RCC Staff

RCC President and CEO, Robert K. MusilDr. 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).


Associate Program Director Zoe AckermanZoë Ackerman, Associate Program Director 

Zoë directs the Rachel Carson Campus Network and builds partnerships between campuses, advocacy organizations, and impacted communities. She also co-designs environmental justice and participatory theater workshops and has spoken at and moderated panels in North Carolina, Maryland, Washington, DC, and at national academic conferences. She is also the lead researcher and co-author of Fowl Matters: Public Health, Environmental Justice, and the Broiler Chicken Industry (RCC, 2017),  Pork and Pollution: An Introduction to Research and Action on Industrial Hog Production (RCC, 2015) and Blast Zone (RCC, 2017).  Zoë is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied English Literature and Creative Writing as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. In her first year, she co-founded Flash! Seminars, a series of 50 sessions on environmental subjects with leading professors and experts. In 2016, Zoë was recently selected for the EPA’s 2016-2018 National Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s Youth Perspectives on Climate Justice Workgroup. In that capacity, she works with 17 young leaders nationwide on a report about best practices on engaging youth and vulnerable communities on climate justice.


Environmental Education Associate, Elijah BrunsonElijah Brunson, Environmental Education Associate

Elijah Brunson has committed himself to supporting the just and sustainable transition movement. Elijah’s background combines a B.S. in Psychology from Duke University, 2 years of case management experience, and theater of the oppressed training. At the Rachel Carson Council,  he works to create a strong environmental movement in North Carolina that focuses on intergenerational leadership, culturally-driven popular education, and policy development and advocacy.  Elijah forms partnerships with campuses to cultivate a passion for the environment and a heart for justice. These projects include campaigns for community health protections, industry accountability, and halting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Elijah also creates campus curricula that incorporates both expert and local knowledge to lead and direct efforts to redress environmental harms to frontline communities and the world. He is in his third year as a member of the North Carolina Climate Justice Summit Leadership Team. Be it through spoken word, art, fashion, or environmental sciences and policy, Elijah believes that everyone has a  role to play in the environmental movement.


Eastern Shore Community Organizer, Maggie CummingsMaggie Cummings, Eastern Shore Community Organizer

Maggie received a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a minor in GIS from Salisbury University (SU). During her time at SU, she worked with the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Urban Ecosystem Restorations, Baywater Farms, Salisbury Community Gardens, and Real Food Challenge. She participated in numerous projects and internships that focused on areas such as MAEOE Green Center certification, water quality, ecosystem restoration, and sustainable agriculture. She has a strong desire to make environmental issues and studies relevant to all people in her community, especially the next generation. She looks forward to working with the RCC to improve ecological, environmental justice and health outcomes by linking frontline communities on the Eastern Shore with campuses and advocacy spheres.


Publications and Web Consultant, Ross FeldnerRoss A. FeldnerPublications and Web Consultant

Ross Feldner is the owner/art director of New Age Graphics, a full-service graphic design firm in Wheaton, MD. He also volunteers as a guide at the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge and is editor of the Friends of Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge newsletter. Ross also serves as Vice President of the Rachel Carson Landmark Alliance which supports Rachel Carson’s historic house in Silver Spring, MD where she wrote the landmark book Silent Spring.

 


Victoria Rose, Summer 2018 North Carolina Stanback Intern

Victoria is a Dual JD and Masters of Environmental Management student at Duke University. She became interested in how science can inform law and policy in order to improve the environment and quality of life for communities after reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as an undergraduate at Baylor University. She is excited to work with the Rachel Carson Council this summer to strengthen the environmental movement in North Carolina and empower communities in the state to take part.

 


Cordelia Bellinson, Research Intern

Cordelia Bellinson is an environmental studies student at Mount Holyoke College who has previously worked for the New York Public Research Group’s fossil fuel divestment campaign. She currently serves as Research Assistant to the C.E.O. of the Rachel Carson Council.

 

 


Rhyne Cureton, Sustainable Agriculture Intern

Rhyne is a senior majoring in Agricultural Education at North Carolina A&T State University. As an advocate and former producer of free-range and pastured based hog farming and food justice. Rhyne is passionate about livestock agriculture that incorporates livestock back into nature.

Rhyne is interested in transforming modern pig farming and building understanding between environmentalist, farmers, and consumers. He speaks at conferences, holds agricultural painting classes, visits farmers and producers, and sits on the steering committee for the Piedmont Triad Regional Food Council.


Ilse Meiler, Research Intern

Ilse Meiler is a chemistry major at Smith College. In summer 2017, she worked at UNC-Charlotte on a National Science Foundation grant researching anti-tumoral agents. Previously, she served as a Smithsonian Latino Center Young Ambassador at the History Colorado Center where she helped curate an exhibit about Colorado’s Mexican history. She has a particular interest in science advocacy and policy and is currently a virtual intern for RCC. In this capacity, she is building a map of campus initiatives nationwide that have successfully integrated policy research, environmental advocacy, and social justice.


Shom Tiwari, Summer 2018 DC Stanback Intern

Shom is a Public Policy student at Duke University. During his time at Duke, he has developed an interest in working to address environmental justice issues and food justice in particular. He has previously worked with the Monteverde Institute on reforestation and holistic ecological assessment efforts in Costa Rica’s cloud forests. As a native North Carolinian, Shom is excited to work with the Rachel Carson Council as a Stanback Intern on investigating the health and justice implications of deforestation and wood pellet biomass production.

Sarah Sung, Summer 2018 DC Stanback Intern

Sarah is studying Environmental Policy at Duke University. Originally from Seongnam, South Korea, she is interested in air pollution and air quality issues and framing environmental issues such as climate change. Sarah is an Executive Board Member of Freewater Productions, Duke’s student-run film and video production group. She is also the Founder and President of the Duke Pureun Dance Team. Sarah will join the DC team as a Stanback  Intern and will spend the summer investigating the health and justice implications and policy solutions around biomass production.

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.