This Contributor Spotlight is a Greenstand first! Ordinarily, because we are a fully remote team, spotlight interviews take place via video calls. However, Rushabh and our Communications Lead, Erin Baker, live in the same metropolitan area. They were able to have an in-person interview at a local coffee shop, a novel concept at Greenstand.
Rushabh is originally from Mumbai, India. As an undergraduate, he studied computer engineering at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology. He originally intended to go into user experience (UX) design, but found over the course of his degree that it wasn’t for him. After his graduation in 2018, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, USA to attend Northeastern University. His path through graduate school was unconventional thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting him to take an extra semester to finish his degree. He graduated in the fall of 2020 with a Masters in Information Systems.
Rushabh found Greenstand on VolunteerMatch in the spring of 2021. He was one of the first members of the newly formed data reporting team, which was a culmination of a monthslong volunteer recruiting push undertaken by Greenstand. He was already working as a data analysis intern at the Boston Public Housing Authority and wanted to expand his skillset. He has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for this new team, cleaning up messy data from the Treetracker software stack and making way for new automated workflows in our data collection process, as well as advancing Greenstand’s Data Dictionary.
Tidy data is vital for maintaining a digital link between individual trees, the tree grower who cares for them, and the reforestation project that employs the grower. Rushabh explained that without this link, it is much more labor-intensive to do calculations, pull statistics, or create engaging visualizations from Treetracker data. The ultimate goal is to create a workflow that automates the transfer of data from the tree capture verification platform directly to the Admin Panel, where our planting partners can easily view it. The work Rushabh and his data reporting colleagues are doing to automate these processes is necessary in order to show funders that we’re actually creating positive environmental and social change in the communities that utilize the Treetracker. Moreover, with cleaner data, we are better positioned to help our reforestation partners understand and communicate the impacts of their individual projects.
One of Rushabh’s favorite parts of contributing to Greenstand is the chance to interact with other data reporting contributors during bi-weekly team meetings. As a remote organization, opportunities to have personal interactions with other volunteers can be rare. These meetings allow for the data reporting team to reflect on their work, discuss new ideas, and spend time with other humans that are dedicated to fighting climate change and extreme poverty through technology.
When Rushabh isn’t working or Greenstanding, he enjoys watching and playing soccer with his friends and watching sit-coms. Additionally, he has recently been focused on his personal “journey to fitness.” He had gained weight thanks to the combination of moving to the U.S., where portion sizes are larger and foods are fattier, and a string of pandemic lockdowns. Now, he opts to walk or ride his bike around Boston rather than taking public transportation, which helps him make progress towards his health goals and enjoy the city more than he could from the subway.
As a closing thought, Rushabh told us:
“I am very glad to have joined Greenstand. I get new opportunities to learn and grow everyday. As a kid, when we were taught about climate change and environmental studies, I always knew I wanted to make a positive impact on this world by planting at least 1000 trees. It just seems surreal that now with my work here at Greenstand, that dream might become reality sooner than I expect.”
Communications Lead, Greenstand