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).
Mackenzie Bodman — Associate Director of Civic and Campus Engagement
Mackenzie Bodman is the Associate Director of Civic and Campus Engagement for the Rachel Carson Council. An advocate for environmental justice, climate change and policy, Mackenzie works to combine science, justice, and policy to advocate for imaginative solutions to environmental challenges. She holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and is completing her Master’s degree there in Geography and Environmental Systems. For the past four years, Mackenzie has worked as an environmental scientist for an engineering firm carrying out stream restoration and GIS projects. She has worked in a range of environmental disciplines, but her passion lies with environmental justice, sustainability, conservation, education, and civic engagement. When Mackenzie is not working, you can find her playing with her dog Duncan, hiking the trails around DC, or trying new restaurants!
Maya Cohn — Director of Policy and Programs
Maya Cohn is the Director of Policy and Programs for the Rachel Carson Council. Before joining RCC, Maya spent five years working on Capitol Hill, most recently as Senator Patrick Leahy’s Legislative Assistant for energy, agriculture, and environmental issues. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree at Georgetown University. Maya is passionate about access to clean air, land, and water. In her free time, she enjoys jogging around DC, cooking, and brewing kombucha.
Isabella (Bella) Jaramillo, Associate Director for Climate Justice
Isabella (Bella) Jaramillo serves as the Associate Director for Climate Justice at the Rachel Carson Council. She completed her MS in environmental metrology and policy at Georgetown University and is a graduate of Florida State University where she received a BS in environmental science and policy. During her time at FSU, Bella founded a Surfrider chapter and held various leadership positions with environmental organizations. She is originally from Colombia, but raised in Miami. Growing up in Miami instilled a passion for ocean conservation, coastal resiliency, climate justice, and a deep appreciation for the intersection between science and policy. Bella enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and being with her cat Matilda.
Claudia Steiner, Associate Director of Communications and Development
An environmental advocate around the clock, Claudia serves as the Associate Director for Communications and Strategic Development at the Rachel Carson Council. She is a graduate of the American University where she studied International Studies and Environmental Science. As an undergraduate, Claudia organized with the university’s student-led divestment movement, helping to secure full divestment from the fossil fuel industry in 2020. She is a believer in the power of messaging and hopes to inform strong climate and environmental policy through communications. She hails from the eccentric town of Maplewood, New Jersey. Outside of work, you can find Claudia reading in Malcolm X Park, cooking vegan food, or patronizing any of DC’s many falafel shops.
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.
Mackay Pierce, Senior Fellow, Rachel Carson Council
Originally from the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Tennessee, Rachel Carson Council (RCC) Senior Fellow Mackay Pierce connects his passion for environmental protection to his love of the mountains he calls home. After four years as the Rachel Carson Council’s Associate Director, head of the RCC Campus Network, and founder of the RCC Fellowship Program, Mackay is now embarked on a four- or five-month journey hiking the Appalachian Trail, following spring north from March in Georgia to September in Maine. In the tradition of Edwin Way Teale’s North with the Spring, Pierce is working on an essay series for RCC documenting the landscapes he passes through on his journey while reflecting on their connection to sustainability issues in the Appalachian Mountains and the United States more broadly.
Mackay holds a Masters in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech and undergraduate degrees in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Roanoke College, where he graduated in 2017.
RCC Fellow – Jamie Huerta – North Carolina State
Jamie Huerta is a recent graduate of the University of Idaho where she got her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a concentration in Administration and Planning, along with a minor in Natural Resource Conservation. She is pursuing her PhD in Geospatial Analytics at North Carolina State University. Jamie will be working to characterize natural and anthropocentric sources and distributions of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) in coastal watersheds. She is passionate about researching anthropocentric climate change and finding ways to combat it. During her time as an undergraduate research assistant, she investigated the application of naturally derived biochar on plant physiological production. She was also an intern at the UI Sustainability Center, where she researched the Snake River dam removal proposal and worked with U.S. members of Congress to inform the public about it. In her free time, Jamie loves traveling, hiking, and reading.
RCC Fellow – Willow Gatewood – Catawba College
Willow Gatewood is a senior at Catawba College studying Environment and Sustainability with a minor in GIS. She is an intern and work-study for the Catawba College Center for the Environment and is involved in campus sustainability efforts and student-driven initiatives. Her passions lie in regenerative, sustainable living, socioenvironmental justice, and helping others see the connections between humanmade systems and ecosystems which she explores through creating eco-art and performances. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a Master’s towards a career in ecosystems conservation and educating others about environmental science through art and creative writing. She also aspires to pursue Indigenous studies to bring more Indigenous science and knowledge to the fields of conservation and ecology. In her free time, she can be found exploring the woods around her home in Cascade, Virginia, reading, gardening, or tucked away in a quiet place writing, painting, and playing guitar.
RCC Fellow – Sidra Aghababian – Colorado State University
Sidra is a second-year master’s student at Colorado State University (CSU) studying Environmental Policy and Politics where she specializes in community engagement, environmental justice, and just transitions. She is passionate about how local and state actors can address climate change through innovative solutions that center on equity and justice. Currently, at CSU, she works with the Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) and the Center for Public Deliberation (CPD). At the CEJ she assists in creating a diverse and inclusive environmental justice community that facilitates collaborative research, teaching, and engagement across disciplines and between academia and the broader society. At the CPD she works at enhancing local democracy through improved public communication and community problem-solving. Along with the work she does at CSU, she serves on the City of Fort Collins Energy Board which helps advise the City Council and staff on the City’s energy and climate legislative policy. She looks forward to utilizing this opportunity to further the work that is being done for the environment and advocating for environmental equity and justice.
RCC Fellow – Calli Lambard – Susquehanna University
Calli is a senior at Susquehanna University majoring in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing. She is passionate about changing the way we communicate about environmental issues to better engage the public. On campus, she is a Sustainability Project Leader for the SU Office of Sustainability and the President of Sigma Alpha Iota professional music fraternity. In her free time, Calli enjoys reading, crocheting, and cooking.
RCC Fellow – Julianne Luong – University of California San Diego
Julianne is a junior at UC San Diego majoring in Environmental Policy and minoring in Climate Change Studies and Urban Studies and Planning. Ever since she was a kid, she has had a passion for food: baking and cooking still remain some of her biggest hobbies. This has helped her find a place within the climate crisis, as she has been focused on food waste and food justice. Her background in youth ministry compels her to mobilize and educate kids, teens, and young adults to find what they can do to show others, especially their parents, that they care about the climate.
RCC Fellow – Aaditi Lele – Vanderbilt University
Aaditi is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University, majoring in Climate Studies and Political Science on the International Politics track, with a minor in South Asian Language and Culture. After graduation, she hopes to attend law school and focus on the intersection of climate justice and international migration law, sparked by her passion for the environment and her immigrant roots. Aaditi also serves as the News Editor for her campus newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler, the Vice President of Political Involvement for Vanderbilt Women in Government, and the Policy Communications lead for the climate advocacy group Zero Hour. She is excited for this opportunity to continue her work in fossil fuel divestment and push for equity and climate justice.
As a leader in her school’s fossil fuel divestment campaign, Aaditi spent much of the last year writing and coordinating a legal complaint strategy against Vanderbilt, arguing that the school violated its fiduciary responsibilities as a non-profit institution because it refused to divest from its fossil fuel holdings. Through this work, Aaditi helped build out the Fossil Free 5 network, a coalition of student-led divestment campaigns that filed simultaneous legal complaints which were featured in the Guardian, the Washington Post, and more.
RCC Fellow – Cate Arnold – University of North Carolina Wilmington
Cate is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an Honors College student pursuing a double major in Environmental Science and International Studies with minors in Political Science and Geographic Information Systems. Growing up by the beaches and marches of Wilmington, she became incredibly passionate about the outdoors and people’s interactions with their surrounding environment. In the past, she has volunteered for community groups such as the Good Shepherd Center and Habitat for Humanity while also participating in local restoration efforts, beach clean-ups, and rain garden construction. At UNC-Wilmington, she serves as a grant reviewer for The Green Initiative Fund. She is also on the executive board of the school’s chapter of Plastic Ocean Project, a local non-profit. In her free time, she volunteers with the Ocean Friendly Establishments initiative, sings with the UNCW Chamber Choir, and works as a server at a local restaurant. Cate enjoys surfing, waterfall hiking, spending time with friends and family, and anything that takes her outdoors. In the future, she hopes to have a career in environmental policy and sustainable development, helping solve environmental and societal issues through interdisciplinary perspectives.
RCC Fellow – Sean Vanson – Drexel University
Sean is a sophomore at Drexel University in the honors program majoring in Biological Sciences. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, he is passionate about promoting environmental justice on his campus and his local community in Philadelphia, with a specific emphasis on eliminating the use of toxic synthetic herbicides. After completing his undergraduate education, Sean hopes to attend medical school and obtain a medical degree related to environmental medicine. During his first year, he participated in the SEA-PHAGES program at Drexel, using laboratory techniques to isolate a bacteriophage and sequence its DNA. Outside the classroom, Sean enjoys volunteering as an EMT, playing tennis, playing the guitar, and watching sports. With his team at Toxic Free Philly Drexel, he hopes to learn all he can from RCC and looks forward to working together.
RCC Fellow – Selene Li – Pomona College
Selene is a sophomore at Pomona College pursuing Environmental Analysis. Originally from Hong Kong, they are interested in learning about and advocating for climate crisis mitigation strategies in urban and city environments, whether renewable energy transition, community planning, and communication, or infrastructure improvement. Their interest in the environment also stems from having grown up by the ocean in Hong Kong and the mountains in Colorado. This cultivated an interest in community-driven conservation and stewardship, as well as a passion for equity and accessibility in the outdoors. On campus, they are an environmental representative in the student senate and an organizer for divestment.
RCC Fellow – Amelia Dogan – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Amelia is an undergraduate studying Urban Planning with Computer Science and American Studies at MIT. Currently, she is excited to be working at the Data+Feminism Lab. Previously, Amelia has worked at the University of Washington Taskar Center for Accessible Technology, Google, the US Department of Transportation Volpe Center, the West Philadelphia Landscape Project, and Movement Alliance Project/Vietlead. Her research interests focus on co-liberation for communities of color through data science using tools from the fields of environmental justice and human-computer interaction. She is from occupied Lenape land (Philadelphia) and Coast Salish land (Vancouver).
RCC Fellow –Daniel Garcia – Indiana State University
Daniel is starting his third year at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is pursuing degrees in Sustainability and English as well as minoring in German Language Studies. Daniel aims to combine his analytic and communicative English skills with his environmental passions to make an impact in the sustainability sector. His road to sustainability began in high school by engaging in community service events such as trash cleanups and community beautification projects; he is now active on campus in three sustainability student organizations and serves as a student employee for ISU’s Office of Sustainability where he leads the Eco Reps program. Daniel is particularly drawn to confronting the immediacy and severity of the climate catastrophe by turning collaborative dialogues into actionable change– both local and global. He is enthusiastic about taking part in carrying on Rachel Carson’s incredible legacy and remains constantly inspired by her fusion of writing and environmental work.
RCC Fellow – Grant Rowe – Susquehanna University
Grant is a senior at Susquehanna University where he is double majoring in Environmental Studies and Political Science. On campus, he serves in the Sustainability Office, the Sustainability Committee, and heads the Environmental Club. Using his position, Grant hopes to expand his work and environmental efforts as far as they can go. Thus far, working with Susquehanna University and outside organizations, Grant has helped eliminate plastic waste, expand vegan options, secure funding for electric vehicle charging and nature trails, and has led a divestment campaign. Moving forward, he hopes to build on these past actions to further increase sustainability and, upon graduating, pursue a career in environmental policy and politics.
RCC Fellow – Lily Riesett – St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Lily is a junior at St. Mary’s College of Maryland majoring in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. She is interested in environmental justice and is passionate about educating and serving historically excluded communities. She has completed a fellowship, internship, and is currently a contractual employee for Ballotpedia, a voting rights non-profit. Reaching communities that have been denied voting assistance is something Lily cares strongly about. On campus, Lily is the managing editor of her school paper, The Point News, the secretary for her school’s Student Government Association, an intern for the Political Science department, and a member of the Varsity Rowing team. In her free time, Lily loves backpacking, hiking, and volunteering on her campus farm.
RCC Fellow – Mackenzie Bodman – University of Maryland Baltimore County
Mackenzie is a second-year graduate student at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) majoring in environmental science and geography. Her goals are to use interdisciplinary science to advocate for environmental justice and policy issues in her local area. Following her undergraduate degree, Mackenzie worked as an environmental scientist at a civil engineering firm. Mackenzie is a dog mom to a ninety-five-pound lab mix and enjoys hiking with her friends and being in nature. She has an intense passion for nature and protecting and conserving it.
RCC Fellow – Mackenzie Feldman – University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Mackenzie is a 26-year-old environmental activist from Honolulu, Hawaii. She is attending the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to pursue a Master’s in Agricultural, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences. She is the author of the book Groundbakers, released in Summer 2022. Growing up on Oahu, Mackenzie saw the effects of corporate agribusiness and the resulting pesticide exposure has had and continues to have on her community. Simultaneously, Mackenzie witnessed the power of the Hawaiian food sovereignty movement. She graduated from UC Berkeley in Spring 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Society and Environment and a minor in Food Systems. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Herbicide-Free Campus, an organization that works with students and groundskeepers around the country to advocate for an end to the spraying of synthetic herbicides at schools and a transition to organic land management. Her campaign resulted in the entire University of California system going glyphosate-free, and Mackenzie worked with a coalition to get herbicides banned from every public school in the state of Hawaii. Mackenzie is also a Food Research Fellow for Data For Progress and received the Brower Youth Award in 2019 for her work with Herbicide-Free Campus.
RCC Fellow – Sahil Inaganti – Tulane University
Sahil is a senior at Tulane University pursuing majors in Environmental Studies, Public Health, and Political Economy with minors in Urban Studies and Management. Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Sahil is passionate about addressing issues of environmental injustice that involve public health. He has interned at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic where he analyzed emissions in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley and has conducted research on the effect of COVID-19 in exacerbating health disparities. At Tulane, Sahil is president of the School of Public Health’s Student Government and co-founder of the Health Equity Fellowship, a leadership development program for first-year students interested in advancing health equity. He is also a trip leader for Tulane Outdoor Adventures where he leads students on outdoor trips across the Gulf South.
RCC Fellow – Manuela Caldas – Florida International University
Manuela is a junior at Florida International University double majoring in Sustainability and Interactive Media. Raised in South Florida she has grown passionate about the natural world and its conservation. Currently, she is exploring science communication as a naturalist at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center where she is able to educate children about their environment through seagrass adventures, coastal hikes, and mangrove slogs. As a college graduate, Manuela plans to pursue a career as a documentarian, educating and disrupting through digital media. In her free time, Manuela enjoys spending her days in the ocean, swimming, snorkeling, or surfing. She can also be found scoping out a yummy new restaurant or booking a ticket to her next adventure.
RCC Fellow Anila Narayana – University of Colorado Boulder
Anila is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a Boettcher Scholar. She is majoring in Geography, with Certificates in Public Health and Neuroscience. Anila is passionate about helping to mitigate health inequities and environmental injustices. She hopes to work with those that are affected at both local and global scales. She is also interested in researching the physical and mental health co-benefits of community-driven climate action, such as the development of community and urban gardens. During her time in college, Anila has become involved with GlobeMed at CU, conducted climate adaptation-focused research, and volunteered for various public health initiatives. She is excited to join this year’s cohort of RCC Fellows.
RCC Fellow – Nicholas Black – Pomona College
Nicholas is a junior at Pomona College studying politics. He grew up in Western New York, with his hometown of Rush encompassing heavily wooded areas, vast farmlands, and sprawling suburbs. These varied surroundings sparked his interest in the interactions between natural and built environments and the role that humans play in their ecosystems. Passionate about environmental justice and community organizing, he is a leader in the on-campus effort to achieve fossil fuel divestment and endowment justice. He also leads the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion team of Sunrise Claremont Colleges, a group dedicated to connecting student leaders with environmental justice activism in Southern California. Nicholas is particularly interested in combatting the dismissal of marginalized voices that have historically pervaded environmentalism in the United States. He seeks to highlight the hypocrisy of institutions of higher education that tout their support and acceptance of minority and low-income individuals while perpetuating environmental racism and climate catastrophe through their investment portfolios. In his free time, Nicholas enjoys discovering new music, exploring the vast natural beauty of Southern California, and writing for The Student Life, his college’s newspaper.
RCC Fellow – Elisabeth Sauerman – Drew University
Elisabeth is a junior at Drew University and is pursuing double majors in Public Health and Environmental Studies & Sustainability, as well as double minors in Anthropology and Environmental Justice. Elisabeth grew up in a small town not far from Drew’s campus. She spent most of her childhood outdoors or cultivating a desire for community service with her family. She is a Drew Action Scholar and Baldwin Honors Scholar, as well as a Drew Action Scholar mentor and co-chair of the undergraduate student government’s Sustainability Committee. Elisabeth mainly focuses her academic research on the intersection between climate change and health. She is heavily interested in studying climate change’s impact on food supply and security, and the implications for community health. In her free time, she likes to read, listen to music, play video games, and spend time with her cats.
RCC Fellow – Eleanor Crone – Vanderbilt University
Eleanor is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University double majoring in Public Policy and Climate Studies with a minor in Earth and Environmental Science. Growing up in the small town of Norfolk, Connecticut, she learned to cherish nature at a young age and became passionate about conservation through a GIS trail mapping internship and her volunteer work with the Sierra Club and local land trusts. On campus, Eleanor advocates for sustainable change through DivestVU and Vanderbilt Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility. As an intern for the Environmental Voter Project, she has gained experience in political organizing and environmental advocacy. Eleanor enjoys working as a research assistant in the Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab, playing trombone in the University Concert Band, and exploring the Nashville food scene.
RCC Fellow – Alyssa Martin – University of North Carolina Charlotte
Alyssa is a graduate student at UNC Charlotte and the President of her university’s Graduate History Association. She is currently working towards a Master of Arts degree in History, concentrating on environmental history and Southern history. Her thesis employs the lens of settler colonialism to bring memory, place-making, space, and history into the discussion of environmental racism in Louisiana and explore how residents of Cancer Alley, Louisiana, have experienced emotional, generational, and physical erasure. Alyssa is passionate about making research accessible to educate the broader public about issues of environmental justice.
RCC Fellow – Ethan Thorpe – Vanderbilt University
Ethan is a junior at Vanderbilt University studying Law, History, and Society with a minor in Philosophy. Originally from Madison, Connecticut, Ethan moved to Singapore at fourteen where he studied at the Singapore American School. After learning about environmental catastrophes, his life-long passion for the environment gained focus and clarity. His goal is to pursue a JD, ultimately working in public interest environmental law to establish a legal precedent that will be integral to a legal and regulatory framework to fight climate change and environmental degradation.
RCC Fellow –Kacy Gao – Drexel University
Kacy is a Biological Sciences major and Chemistry minor at Drexel University with a special interest in environmental health. Having seen the disproportionate impact environmental toxin exposure has on low-income communities through community dialogue and EMS, her goals are oriented towards advocating for change through policy and activism. She is currently leading a campaign on campus to transition from the use of toxic synthetic herbicides to organic land management, as well as an effort to enforce a similar law in the city of Philadelphia. In addition to being a fellow of Herbicide Free Campus, she is also a student organizer for the local political advocacy group Toxic Free Philly. Her long-term plans are to pursue a career in medicine.
RCC Fellow – Diana Arriaga – University of Texas Austin
Diana is a junior at The University of Texas at Austin pursuing a major in Plan II Honors and a pre-med certificate. Her international background inspires her to use her interdisciplinary education to advance environmental justice. Diana’s passion for communication and community led her to join UT Austin’s Campus Environmental Center, where she learned about intersectionality in climate change. Throughout her time with CEC, Diana learned about resources and programs that aim to amplify sustainable practices in Austin and UT. Now, she aims to foster action through effective communication about environmental issues and their multi-faceted effects. She believes any action, no matter how small, can make a positive impact and inspire others to follow suit. Diana is eager to learn about advocacy and work alongside her mentors to advance environmental justice work in the communities she belongs to. Besides environmentalism, Diana enjoys playing with her dog, Valentine, going to volleyball games, and gardening.
RCC Fellow – Elijah Baker – UC Santa Barbara
Elijah Baker is a Master’s student at the Bren School for Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara where he specializes in policy and environmental justice. He has served as the Project Coordinator for the Global Environmental Justice Project since June 2020. In this role he helps manage project timelines, write chapters, and design reports with the goal of improving the living conditions of incarcerated people. Prior to this, he spearheaded the City of San Jose’s Senate Bill 1383 efforts to recover food waste as a California Climate Action Corps Fellow. Elijah is excited to continue to grow as an environmental advocate as a Rachel Carson Council Fellow where he focuses on community and watershed health.
Elijah hopes to further movements towards social justice and climate justice through both his personal and professional work, and aspires towards a career as a researcher-activist. He graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Professional Writing.
RCC Presidential Fellow – Isabel Wood – Duke University
Isabel is a senior at Duke University majoring in Environmental Science and Policy with minors in Biology and Cultural Anthropology. This is her second RCC Presidential Fellowship. In 2021-2022, Isabel was the co-lead of the RCC’s Bird Watch and Wonder program. She is also president of Duke’s Undergraduate Environmental Union where she plans environmental programming, advocates for a greater focus on environmental justice topics, and facilitates collaboration between environmental entities.
RCC Presidential Fellow – Joy Reeves – Duke University
Joy is a Duke University student from Frederick, Maryland, pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Management. Passionate about climate advocacy and scientific communication, she is the author of Growing Up in the Grassroots: Finding Unity in Climate Activism Across Generations, published in July 2020. Joy was previously an RCC Stanback Fellow and has also held internship positions at League of Conservation Voters, the Student Conservation Association, and the Wright Lab at Duke University, where she conducted research on the effects of saltwater intrusion and sea level rise on the coast of North Carolina. During her undergraduate career at Duke, she received her degree in Environmental Science & Policy with a minor in Visual Media Studies, as well as a Udall scholarship for environmental leadership and public service. She aspires to merge her background in visual communications with her passion for clean energy justice with a focus on solar energy policy.
RCC Presidential Fellow – Maggie Dees – Virginia Tech University
Maggie is a junior in the honors program at Virginia Tech majoring in environmental science. She is from Salisbury, North Carolina, and feels passionate about environmental justice and conservation. Maggie is active with the Environmental Coalition, the United Feminist Movement, and the Alpha Delta Pi sorority outside of the classroom.
She was previously an RCC Stanback Presidential Fellow and has interned with the Natural Resource Defense Council researching the effects of wildfires on public health, and the start-up non-profit, One Green Thing, while serving on its youth advisory board. Maggie is excited about this opportunity with the RCC and furthering her commitment to advocating for the environment and for environmental equity and justice.
RCC Presidential Fellow — Molly Herring — University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
RCC Presidential Fellow Molly Herring is a senior at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill pursuing a double major in Biology and Global Studies with a minor in Creative Nonfiction. Molly was born in the North Carolina Appalachian mountains and raised between Richmond and the beaches of Sandbridge, Virginia, but has journaled from the kitchen tables and living room floors of host families all over the world. She has been published in Oceanographic Magazine, Coastal Review, The Marine Diaries, and Cellar Door. She currently assists research in sea turtle geomagnetic self-location mechanisms in the Lohmann Lab at UNC and works in communications for the UNC Center of Galapagos Studies. Molly straps on a SCUBA tank whenever she can.
RCC Fellowship Project:
As an RCC Presidential Fellow, Molly will be writing regularly for RCC publications, especially creative non-fiction and nature writing inspired by Rachel Carson.
RCC Presidential Fellow Molly Weiner is a sophomore at Yale University majoring in American Studies with a focus on politics and the environment and is pursuing a certificate in Advanced Spanish. She is an organizer with the Yale Endowment Justice Coalition, a movement of students, faculty, alumni, and community members who oppose the financialization of higher education and believe that Yale’s endowment is an inherently political force to be used for moral ends. In February 2021, Molly helped found the Fossil Free 5 coalition of divestment organizers at Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, and Vanderbilt; organizers filed legal complaints with the attorneys general in their respective states, arguing that endowment investments in the fossil fuel industry are illegal under state law. Their activism was featured in CNN, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Grist, among others. Molly also assists with research at the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, works for the Yale Sustainable Food Program, and edits for the Yale Politic.
RCC Fellowship Project:
As an RCC Presidential Fellow, Molly will write about and continue her divestment activism at Yale and work to increase national literacy around divestment and promote the novel legal strategies students have taken. She is interested in spurring divestment from non-profit organizations by engaging institutions in questions of fiduciary duty. She hopes to broaden the reach of her coalition, connect new organizers to this work, and expand RCC’s divestment/reinvestment campaign.
Kaylee Rodriguez is a rising senior at Duke University pursuing a major in Public Policy, a minor in Environmental Science and Policy, and a certificate in Policy, Journalism, and Media Studies. She is a Miami-native and her proximity to the ocean and Everglades sparked her interest in the natural world. She feels passionately about environmental journalism and education and believes that every area of policy will be influenced by theclimate crisis. Last summer, Kaylee interned with immigration lawyers at Catholic Legal Services and volunteered part-time with her state senator Annette Taddeo. On campus, she is co-director of Camp Kesem and a Political Engagement Project fellow. She hopes to transform her love for the environment and civic engagement into tangible policy solutions and climate action.
Christina is a senior at Duke University majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Psychology. Born and raised in Durham, she is devoted to enjoying and protecting North Carolina’s ecosystems. She is most interested in environmental education, climate resilience, and urban ecology – places where humans and the environment come together. Outside of class, Christina serves as co-president of her student dance ensemble, is a DJ at Duke’s radio station, and helps collect stories and oral histories from Environmental Justice communities. She’s looking forward to working more on climate justice issues with RCC!
Lily Samuels – Climate Justice
Lily Samuels is a freshman at Duke University, intending to double major in Environmental Science & Policy and Economics with a minor in Computer Science. She was born in Beaumont, Texas, but moved abroad to Africa, China, and Kuwait. Moving to many different environments and experiencing many different cultures deepened Lily’s concern for global unity when developing technology for a clean future and sustainable economy. She is specifically interested in applying research and programming skills to investigate and support sustainable solutions that impact political and corporate environmental strategy. As a Stanback Climate Justice Fellow at the Rachel Carson Council, she is excited to broaden her understanding of current environmental legislation and political action through valuable experiences researching legislature relevant to the climate crisis, environmental justice, national emissions, and renewable energy.
Lydia Sellers – Communications
Lydia Sellers is a rising senior at Duke University majoring in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Marine Science and Conservation, minoring in Cinematic Arts, and pursuing a certificate in Documentary Studies. She has a passion for environmental injustice, science communication, and environmental education involving plastic pollution. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, and dancing with Duke’s salsa team. She is a Rachel Carson Scholar at Duke and her research interests lie in how to effectively communicate environmental issues with both nonscientific and scientific audiences to foster change and diversity. She hopes to pursue a future in the field of environmental education and communications.
Stephanie is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at Duke University, where she specializes in environmental economics and policy. Prior to beginning her master’s, Stephanie spent 3 years working on federal ocean policy and program management at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C. As a Program Associate, she primarily worked to advance interagency ocean observation initiatives, including conducting research and coordinating stakeholders for the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee and the Integrated Ocean Observing System Association. Stephanie stays active at Duke as Chair of Strategic Action for the [email protected] student club and as an upcoming editor for the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum. Her specific interests include environmental security and federal governance of the ocean and climate in the face of climate change. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys yoga, podcasts, and taking any opportunity to go diving and snorkeling.
Joy Reeves is a Duke University student from Frederick, Maryland, pursuing a Masters of Environmental Management degree. Passionate about climate advocacy and scientific communication, she is the author of Growing Up in the Grassroots: Finding Unity in Climate Activism Across Generations, published in July 2020. Joy has also held internship positions at League of Conservation Voters, the Student Conservation Association, and the Wright Lab at Duke University, where she conducted research on the effects of saltwater intrusion and sea level rise on the coast of North Carolina. During her undergraduate career, she received her degree in Environmental Science & Policy with a minor in Visual Media Studies, as well as a Udall scholarship for environmental leadership and public service. She aspires to merge her background in visual communications with her passion for clean energy justice with a focus on solar energy policy.
Annie is a rising junior at Duke University majoring in Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy. She is passionate about the intersection between technical solutions to climate change and their implementation into legislation. She is also part of the Duke Climate Coalition where she works on the divestment team and the education and empowerment team, working to pressure the Duke administration to fully divest! In her free time, she loves to make ceramics and is on the club soccer team.
Maggie Dees is a sophomore in the honors program at Virginia Tech majoring in environmental science. She is from Salisbury, NC, and feels passionate about environmental justice and conservation. Maggie is active with the Environmental Coalition, the United Feminist Movement, and the Alpha Delta Pi sorority outside of the classroom. Maggie has interned with the Natural Resource Defense Council researching the effects of wildfires on public health and the start-up non-profit One Green Thing while serving on its youth advisory board. Maggie is excited about this opportunity with RCC and furthering her commitment to advocating for the environment and for environmental equity and justice.