Rachael Petersen is a research assistant and MS candidate in the Media Lab's Space Enabled group.
With a background in environmental policy, anthropology, and Earth observation, she uses tools of ethnography and policy analysis to imagine how global environmental data can enable local conservation action. Rachael comes to the Media Lab from the World Resources Institute, where she helped launch, grow, and direct Global Forest Watch, an initiative that monitors deforestation in real-time from space. Previously, Rachael advocated for indigenous rights in international climate and forest policy. As a Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellow, she travelled the world living in remote indigenous communities researching the use of technology to protect local rights, culture, and natural resources. Rachael was a 2016 Mulago Henry Arnhold Fellow.