Laura Parker Roerden is the Executive Director and Founder of Ocean Matters, a nonprofit that brings young people to endangered marine eco-systems for service learning projects. Her love for the ocean dates back to her earliest memories of playing in the waves on the beaches of Rhode Island and later as a scuba diver immersed in a more “heads under” look at the sea. She began her career in marine education over twenty years ago by volunteering at the New England Aquarium’s whale watch and has since taught marine science in a myriad of settings including traditional classrooms, on decks of science-at-sea programs, and on scuba 100-feet beneath the sea. Laura has a master of education degree from Harvard University and a B.A. from Boston College and is a lecturer and author of books, curricula and articles on young people’s social, emotional, and ethical development. She has designed educational outreach projects for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Basketball Association, Pokemon USA, Olympians at Athletes for Character Education, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, AT&T, Operation Respect, as well as for various film, music and video projects. She is the former publisher and managing editor at Educators for Social Responsibility and former managing editor of the magazine New Designs for Youth Development. Laura also currently serves on the board of directors of Earth, Ltd. of Southwicks Zoo and believes that today’s young people are a reason to be hopeful about the many problems facing our oceans.

Laura serves on the Executive Committee of W2O and is a frequent blog contributor.