Ruby RortyYouth Council Member
Ruby Rorty is a sixteen year-old high school sophomore at Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz, CA and the founder of the Santa Cruz Environmental Alliance, a youth-led conservation group that organizes beach clean-ups for young adults in Santa Cruz County. She is passionate about environmental education, especially in relation to plastic pollution, overfishing, and ocean acidification.
Ruby is also fascinated by cell and molecular biology, and her biological science fair projects have competed at the California State Science Fair three consecutive years. Her most recent project focused on chemotaxis in the multi-nucleate, single-celled slime mold Physarum polycephalum.
As a student leader and founding member of her school’s Global Student Embassy club, Ruby is currently working to implement an organic permaculture garden and school-wide compost system. She loves spending time in nature and working with other young adults to accomplish team goals. Last semester, she served on the inaugural New York Times Student Council, reading and analyzing articles for their relevance to education. She also writes for her school paper, The Roar, and is an editor of her school’s literary magazine, The Finch.
Currently, Ruby is working on a long-term anthropological research project focused on the historical role of birds in human religion, art, and daily life. She loves ornithology and hopes to explore the gap between human fascination with birds and our failure to conserve endangered avian species.
In her free time, Ruby enjoys kayaking, contemporary dance, biking, and volunteering at her local marine education center. She hopes to study environmental policy, earn a law degree, and pursue work as an environmental attorney with particular focus on marine conservation, thus combining her passions for rhetoric, science, and advocacy.