Hailing from the salt-encrusted coast of New England, Rachel grew up with a passion for the ocean and the creatures that live just beneath the water’s surface, leading her to become a marine ecologist. Wild places first captured her heart on a life-changing 2009 expedition to Baffin Island to investigate climate change in the eastern Canadian Arctic. This expedition was the first of many, kick-starting a lifestyle of exploring this incredible planet, doing meaningful science and sharing these endeavors with others.
Rachel studied marine ecology and graduated from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, where Acadia National Park was her back yard and the endlessly fascinating Gulf of Maine was her front yard. Here she learned to sea kayak, scuba dive and sail; started training in wilderness medicine; and worked for the local marine mammal research lab, Allied Whale. She curated humpback whale photo-ID catalogs, studied dead stranded marine mammals and conducted her own research on marine pollutants in the local food web. Since 2011 she has worked for the nonprofit whale research group Mingan Island Cetacean Study, or MICS, which is dedicated to the conservation of recovering blue, fin, humpback and right whales, and conducts research during the summer in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Here and on a small island lighthouse and research station located 25 miles out in the Gulf of Maine, Rachel started driving Zodiacs and guiding small adventure groups. She has since worked on a variety of small research vessels in the North Atlantic as a deckhand, dive-tender, mate and captain.
Rachel splits her time seasonally between conducting research and leading expeditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica. She is passionate about working towards healthier oceans, protecting wild places and better communication and community involvement in science. Having spent years observing and photographing whales for science, she knows how much you can learn about an animal just by watching it and is excited to share these special moments in the wild.
Upcoming Adventures with Rachel:
Discover Greenland: The Natural Habitat Experience