Laura Marcus


Laura is in her element when she's up to her elbows in kelp, dirt, or fish guts. From her home in the tiny town of Gustavus, Alaska, she delights in honing the skills needed to live amid the wildlands surrounding Glacier Bay. Much of this learning she does in tandem with students. As founding director of The Arete Project, Laura’s main job is as a nonprofit leader and educator. Arete Project courses bring diverse groups of young people to Alaska for immersive living-learning courses, preparing them for lives of environmental and civic leadership.

Connecting people to land and community is Laura’s great passion – whether that takes place in the classroom, in the garden, or in a kayak. Before moving to Alaska, Laura worked at Deep Springs College, as a ranger in Yosemite and Glacier National Parks, and at an environmental nonprofit in D.C. She has her B.A. from Yale, an M.Phil from Cambridge, and – between kelp harvests and Arete Project sessions – is currently completing her doctoral work at Stanford. In moments of down time you can find her romping through the rainforest with her partner, Zach, and their adorable husky, Aayla.

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