We’re taking a break from the archives this month to sit down with our friend Rachel Newcomb over at the Mainspring Conservation Trust, a nonprofit based in Western North Carolina that works to conserve the water, forests, farms and heritage of the Little Tennessee and Hiwassee river basins. Learn more at https://www.mainspringconserves.org/

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*Audio Correction:  Rachel states at 7:40 that projects at the Hiwassee rivershed began in 2016; these efforts actually began in 2008.

Rachel during stream visual assessment protocol (SVAP), summer 2020.

As the Conservation Outreach Associate, Rachel Newcomb leads the outreach efforts for Mainspring, including hikes, events, and volunteer coordination. She also assists with education programs, communications, and stewardship endeavors.

Rachel grew up in Leicester, NC on a horse rescue farm, but was fortunately raised outside of the barn too. Spending the majority of her youth outdoors adventuring in the creeks and woods, she developed a deep appreciation for the natural environment. In 2015, she obtained her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Public Policy at William Smith College. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she served two terms as an AmeriCorps member at a community farm in Knoxville, TN and a food bank in Charleston, SC. In 2019, Rachel earned her Master’s in Environmental Policy and Management at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. Since returning from the other side of the globe, she is happy to be back in the WNC mountains.

Rachel is an avid snow skier and traveler. She also enjoys fitness, trail riding, and using her French language skills.

Rachel livestaking for Mainspring project, Fall 2020.