Dr. Robert K. Musil, President and CEO
As the CEO of the Rachel Carson Council, Dr. Musil speaks and organizes nationwide at campuses and civic organizations, is a key advocate on Capitol Hill, and has increased RCC membership, budget, and staff while developing an extensive and growing grassroots and campus network. He has designed and led RCC organizing efforts in North Carolina, spoken and organized in Florida at campus and community events to oppose the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant in collaboration with Beyond Nuclear, and is the co-author of Pork and Pollution, Fowl Matters and Blast Zone.
Musil has been a leader, activist, educator, and author in the national environmental, environmental health, peace and social justice movements for over three decades. He is one of the most respected and senior public interest advocates in Washington. He serves as the President of the Scoville Peace Fellowship; Chairman of the Board of the Council for a Livable World (C)(4) and PAC; Chairman of the Board of the Population Connection Action Fund (C)(4) and PAC; a Board member of Beyond Nuclear; and an Advisory Board member of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI). Musil is also an environmental educator who is a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University where he teaches American environmental politics. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut where he is involved in reviewing a new campus master plan and college endowment investments for sustainability and social responsibility. Musil also writes on climate, nuclear and justice issues for the Huffington Post and is the author of three environmental books: Hope for a Heated Planet: How Americans Are Fighting Global Warming and Building a Better Future (Rutgers, 2009); Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America’s Environment (Rutgers Press, 2014) and Washington in Spring: A Nature Journal for a Changing Capital (Bartleby Press, 2016).
Mackay Pierce, Associate Director
Drawing from his experience as a campus organizer and leader, Mackay also serves as the Director of the Rachel Carson Council Campus Program. Originally from the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Tennessee, he connects his passion for environmental protection to his love of the mountains he calls home. Mackay graduated from Roanoke College in 2017 with degrees in Environmental Studies and Sociology. While on campus, he helped found a student run campus organic garden and led nine Alternative Break trips focusing on environmental justice. Following graduation, Mackay worked for Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley as an AmeriCorps National Member. He has also previously worked for the Friends Committee on National Legislation on climate change and for various political campaigns. He is excited to continue to help students and faculty on college campuses engage with local and national environmental issues.
Ross A. Feldner, Publications and Web Consultant
Ross Feldner is the lead, with Bob Musil, of the RCC Bird Watch and Wonder Program. Ross is a life-long birder and photographer who is the editor of the Friends of Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge newsletter. Ross also serves as a guide at the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, a frequent birding spot for Rachel Carson who first learned about the health effects of DDT at the laboratory there. He is also the owner/art director of New Age Graphics, a full-service graphic design firm in Wheaton, MD.
RCC Fellows, 2020-2021
Emma Chervek – Central College
Emma Chervek is a senior at Central College studying English, Spanish, and Secondary Education. She is passionate about people, environmental justice, and the constant pursuit of learning. On campus, she is involved in various student-led environmental initiatives, and she is always working to better herself as a student leader in sustainability and environmental education. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to study environmental journalism and pursue a career educating individuals about environmental health and justice. In her free time, she loves hiking, rock climbing, writing, and spending time with her favorite people.
Elise Dudley – Furman University
Elise is a Senior Sustainability Sciences student at Furman University. In the past two years, Elise has studied food systems and environmental policy in Denmark, lived on an off-grid permaculture project in upstate New York, and recently coordinated then led an alternative break program exploring food justice and sustainable consumption. Elise aspires to pursue a career that integrates concerns for climate action, urban design, and public health for building regenerative food systems designed for circularity, justice, and ecosystem diversity. She is currently working as an Undergraduate Research Fellow on backyard gardening as a pathway towards more resilient urban foodscapes. Curiosity and critical reflection drive her interests, and she is passionate about the power of restorative language and active listening. In her free time, she can be found methodically brewing coffee, or outdoors biking, picnicking, and backpacking!
Emma Fry – Meredith College
Emma Fry is a rising sophomore at Meredith College pursuing a double major in Environmental Science and Biology with a minor in Professional Writing. She found her passion for professional writing and editing through working with local authors in her community to edit young adult novels and has grown her love for the environment through a summer internship at Southern Energy Management, a solar energy company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Emma hopes to pursue a career in which she can promote and educate a wider audience on the importance of wildlife and habitat conservation. She would love to work with scientists and researchers to cultivate written works that promote sustainability in a way that is more accessible and understandable to those who have less access to education. Her lifelong inspiration and role model is Jane Goodall, whose work encouraged her from a young age to care for those who cannot speak for themselves and to take action toward conserving our planet’s wildlife and vital ecosystems.
Destiny Hodges – Howard University
Destiny Hodges is a junior interdisciplinary major at Howard University from Birmingham, Alabama. Her mission is to educate and uplift the stories of marginalized communities–specifically the Black community– impacted by issues of environmental justice by using media as a form of narrative organizing. Destiny was a labor and economic justice intern at Sierra Club in 2019 where she worked to design strategies and campaigns to engage labor and economic justice communities to help ensure the transition to a clean energy economy. In the past year, she has been organizing with her local and campus community to enrich Howard University’s ethics, campus culture, development, and academic structure with principles of sustainability. In doing so, she organized Climate Strike HU and founded the Howard University Student Sustainability Committee (HUSSC). She recently founded the nonprofit Generation Green with the goal of engaging the African diaspora by internationally connecting and uplifting the work of young, Black environmental leaders. Thus, inspiring others, sharing strategies and solutions, and drawing parallels between Black communities internationally that are disproportionately impacted by environmental inequities exacerbated by climate change.
Emily Irigoyen – Vanderbilt University
Emily Irigoyen is a rising sophomore at Vanderbilt University pursuing a double major in Environmental Sociology and Spanish with a minor in Communications in Science and Technology. Hailing from Pembroke Pines, Florida, Emily is interested in environmental justice, climate policy, and coastal protection and mitigation. She has fostered her passion for the environment through a summer internship at Tennessee Environmental Council, a Nashville based non-profit, where she served as the Environmental Outreach Coordinator. She volunteers all around the greater Nashville area as part of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity and was the Social Media Manager for a grassroots city council campaign in south Florida. She plans for a career in public interest environmental law and hopes to work in the non-profit sector. In her free time Emily loves to read, go to the beach, kayak, and watch movies.
Kendall Jefferys – Duke University
Kendall is a rising Senior and Rachel Carson Scholar at Duke University. Studying Environmental Science and English with a concentration in Marine Science, she combines her interests in the natural world with her passion for literature and art. Kendall is from Keller, Texas and delights in any moment she finds to read, paint, or write poetry. On campus, she works at the Duke Campus Farm and competes with the Duke Figure Skating team. She also spent a semester and summer studying and researching at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina.
Lindsey Nystrom – University of North Carolina, Asheville
Lindsey is a junior at the University of North Carolina Asheville, majoring in Environmental Equity and minoring in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. She found her passion for environmentalism through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in high school. Lindsey believes in the intersectionality of social justice and sustainability, and hopes to pursue a career involving both fields. She is a GIS intern at The National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) and does GIS work with Nonprofit Pathways to address food scarcity in Western North Carolina. Outside of school and work, she loves playing with her three dogs, driving through the mountains, and watching movies.
Brandon Rothrock – West Virginia University
Brandon Rothrock is a second-year master’s student at West Virginia University where he is working towards his Master of Arts in Geography and a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. Brandon’s work focuses on the intersection of climate change and gender and sexuality. Prior to West Virginia University, he worked as a Presidential Associate in the Office of Sustainability at the American University in Cairo. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and minors in Climatology and Sustainability Leadership. Brandon’s passion for environmental outreach, education, and activism has spilled over into his current role as a Southeast Regional Fellow for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, where he helps student leaders push their campuses to support carbon dividends. Aside from his academic and professional pursuits, Brandon enjoys reading, hiking and traveling the world.
Julianna Tresca – University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Julianna is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington studying Geology and Environmental Science with a focus in geospatial technologies. Upon graduating, her goal is to pursue a career in mitigating water quality depletion, salinization, and pollution in groundwater systems. Julianna has had multiple experiences to shape her environmental work. Most recently she interned for the city of Jacksonville, North Carolina focusing on water quality. In the past, she has gained research experience with multiple labs at the Center for Marine Science, served as a Coastal Ambassador for the NC Coastal Federation, and interned as an aquarist for the Fort Fisher Aquarium.
She is passionate about empowering young students to make a difference in their community while protecting the environment. Growing up gardening in suburban Philadelphia, she is thrilled to be able to create an opportunity for students to learn the reward of growing their own produce. She enjoys salsa dancing, volunteering as an education scuba diver for the Fort Fisher Aquarium, playing guitar, and enjoying North Carolina’s coasts.
RCC 2020 Stanback Interns
Kendall Jefferys: Stanback Presidential Intern
Kendall is a rising Senior and Rachel Carson Scholar at Duke University. Studying Environmental Science and English with a concentration in Marine Science, she combines her interests in the natural world with her passion for literature and art. Kendall is from Keller, Texas and delights in any moment she finds to read, paint, or write poetry. On campus, she works at the Duke Campus Farm and competes with the Duke Figure Skating team. She also spent a semester and summer studying and researching at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC.
Rachel Radvany: Stanback Research and Policy Intern
Rachel Radvany is a rising senior at Duke University studying Environmental Sciences and Policy. She is from Pelham, New York and loves playing guitar and violin, hiking, and running in her free time. On campus, Rachel is involved in Duke Climate Coalition, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science, and Jewish Life at Duke. She is interested in environmental law and policy as well as environmental justice.
Andrei A. Santos: Stanback Campus Engagement Intern
Andrei is a rising sophomore at Duke University with a planned major in Public Policy and Environmental Science. He is from Davie, a town bordering the Florida Everglades, and has interned for the Town Hall of Davie. He has also been involved in Nicotine Prevention policy in South Florida, working under the Tobacco Free Florida’s SWAT initiative. Andrei is interested in exploring the intersection between public policy and environmental sustainability.
Noah Schaffir: Stanback Research and Policy Intern
Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Noah is a rising senior at Duke University where he studies Psychology along with Environmental Science and Policy. Noah is interested in pursuing a law-based career that hopefully can combine his interests of environmental justice, advocacy, and the renewable energy sector. On campus, he works as a research assistant for the Duke University Department of Psychology where his main project involves psychological mindsets and their correlation to intelligence. In his spare time, Noah thoroughly enjoys skiing, watching B-list movies, discussing ethics, and solving a variety of puzzles.
Wayne Rouse, Financial Officer. Wayne Rouse has been the financial officer of the Rachel Carson Council since 2011. Wayne has been the accountant for a number of non-profits and retired from the Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) in Washington where he held positions in engineering, computers and energy management. He has also served as President, Treasurer, and Manager of the PEPCO Federal Credit Union.