Audrey C. Rust

Audrey Rust discusses her love of nature and her work with the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), and how the organization has developed and expanded since she first began. Rust also accredits POST's success to the integral involvement of Gordon and Betty Moore and the support of the Moore Foundation. Rust also sees a bold future ahead for POST and details an interesting method for preservation through personal relationships, creative funding, and an ambitious but detailed plan. 

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Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0366
No. of pages: 30
Minutes: 92

Interview Sessions

David C. Brock
5 July 2007
By Telephone

Abstract of Interview

Audrey Rust begins her oral history with a discussion of her love of Nature and how she came to work for the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST). The vast majority of her interview is focused on her work with POST, even though she only planned to stay there long enough to get the organization going. Now, twenty years into her position there, she reflects fondly on the projects that helped the organization grow from a staff of three to almost thirty. Most importantly, Rust emphasizes the contribution of those individuals most connected to the land they were trying to preserve. She details the involvement of Gordon and Betty Moore in the initiatives of POST and the support of the Moore Foundation. Rust discusses how integral they were to the success of POST and their influence on the way that POST operates today. Rust sees a bold future ahead for POST and details an interesting method for preservation through personal relationships, creative funding, and an ambitious but detailed plan.

Table of Contents

Life prior to POST

Childhood fascination with nature. Decision to major in English.

Early Involvement with POST

Early interaction with POST members while at Stanford. Recruitment by post leaders. First project with POST buying Half Moon property. Political partnering on statewide initiatives.

Expansion of POST

Building working capital fund. Stretching donations dollars to fullest potential. Cultivating donors while promoting conservation. Increase awareness of biodiversity among local residents. Balance of working with both the public and private sectors.

Pescadero Conservation

Increased involvement of Gordon and Betty Moore. The Moores purchase and restoration of the Phleger Estate. Gordon Moore's personal interesting in local conservation.

Funding for POST

Shifting of sources in the mid-1990s. Push for increased funding in 2000 based upon the tech bubble. Rust sees an opportunity to gain huge momentum. Plea to Packard and Moore Foundations for $50 million each. Ambitious broad scale plans.

Moores' Influence on POST

Work with Moore Foundation makes POST focus on end goals. Importance of personal connection to conserved lands. Dealing with the Moores as people. Personalities of the Moores compared to other donors.

Where POST is going

Big plans for the future. Need for a paradigm shift. New ways to conserve land.

Personal Connection to the Donors

Need for personal connections in Conservation. Running into the Moores at Costco. Personability of the Moores and Gordon Moore's lack of ego.


About the Interviewer

David C. Brock

David C. Brock is a senior research fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As a historian of science and technology, he specializes in the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry; the history of instrumentation; and oral history. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University.

In the policy arena Brock recently published Patterning the World: The Rise of Chemically Amplified Photoresists, a white-paper case study for the Center’s Studies in Materials Innovation. With Hyungsub Choi he is preparing an analysis of semiconductor technology roadmapping, having presented preliminary results at the 2009 meeting of the Industry Studies Association.