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, Assistant 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.
Elijah 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.
Maggie Cummings, Maryland Environmental Education Associate
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.
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.
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.