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Jurisdiction: North Topsail

University: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

India Mackinson is a Lead for North Carolina Fellow serving North Topsail Beach. In her role, she works with the town manager to improve communications with citizens and to protect the town's valuable natural resources. She graduated with highest distinction from UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in environmental studies and a minor in media and journalism. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Honors Carolina laureate. Throughout her time at Carolina, she worked with the Coastal Studies Institute researching environmental decision-making and science education on the Outer Banks. Her work culminated in a science communication honors thesis on maritime archaeology and coastal development in Hatteras Island, for which she received highest honors. She also worked as an environmental health reporter for North Carolina Health News and a communications intern for UNC Research's Endeavors Magazine.

On her future and purpose: As an undergraduate, I studied coastal and rural sustainability in my classes and internships, ultimately writing several articles and a thesis on the topic. While I love writing and reporting, I want to get my hands dirty and actively participate in these communities that I care about so deeply. As a fellow with the town of North Topsail Beach, I’m excited to get back to my family’s coastal roots and learn not only about the powerful environmental forces that make the North Carolina coast so beautiful, but the people that make coastal communities so vibrant and resilient. I hope to help the town as it recovers from Hurricane Florence in meeting the environmental challenges of such a dynamic shoreline while balancing the needs of the community.

Recent Work Accomplishments:
India was in charge of publicizing the Board's opposition to offshore energy exploration. She made contact with stakeholders at the local, state, and federal level to advocate for our natural resources and encourage unity among coastal communities. She authored a press release and sent it out to contacts at the White House, Congress, the General Assembly, and key North Carolina environmental groups. India also created an online map that allows users to easily explore the town's comprehensive shoreline management plan.


Blog Posts

Conservation and Community

by India Mackinson

  By India Mackinson (LFNC Fellow, North Topsail) October 31, 2019 The flood of beach goers on Topsail Island slows after Labor Day weekend. As the sun steadily sets earlier and earlier and the nights grow cooler, a new type of visitor takes their place ⁠— saltwater anglers. It’s officially …


Settling into North Topsail Beach

by India Mackinson

North Topsail Beach is a far cry from the college town of Chapel Hill that I made home the past four years. While in Chapel Hill you mainly come across college students from North Carolina, in NTB there’s people from all walks of life: marines, tourists, retirees, a surprising amount …


Reflections on Training

by India Mackinson

Dante Pittman, the only LFNC fellow unable to attend the D.C. summit, didn’t know what he was walking into. Before going to the School of Government kick-off picnic, he met us for the first time, stumbling into an organized chaos of line dancing, talking, and laughing. It was clear to …