Rae is a Nebraska native with a bachelor's of science in environmental studies and a master's of science in ecology from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Her previous environmental work has focused on the function and diversity of the prairie ecosystem; researching the impacts of restoration, management, and soils; and experiencing the joys and trials of native plant production. Currently, Rae works with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff and landowners in Nebraska and South Dakota to create and protect pollinator habitat using farm bill programs. Her environmental work has taken her to the shores of Alaska with the National Wildlife Refuge system, the lakes of northern Minnesota as a canoe guide, and, most recently, to the wide prairies of Midwest. Her time with the Nebraska Natural Heritage program exposed her to the array of rare and endangered species found in grassland ecosystems, and her work with The Nature Conservancy and the native seed farm Prairie Legacy, Inc. focused on the function and diversity of the mixed-grass prairie. When she’s not out in the field, Rae can often be found reading library books, at the dog park, or planting wildflowers in the front yard.