Rachel graduated from Houghton College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology (environmental emphasis). After an environmental education internship and a year of teaching, she returned to school at Simmons College in Boston, MA to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in 2002. For the next seven years, she taught middle school science in Massachusetts, South Carolina, and New York, before coming to Roberts in 2008. Rachel teaches introductory biology labs, microbiology labs, anatomy and physiology labs, and environmental science as well as serving as the lab coordinator and an advisor for the Math and Science Club. She coordinates the Adopt-A-School program with third and fourth-grade classes at Nathaniel Rochester Community School in Rochester. Rachel also serves as the faculty representative and advisor for the Au Sable Institute for Environmental Studies; Roberts is a participating college with Au Sable, enabling students to take field courses in the summer and receive Roberts credit.
Rachel married her college biology lab partner, Doug, in 2001. They live in Irondequoit with their four children. They enjoy kayaking and hiking in the area. Rachel is trying to make birders out of the whole family, including herself. She is a new beekeeper and is learning a lot about pollinators in general.
In 2018, Rachel received a Planet Stewards grant from NOAA. After submitting a pre-proposal, Rachel was accepted into the community and worked for the school year with a Peer Review group to refine a final proposal for a stewardship project. Stewardship projects are hands-on action-based projects that conserve, restore, and/or protect human communities and/or natural resources from environmental challenges that NOAA monitors. Rachel is working with various classes and student groups to survey pollinator populations on campus using the Empire State Native Pollinator Survey Project protocols. After getting baseline data, habitat enhancements will be made and data will be collected to assess the impact of the enhancements.
UPDATE: Working with Honors student, Garrett Maynard, in the spring of 2019, the weather finally cooperated enough to gather some preliminary pollinator population data-both abundance and diversity-at four locations on campus. Rachel and Garrett will be resurveying the same four locations in the summer and fall of 2019 to see what different species are present at different times of year. In the fall of 2019, Rachel will be working with students to make improvements to pollinator habitats and in 2020, they will continue their surveys to see if the habitat improvements have increased abundance or diversity of native pollinators on campus.