Joshua Ruschhaupt

Policy Advisor & Intern Team Supervisor

Joshua is the former state director for Sierra Club in Colorado, having organized hundreds of environmentally-conscious volunteers to explore, enjoy, and contribute to protecting the planet from our home-base in Colorado. He has experience with defending Colorado’s public lands from egregious motorized recreational interests, advocating for renewable energy while fighting fossil-fuel interests, and combating misinformation about forest ecology as it relates to the influence of climate change on wildfires and bark beetles, among many other areas of work. He is also a 2010 graduate of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing, where he worked on two community climate and clean energy campaigns in Fargo, ND and Canton, OH, and helped launch Missouri Public Interest Research Group as assistant canvass director from St. Louis. Prior to Green Corps, he also assisted the national Sierra Club Board with the national level internal structure reorganization, including working to develop the then-new multi-thousand volunteer strong Activist Network.

Joshua graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in geography, with an emphasis in environmental studies – science track in 2005. He balanced student life with a job as the director of CU Sinapu / CU Wildlife Initiative, which worked to educate students and the public about wildlife issues and returning wolves to the Southern Rockies. He also attended Colorado Mountain College, Aspen campus, prior to transferring to CU. Raised in and around Yosemite National Park, his best educational experience came at a one-room schoolhouse in Wawona, with an as-yet unsurpassed theme-based teaching experience that gave him a big-world view at a young age with studies about and field trips to places like the Monterrey Bay Aquarium to study the ocean, and Washington D.C. to study our founding fathers. These were also his first fundraising experiences, as all trips were funded by entrepreneurial and non-profit-like fundraising activities.

He moved to Colorado as soon as he could after graduating from high school: he was driving through the desert from California to Colorado on July 4th, 1994 with $176 to his name, a 1980 American Eagle that would overheat and vibrate incessantly at speeds over 55 mph, and he was still on pain-killers from having all four wisdom teeth extracted three days prior- it was Colorado or bust, and were it not for his observation skills and entrepreneurial spirit, he wouldn’t have landed a job in Snowmass Village a week later, getting his first paycheck with just $1 left in his pocket.

Joshua ultimately came to realize, after leaving Yosemite and seeing the scientific data and historic trends on many environmental issues during his studies, that we must work faster and smarter at making our economy sustainable, internalizing negative externalities in market pricing, especially taking bold action to reduce climate-influencing emissions to reduce and eventually end widespread impacts (such as ending subsidies for environmentally-harmful companies, and adding a carbon tax or cap and trade markets). Those same actions have the added benefit of reducing and ending habitat fragmentation and pollution from localized development, which are critical to protecting the special places the public overwhelmingly loves to responsibly enjoy. He has begun photographing and writing on these issues at www.ClimatePhotography.com.