Rick was born and raised in Dresden, Tennessee, and he hopes never to forget where he’s from. While in high school, his life was forever changed after watching An Inconvenient Truth, and in 2007 he became a Climate Project presenter after being trained on best practices around communicating the science of climate change. He graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a degree in political science. After college he worked as a Sierra Club field organizer in Tacoma, Washington and as a communications staffer on political campaigns in Tennessee.
Rick is pursuing an MEM/JD joint degree through the Nicholas School and Duke Law. He hopes to use both his policy training and legal training to push for aggressive decarbonization and a swift transition to renewable energy.
Rick is passionate about building a movement for climate justice and spends a lot of time thinking about what a beautiful, strong, multi-faceted climate movement would look like. In his free time, he enjoys running, swing dancing, writing ridiculous song parodies about political topics (he once rapped a song about the Iraq war in front of 800 people and managed to not faint while doing so) and playing basketball.
In “Of Looking Glasses and Overton Windows”, Rick hopes to reflect on and wrestle with the latest research on and real-world developments in climate and energy policy, politics, and communications, as well as personal and ethical questions about what it means to be a young person coming of age in the Anthropocene era. He aspires to at least ask the right questions even if he doesn’t have answers.