Morton Arboretum hires first director of sustainability

  • Rachel Novick

    Rachel Novick

Posted7/14/2021 3:53 PM

LISLE -- Rachel Novick has joined The Morton Arboretum as its first director of sustainability. The new position was created to lead the Arboretum's sustainability initiatives and further develop its pathway to institutional environmental sustainability.

Planned sustainability initiatives include assessing the Arboretum's environmental impacts and developing targets, approaches and environmental policies that will ensure the Arboretum has a net positive environmental impact. The Arboretum's work also addresses climate change, including protecting the trees, plants and ecosystems it manages. Further, the Arboretum seeks to increase audience awareness of the importance of sustainability, offering opportunities for learning that help people adopt best practices for a sustainable society.


"As a tree-focused botanical garden, The Morton Arboretum is committed to transformational sustainability as one of its highest priorities," said Kris Bachtell, vice president of collections and facilities. "Rachel brings a depth of expertise through her background in sustainability, along with a robust knowledge of trees, which will provide a strong foundation for the Arboretum's sustainability initiatives."

Prior to joining the Arboretum, Novick served as the director of sustainability studies at the University of Notre Dame. Previously, she co-founded its Office of Sustainability and served as its Education and Outreach Program manager. She also taught ecology, climate science and urban sustainability as an associate professor of the practice. Novick is a LEED-accredited professional in new construction and major renovations.

"The Morton Arboretum's work plays a critical role in addressing the sustainability challenges we face as a global society," said Novick. "I am looking forward to working with all aspects of the organization to enhance the sustainability of its operations."

Novick holds a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Cornell University, and a master's degree in forest science and doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology, both from Yale University.

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