Richelle L. Winkler
- Professor of Sociology and Demography, Social Sciences
- Social Sciences Undergraduate Studies Director
- PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010
- MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004
- BA, University of South Carolina, 1999
I am a multidisciplinary scholar operating at the intersections of sociology, demography, geography, community development, and applied social science. My research is focused on spatial inequality, including patterns of residential segregation and distributions of social and environmental resources. My primary topic of study has been rural communities and especially relationships between community development, population change, and environment. A key professional goal is that my scholarship will help to understand and promote rural community sustainability.
The research projects I engage with tend to be either demographic in nature or to focus on community and environmental sociology or both. For example, my research team created a dataset of net migration by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin for every county in the U.S. 2000-2010. We're currently working to extend this to include 2010-2020. The data can be downloaded from a public website that allows for interactive mapping and chart-making to show patterns each decade back to the 1950s. See www.netmigration.wisc.edu. Colleagues and I have since analyzed these data to understand how net migration by age and race have contributed to racial segregation over time (see Moving toward Integration?) and to understand how patterns of migration vary across different types of rural communities. I'm currently working a project with Julia Petersen (PhD student) about how covid-19 has changed migration patterns across rural America.
Another set of my scholarship investigates how cohort effects contribute to changing patterns of hunter and angler participation over time and across space. This has critical implications for conservation policy, given that license sales and excise taxes are primary funding mechanisms and hunting and fishing are key ways that people engage with the natural world. This work has been supported by state departments of natural resources and by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Check out our reports, maps, and data from our work on angler demographic change.
I am very interested in community engaged scholarship in collaboration with communities on projects related to social and environmental sustainability. This work has motivated my work in just energy transitions- what are the challenges and opportunities for rural communities to transition to more sustainable energy sources and infrastructure that supports inclusive rural community development? I am currently a co-Investigator on the Michigan Community and Anishinaabe Renewable Energy Sovereignty project. Another good example is a recent collaborative project that led to a community solar system in L'anse, MI.
I am currently advising the following student projects:
- Jennifer Rachels, PhD student, Blue Collar Jobs in a Green Economy
- Julia Petersen, PhD student, Pandemic Migration in Rural America
- Maia Madrid, PhD student, Just Energy Transition in Rural America
- Cindy Pindral, MS student, Improving Energy Efficiency at MTU's Student Development Complex
- Olivia Ghormley, MS student, Perspectives on New Wilderness Area Designations in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
I serve on the US Census Bureau's Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC) and am convenor of its working group on Differential Privacy.
I lead a summer study away program to Costa Rica focused on Sustainability. Let me know if you are interested in coming with us!
In my personal life, I love hiking, playing and coaching volleyball, skiing and exploring all the Keweenaw has to offer with my family and friends.
Links of Interest
Areas of Expertise
- Rural Sociology
- Population and Environment
- Environmental Sociology
- Community Engaged Scholarship
- Internal Migration
- GIS and spatial analysis
- Pandemic Migration in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Read More
- Differential Privacy and the accuracy of county-level net migration estimates Read More
- The Future of Wildlife Conservation Funding
- Amenities or Disamenities? Impacts of extreme heat and wildfire on domestic US migration. Read More
- Urban socioeconomic inequality and biodiversity often converge, but not always. Read More.
- Exporting Consumption: Lifestyle Migration and Energy Use in Costa Rica. Read More.
- The Third Shift? Gender and Empowerment in a Women's Ecotourism Cooperative. Read More.
- Moving toward Integration? Effects of Migration on Ethnoracial Segregation across the Rural-Urban Continuum Read More
- How Migration Impacts Rural America Read More
- Emerging economic viability of grid defection in a northern climate using solar hybrid systems Read More
- Boom, bust and beyond: Arts and sustainability in Calumet, Michigan Read More
- Migration signatures: Net migration by age and race/ethnicity in U.S. counties, 1950-2010 Read More
- Winkler, Richelle. 2013. “Living on lakes: Segregated communities and social exclusion in a natural amenity destination.” The Sociological Quarterly 54 (1): 105-129. Read More
- Winkler, Richelle and Keith Warnke. 2013. “The future of hunting: An age-period-cohort analysis of deer hunter decline.” Population and Environment 34(4): 460-480 Read More
- Collaborative Research: GCR: A Convergent Discipline in Socio-Technological System Transitions- Research on Michigan Community & Anishinaabe Renewable Energy Sovereignty [MICARES]. National Science Foundation. Oct 2019 to present
- Age-Specific Net Migration Estimates for US Counties, 2010-2020: Data Generation & Archiving. NICHD. May 2020 to present
- Angler Demographics: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis. Great Lakes Fishery Commission. March 2015 to December 2017.
- Longitudinal Analysis of Population Redistribution by County Type and in Relation to National Forest and Public Lands. USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, Joint Venture Agreement. Resource Planning Act.
- Geographic Analysis of Age-Period-Cohort Dimensions in Michigan Deer Hunter Participation. Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
- Self-Regulated Forest Sustainability: A Simulation and Sociological Analysis of Voluntary Incentive Programs. Co-investigator. NSF Division of Social and Economic Sciences, Law and Social Sciences Program.
- "Net Migration Patterns as a Tool to Understand Community Change" (with Katherine Curtis). Webinar hosted by the Population Reference Bureau. Sept 18, 2013.
- "Recreational Homes, Gateway Communities, and Rural Development." Webinar sponsored by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development. March 13, 2013.
- Residential Segregation by Age and Race/Ethnicity
- Hunter and Angler Demographics: Age-Period-Cohort analysis of participation rates and projections of future participation with implications for wildlife conservation and management
- Climate Change and Patterns of Internal Migration in the US
- Just Energy Transitions in Rural Communities
- Community-Based Participatory Research with Main Street Calumet
- Age Specific Net Migration Estimates for US Counties
- SS2700 – Introduction to Sociology
- SS4400 – Sociology of the Environment
- SS3315/SS5315 – Population, Health and Environment
- SS 4700: Communities and Research
- SS 2001- Introduction to Social Science Research
- SS 6002- Research Design