Richelle L. Winkler
- Professor of Sociology and Demography, Social Sciences
- 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, internal migration, and resource distribution. 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. 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.
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 developing interest in just energy transitions in rural communities- 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 was involved in the creation of the Houghton county Energy Efficiency Team (HEET), and recent academic work combines my demographic expertise with emerging solar technologies to explore the economic feasibility for residents of Michigan's Upper Peninsula to get off the grid with solar-hybrid systems. A new collaborative project is investigating the feasibility of developing a community solar system in L'anse, MI. In another example, I've been working on a long-term partnership with Main Street Calumet to understand topics ranging from how the community's First Friday art tours impact community development to exploring the feasibility of tapping into minewater for geothermal energy. My Communities and Research course (SS 4700) engages in these projects, and collaborative reports written by students and community members are available here for public download.
In my personal life, I love hiking, playing and coaching volleyball, cross country skiing, canoeing, and watching sports (especially Badger basketball).
Links of Interest
Areas of Expertise
- Rural Sociology
- Population and Environment
- Environmental Sociology
- Community Engaged Scholarship
- Internal Migration
- GIS and spatial analysis
- 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