Rachel Weber came to Dogwood as a student at Duke University who became an intern through their Stanback Internship program. Due to her interest in the ecosystem service marketplace and the intersection between conservation and economics, Rachel worked with a team of interns to analyze the carbon market and think strategically about the Carbon Canopy going forward.
“Dogwood Alliance is the best case scenario for a small non-profit organization because it is highly mission driven and constantly evaluating itself and it’s goals, striving to be the best Dogwood it can be.”
How did Rachel become a board member? It happened in the summer of 2014. Dogwood Alliance invited the Stanback interns to attend a board meeting. Rachel recalls,
“It was a great learning experience to listen to the conversations that the board and staff were having about Dogwood’s strategy, metrics, and long-term plans.”
When the conversation turned to Carbon Canopy, Rachel spoke up about what she had been working on that summer. With her fresh perspective, she was able to offer her insights. Rachel being extremely well-spoken, immediately made an impression. Rachel explains,
“I was honored when John asked me to serve a one-year term as a youth board member to continue providing that perspective.”
Rachel has a special connection to the trees. It takes her twice as long to get from her apartment to class because she will walk through the Duke gardens and stop to appreciate every tree that catches her attention. She has always felt a special connection with trees, hiking with her dad in upstate New York. One of her eventual goals is to hike the Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail. A literal tree hugger, when studying abroad in Costa Rica, she hiked with her professor and a group up to the Talamanca mountains. She says,
“Our destination was this immense almendro tree – it must have been at least 600 years old. Together, five of us could hardly wrap our arms around the tree.”
It was her most emotional experience in nature, thinking about all the trees like that one that were cut down.
Rachel practices yoga, writes and explores new music. A lot of her spare time is currently taken up by the campaign she is helping to lead to divest Duke’s endowment from fossil fuels, a rewarding experience that’s teaching her the unique challenges and opportunities of organizing on a college campus.
You’ll be hearing a lot more from Rachel as she will be interning again at Dogwood Alliance this summer on the Our Forests Aren’t Fuel campaign.