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Upstate Forever is seeking a Land Policy Grassroots Specialist to join our Land Planning & Policy program staff. Applications for this role must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on March 31, 2023.
July 18th, 2022
Each month, we introduce you to a member of the Upstate Forever staff through a few rapid fire questions. This month, get to know Clean Water Associate Rebecca Wade.
Why is Upstate Forever's work important to you?
Upstate Forever's work is critical in a time of fast-paced development and general change in the Upstate. Although I’m not originally from this area, I have family here and have been visiting since I was a child. I’ve witnessed all of the ways that this area has changed over the years — especially since I started college at Furman University in 2015. UF has the critical role of balancing demands of growth and the need of green infrastructure while maintaining the rural and unique character of this area.
What has been the most unexpected part of your role?
The most unexpected part of my role has been how many different and diverse projects I get to work on. I was brought on board to assist with watershed-based planning and implementation, which I was very interested in. However, even in these short six months I have had opportunities to work with groups spanning the Upstate on topics I thought I would only get to learn about in college classes. I am looking forward to all the ways my role will grow in the months and years to come with Upstate Forever.
How long have you called the Upstate home? What brought you here?
I have called the Upstate my home since the fall of 2015 when I started college at Furman University. I have a lot of family in the area, so attending Furman was a natural choice. However, I ended up staying in this area mostly because of my husband, a Greenville native, whom I met in college. He successfully convinced me there were few other places I would have family, friends, a greenway, hiking, biking, climbing, the beach, and several breweries all within several miles of our house.
What do you love most about the Upstate?
There are so many things to love about the Upstate, but what I love the most is being close to my family, friends, and the mountains. Growing up in the Midwest, we seldom had hills or family within a five-hour drive. Being in the Upstate is being at home.
Where’s your ‘happy place?’
My happy place is any time I am on the trail with my two pups, Gladdy and Jolene. We get into many adventures together, but the best ones always include some dirt, trees, and time to ourselves to explore.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be many things ranging from a rainbow to a rock star. Luckily, I settled on being a veterinarian and even started college as a pre-vet major. While I still love all animals and tend to have extras at my house often, I found my interest more solidly in conservation biology.
More About Rebecca
With experience ranging from wildlife research to environmental education, Rebecca is looking forward to utilizing her knowledge to expand Upstate Forever’s Clean Water initiatives. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Furman University, and is in pursuit of her Masters of Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University. While Rebecca has enjoyed learning and teaching about the natural world across the country, she is deeply connected to conservation in the Upstate.
In her free time, Rebecca enjoys many forms of outdoor recreation including, but not limited to running, biking, hiking, and backpacking. Additionally, she loves spending time with her husband and dogs at Greenville’s many breweries and restaurants alike.