Rachel Briggs joined Trustees last month as a legal fellow. Here she shares a bit of her journey in getting here.
I grew up in Hawaiʻi, a place, like Alaska, abundant in natural beauty. My moms instilled in me their love for the outdoors, and I spent my childhood hiking, paddling, and camping. I also grew up seeing the places I love lost to industrialization.
I watched as trash accumulated on the beaches, native forests receded, and native wildlife suffered the impacts of pollution and shrinking habitats. Experiencing the incredible wonder and beauty of the natural world while witnessing its vulnerability led me to an early interest in environmental advocacy.
From coast to coast, then north
Since then, I have had the opportunity to live in and explore diverse landscapes. I learned to love (or at least appreciate) winter in college in Maine, and found solitude in the redrock splendor of southern Utah. I immersed myself in the bustle of Washington, D.C., and found peace in the cool forests of the Pacific Northwest.
My love for these landscapes and desire to help protect them led me to the law. While attending Lewis & Clark Law School I gained advocacy tools, and put them to work with clerkships at several wonderful environmental law firms. When offered a clerkship with the Alaska Supreme Court, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to continue learning and exploring.
Finding a way to stay in Alaska
Of course, while clerking in Anchorage, my partner Bradley and I fell in love with Alaska—its wildness, its piercing beauty, and the warmth of this community—and decided we had to find a way to stay. I like that I don’t need to choose between the mountains and the ocean here, and that there are seemingly endless places to explore (sometimes with our cats, Bramble and Briar).
I am so grateful to have found a place at Trustees—to be able to do work I am passionate about on behalf of a singular and spectacular place, with such talented, supportive people.