Rachel is currently a PhD student in Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park. Through her research, Rachel is exploring how climate change governance can better reflect the complex, non-linear and dynamic nature of social-ecological systems. Before beginning this program, she served as Y.E.C.A.’s National Organizer and Spokesperson and has been a part of the organization since its inception, including two years as Chair of the Steering Committee.
As part of her professional development, Rachel has worked for numerous agencies and organizations including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, A Rocha Peru in Lima, Peru, National Socio-Ecological Synthesis Research Center, Society for Conservation Biology, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While working at the EPA as a GRO Fellow, Rachel developed a Climate Change Adaptation Guide for Native American communities in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Currently, during the summer, she teaches Environmental Law and Policy at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies in Michigan as an Assistant Professor.
Rachel holds undergraduate degrees in Environmental Studies and International Relations from Wheaton College (IL) as well as a Master of Public Policy and Master of Science in Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Rachel’s vocational passions drive her to facilitate dialogue and action on creation care within the Christian community as she believes that positive societal transformation will in large part flow from the church bearing witness to God’s mission of love, hope, and restoration in this world.
In 2015, Rachel was named a White House Champion of Change for her efforts in protecting our environment and communities from the effects of climate change.