Rachel Harvey is the Sustainability Program Manager for Student Housing at the University of California, Irvine. She provides leadership in the development of educational efforts to increase sustainability literacy and inspire residents and staff to incorporate sustainable behavior change into daily habits. Rachel also helps to lead Housing’s successful Costa Rica Program in Global Sustainability and Cultural Immersion.
Most recently, Rachel served as program manager for Plastic Free Hawai‘i, a program of the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation which provides resources, tools, and trainings to educate schools, business partners, and community members about the environmental and health benefits of minimizing single-use plastics in the Hawaiian Islands. Her work helped Hawai‘i become the first state to ban plastic grocery bags in all counties. Bringing an appreciation of place, culture, and social issues, Rachel has several years of experience in non-profit outreach, event coordination, volunteer management, and sustainability consulting. This work includes legislative campaigns, environmental education curriculum planning, public and private partnership relations, and workforce development.
Rachel’s academic research concerned community-based, cultural heritage tourism and urban development, including fieldwork in South Africa. During research in Cape Town, she worked with numerous community-based organizations and small business owners to give voice to their concerns about conservation, representation, and exploitation in the tourism industry. Rachel was asked to be a member of the City of Cape Town Department of Tourism’s task force on cultural tourism. Before coming to UCI, she taught classes on anthropology, tourism, and African studies for the University of Florida and the University of Hawai‘i system as well as assisted on a clinical trial for the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Hawai‘i. Rachel holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Florida, an MA in anthropology from the George Washington University, and a BA from Wofford College.