About Placeful

Placeful is a newsletter for people who are passionate about sustainable communities and excited to deepen their connection to the built, historic, cultural, and natural environment around them.

Each Saturday, subscribers will receive an email newsletter containing a thoughtfully reported essay, combining personal experience with current research, as well as a “placeful practice” meant to encourage reflection and action. I’ll throw in some bonus content now and then, too.

Subscribing to Placeful also means you will have access to the full archive on my website.

About Emily

Hello! It’s nice to meet you. My full name is Emily Roberson, and I am a nonprofit development professional by day and newsletter-er by night. I am the solo author of Placeful.

I graduated from the University of South Dakota with degrees in Sustainability & Anthropology, with special interests in sustainable food systems, environmental education, and sociocultural theory.

My partner and I live along the Colorado River, in the Arid Canyonlands of the Colorado Plateau, a place with a wealth of history and opportunity for connecting to the land: Moab, Utah. I spent my childhood split between the metro Puget Sound area and the agricultural landscape of eastern South Dakota. Experiencing both urban and rural life as a child shaped who I am today, and also fostered my interest in learning about the characteristics of the separate but interconnected places we call home.

Land Acknowledgment

The land where I currently live, work, write, and play was historically explored and inhabited by many Native Americans tribes, spanning many thousands of years: the San Rafael Fremont, Ute (Noochew), Navajo (Dineh ), Paiute (Nuwuvi), and Hopi (Hisatsinom). My home in the Moab Valley sits on the ancestral homeland of the Ute, who were relocated to reservations in 1887 after years of disagreement and conflict over land use with Mormon missionaries and other European settlers. Descendents of the tribes that settled or migrated throughout Southeastern Utah are still here today, contributing their gifts and talents and caretaking land throughout the four corners region.

Let’s collaborate

I am excited about the opportunity to work with individuals, organizations, and brands whose values align with my own. Shoot me an email at placeful.emily@gmail.com to pitch your idea.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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Mindfulness + Geography + Sustainability Helping readers more deeply connect with the places they love, for the betterment of all.


Nonprofit professional. Desert dweller. Interested in the intersection of sustainability and sense of place.