Dr. Rachelle Gould’s collaborative interdisciplinary research investigates the relationships between ecosystems and well-being, focusing on the intersection of environmental values, learning, and human behavior. Issues of equity and inclusion are central to all of her work. All of her projects include a substantial focus on understanding heterogeneity in multiple domains – e.g., in perspectives on “the environment;” in the benefits people receive from ecosystems; and in how environmental learning happens. Those projects also explore how to inform equitable decision-making in the face of that heterogeneity.
Rachelle has two research areas: Cultural Ecosystem Services (and nonmaterial values of ecosystems, more generally), and Environmental Education. Using the lens of Cultural Ecosystem Services, she examines how nature improves well-being in nonmaterial ways. Using the lens of environmental education, she explores how people learn about the environment, and how that learning does (and does not) connect to behavior.
Rachelle was a Lead Author on the United Nations IPBES Values Assessment (IPBES = Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), which was released in August 2022. For the 2022-2023 academic year, she is on a Fulbright fellowship working to implement some of the Assessment’s recommendations.
Rachelle and her research group also have projects underway in multiple places, from Vermont to Hawaii’s Big Island. Partnering with communities and organizations is an important part of this work; learn more about the group’s partners.