Rachel D. Valletta, Ph.D.
As Environmental Scientist, Rachel is dedicated to expanding the breadth and depth of earth and environmental science education within The Franklin Institute and bringing it into the Philadelphia community.
Rachel serves as the Director of the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP), a four-city educational initiative seeking to engage urban residents more efficiently and effectively in climate change and resiliency education.
A lifelong earth science geek, Rachel began her education at Syracuse University, where she earned a B.S. in Geology and B.A. in Geography. An interest in geomorphology and geochemistry brought her to the University of Pennsylvania, where she served as a Benjamin Franklin Fellow and gained a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science. Through her research, Rachel has traveled to the Arctic and Antarctic regions to document changing glacial systems and long-term climate trends reaching as far back as 17 million years ago!
Before landing at TFI, Rachel studied energy policy and deep decarbonization pathways at the Pennsylvania Environmental Council through a fellowship with the Kleinman Center for Energy Research. She has remained committed to outreach and inclusion efforts within academic, professional, and social communities, and has served on advisory boards within the Geological Society of America and in LGBTQ student organizations at the University of Pennsylvania.