan, USA" in Society & Natural Resources.

Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop selected participant, September 2017. Engagement Scholarship Consortium.

Christine Carmichael

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Collaborative governance of natural resources, community-engaged research and practice, environmental justice, political ecology


  • PhD, Forestry, Michigan State University
  • Master of Public Affairs, Indiana University
  • MS, Environmental Science, Indiana University
  • BA, Political Science, Michigan State University


Office Location:

207 Johnson House