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).
Alexandra Wisner, Associate Director, Policy and Programs
Alexandra represents the RCC on Capitol Hill and is responsible for our research and publications and the Rachel Carson Campus Network (RCCN). Alexandra was born and raised on a small island off the coast of North Carolina where her passion for the environment grew through extensive work on ocean and sea turtle protection. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University where she was a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar majoring in environmental science and policy with a focus on human rights. Alexandra previously worked at the League of Conservation Voters on public lands and has carried out extensive research on birds in indigenous-populated regions of Latin America.
Mackay Pierce, Campus and Communications Manager
Drawing from his experience as a campus organizer and leader, Mackay serves as the Rachel Carson Council’s Campus Coordinator. 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 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.
RCC Fellows, 2019-2020
Lou Cross – Virginia Organizer
Lou is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia where she became involved in the fight against the pipelines and fossil fuels in Virginia. Lou’s background includes organizing teach-ins and student trips to areas in the Blue Ridge Mountains impacted by the pipeline. Lou’s work included helping with a community-led survey project in Buckingham County Virginia to support the residents resisting the proposed Dominion Compressor Station. Since that time, Lou has been involved in connecting and organizing with communities resisting the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
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, NC. 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.
Kelsey Hall – University of North Carolina at Asheville
Kelsey is an Environmental Policy and Management major at the University of North Carolina Asheville with minors in Economics and Human Rights Studies. She is particularly interested in intersectional environmental issues, and hopes to pursue a career in climate policy after graduating. Kelsey currently coordinates the fossil fuel divestment campaign at UNCA and is working to further sustainable and ethical investing initiatives on campus, as well as across the UNC System with the NC Reinvest Coalition. Kelsey interns with UNCA’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center, using GIS to help cities and municipal entities understand, prepare for, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys hiking, camping, and photography.
Michael James-Deramo – Virginia Organizer
Michael James-Deramo grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. As a co-founder of the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition and a community organizer with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Michael organized with students, young folks, and communities across the state in organizing against pipelines, coal ash contamination, and military open burning. In the past two years, Michael has focused on direct action and mutual aid organizing working to directly confront industry on its harmful practices and build support systems for organizers to support one another. Michael also works to build out the intersections between race, class, and gender issues and how they interweave in our larger climate and environmental struggle within an economy based on extraction. Michael enjoys spoken word poetry, sustainable gardening, and hugs.
Jenny Sab – University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Jenny Sab is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro majoring in Environmental/Sustainability Studies and Political Science. She is interested in sustainability, environmental education, social justice, and public policy. On campus she volunteered with a local nonprofit advocating for North Carolina’s marine wildlife, is an active member of AAUW, and works as an Office Assistant for the Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, running, watching movies, and playing with her dog Winston!
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 NC’s coasts.
Zakaria Kronemer – Virginia Organizer
Zakaria developed his drive for climate for justice as a student at the University of Mary Washington. It was there that he organized a multi-year campaign that culminated in the university divesting from fossil fuels. Since graduating, he’s followed the need to not just fight the industry through financial pressure but also support the resistance against infrastructure projects immediately threatening communities. He now resides in Southwest Virginia where he is farming and building community with other young people who see confronting the climate crisis as a life long struggle.
RCC 2019 Interns
Alyssa Cleveland: Stanback Policy & Community Outreach Intern
Alyssa Cleveland is a rising senior at Duke University majoring in Environmental Science and Policy. She is from Atlanta, Georgia and is interested in the intersections of environmental sustainability, social justice, and public policy. In her free time, she enjoys engaging in arts, practicing yoga, and eating good food!
Brandon Dawson: Stanback Intern Brandon is a rising senior at Duke University studying Public Policy and Environmental Science. He is from Townsend, Delaware and loves hiking, drinking coffee, and theater. On campus, he is involved with Duke’s musical theater group, Hoof ‘n’ Horn where he has performed in and helped produce many musicals. Brandon is also a Guardian ad Litem in Durham where he advocates for abused/neglected children as a court appointed volunteer. He is passionate about environmentalism and preserving natural spaces for all people to enjoy.
Chris Gendell: Stanback Policy & Community Outreach Intern
Chris is a rising senior at Duke University majoring in Political Science and Public Policy. He has worked as an intern for the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, researching economic impacts of the looming student loan debt crisis in New York City, and helped compile policy options to alleviate this debt for the New York State and New York City governments. He has also interned for Congressman Jim Himes and volunteered at a local non-profit that worked to increase the availability of cleaner and safer landscaping methods.
Ananya Gupta: Policy & Research Intern
Ananya Gupta is a rising senior at Oberlin College majoring in Environmental Studies and English. She is an international student from India interested in a law and policy related career in environmental peace and conflict resolution. Currently, she is a research assistant for professor Rumi Shammin at Oberlin working on climate and refugee migration. Additionally, she serves as the Managing Editor for The Oberlin Review, Oberlin’s paper of record. In her free time, she plays Badminton, writes poetry, and pursues adventure sports such as deep sea diving.
Chloe McGlynn: Stanback Campus & Education Intern
As a native of Northern Californian and an avid hiker, Chloe appreciates the value of access to national parks and outdoor spaces, as well as the importance of intersectional approaches to their conservation. She is a senior at Duke University, currently working towards degrees in Neuroscience and English. On campus, Chloe is an advisor for the DukeEngage international service program, a leader with the PWILD backpacking program, and President of Inside Joke Sketch Comedy. Chloe draws from her experiences in non-profit administration and community organization to promote the RCC’s efforts to connect campuses, communities, and government. In the past, she has worked in outreach and development with Raising A Reader MA and the Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation.
Margaret Overton: Stanback Intern
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Margaret is in her fourth year at Duke University studying Environmental Science & Policy with a certificate in Corporate Sustainability. With leadership and research experience in federal lobbying, conservation, waste management, and local environmental programs, her goal is to pursue a career that lets her merge her interests in environmental activism, permaculture, green urban development, and sustainability practices, all with a heavy focus on community empowerment and education. In her free time, she enjoys photography, reading, dogs, board games, and singing.
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.