Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Becca Rast '13


Becca Rast '13 is an Environmental Studies and Africana Studies concentrator interested in the impact of natural resource extraction on communities, and particularly on farmers. In collaboration with Profs. Stephanie Malin and Kathy DeMaster she investigated the impact of unconventional gas drilling on farmers in Pennsylvania. In particular, she explored why different farmers have leased their lands and farmers reactions to the swift expansion of drilling.  She is spending this year writing her thesis regarding the ways in which drilling is changing agriculture — in particular how the economic benefits of leasing land is impacting farmers. Rast hails from Pennsylvania, so this project hit close to home and she enjoyed spending the summer meeting many amazing farmers and hearing their stories.  Through her summer experience she was able to learn more about the complexity of drilling in PA and think critically about the swift changes to these rural communities. She is active with the Brown Student Labor Alliance, the Environmental Justice League of RI, and other community organizations in Providence. She also loves farming, old-time music, and bonfires.