Rhiley’s passion lies in facilitating sustainable and harmonious relationships between people and their environments. She completed a MS at Michigan Technological University in Forest Ecology as a part of the Peace Corps Master’s International program in spring 2019. Her master’s thesis focused on local perceptions of forest change over a 30-year period in the region of Kaffrine, Senegal, where she served as an Agroforestry Extension Agent with the United States Peace Corps from 2015-2017. Through this work, Rhiley empowered small-holder farmers by facilitating the implementation of improved practices and techniques related to agroforestry and sustainable agriculture, ultimately leading to increased productivity, yields, and food security. Prior to becoming a Leland Fellow, Rhiley worked for the non-profit organization the Forest Stewards Guild in Santa Fe, New Mexico that promoted sustainable forest management through ecologically, economically, and socially responsible forestry practices. Her undergraduate degree is in Biology with minors in Sociology and Chemistry from Saginaw Valley State University.
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