Working for common ground solutions in the Heartland.
Rachel is the Assistant Director of the Climate + Energy Project, a Kansas-based nonprofit organization that seeks to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in America’s Heartland through the ambitious deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy, in policy and practice. Rachel joined CEP in 2012 as a Program Director managing the Water + Energy Progress initiative which identifies and spotlights Kansas farmers and ranchers who are using innovative methods to save both water and energy. Twenty Kansas producers received Water + Energy Progress Awards over two award cycles. Rachel is energized by bringing diverse groups together to focus on common ground solutions that preserve natural resources and strengthen relationships.
Dedicated to building community, Rachel co-founded the Kansas Women’s Environmental Network, established the St. John School Green Team and St. John Parish Earth Care Committee, and was a founding member of the Lawrence Ecology Teams United In Sustainability (LETUS) initiative. As an award-winning oral historian and internationally-recognized independent filmmaker, Rachel has produced videos for the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, Kansas Rural Center, nonprofit organizations, and agricultural innovators. Committed to showcasing the practical environmental voices of the Heartland, Rachel has conducted numerous oral history projects, collecting stories of faith, environmental stewardship, nonviolence, and connections to the land.
Rachel holds a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies and Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas and a Level I Teaching Leadership Certification from the Kansas Leadership Center. Rachel was recently designated a distinguished young alumni of the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She received the 2015 Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education Award for Excellence in the nonprofit sector and KU Sustainability Leadership Award in 2013. Rachel’s family engages in diversified farming practices that focus on subsistence and experimentation in alternative agriculture. Inspired by the creativity, determination, and resilience of her kids, Rachel is personally driven to leave the world a better place for future generations.