Rachel is originally from Danville, California, a town in the San Francisco East Bay. Growing up, she knew she was interested in Biology and the outdoors, enjoying hiking and exploring on Mount Diablo and its foothills, at the base of which rests the town of Danville. She also grew up spending summers at a sleep-away camp in upstate New York, where she spent 11 summers.
Rachel left California for western Massachusetts to attend Amherst College. She graduated in May of 2019 with a B.A. in Biology. While at Amherst, Rachel had the opportunity to have a number of field experiences in Costa Rica, Italy, and Bhutan (with SFS!). It was through these experiences that Rachel discovered a love for field work and ecology/evolutionary biology, a field in which she hopes to pursue a career in research in the future. She believes that understanding the evolutionary basis of diversity and ecosystem functions is an important first step in approaching issues of habitat loss, species displacement, and climate change.
In her free time, you can find Rachel hiking, taking photos, or playing ultimate frisbee. Rachel has also been involved in a number of community-based movements and organizations, both in Amherst and abroad. She believes that local, grassroots movements are the basis for positive change, especially in relation to issues of environmental justice.