Raised near Cincinnati, Laura Marie earned a B.S. in Biology at Case Western Reserve University. She then served a year with AmeriCorps before completing her MEM degree at the Nicholas School in the Ecosystem Science and Conservation track with a Certificate in Community-Based Environmental Management. Laura Marie is now working with Down Home North Carolina as a community canvasser, organizing working class voters in rural NC. She also serves on the Durham Environmental Affairs Board.

Career interests

Community outreach, stakeholder engagement, sustainable agriculture, food systems


Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University, Durham, NC
Concentration: Ecosystem Science & Conservation
Certificate in Community-Based Environmental Management
Master’s Project: Mapping the Durham County Food System
Qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews with over 20 key actors, including local government officials, nonprofit employees, business owners, and local farmers to provide recommendations on how the Duke Campus Farm and World Food Policy Center can best engage with the local food system.

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Minors: Spanish & General Anthropology
Honors in Biology



Environmental Communications Assistant, The Bernhardt Lab at Duke University, Durham, NC
Composed lay-language summaries of scientific articles on watershed hydrology and mountaintop mining for an informational packet sent to 7 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting officials in 4 Appalachian states. Wrote blog articles to provide the public with information on environmental impacts of mountaintop mining. January – October 2016

Policy and Communications Intern, North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, Raleigh, NC
Researched best practices for incorporating equity and social justice into environmental communications to improve employee’s outreach and communication strategies; presented recommendations to staff and board. Wrote and proofread blog posts, petitions, and action alerts for digital environmental advocacy campaigns. May – July 2016

Practicum in Community-Based Environmental Management, Town of Cary Sustainability Program, Cary, NC
Conducted interviews and a focus group with municipal employees to produce a communications plan to reduce recycling contamination at Cary Town Hall and to improve internal communications on sustainability. Presented recommendations to the Town of Cary Environmental Advisory Board. January – May 2016

Program Assistant, Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) Executive Education Program, Durham, NC
Composed articles and layout for quarterly newsletter to 1,500 environmental professionals (18% open rate). Utilized online software to manage contact database and assist with professional development workshops. September 2015 – May 2016

Environmental Outreach Liaison AmeriCorps Member, Rural Action, in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Commissioners, Mineral City, OH
Leveraged $2,250 in grant funds for the Tuscarawas County Park Department; developed and implemented environmental educational programs & community events; Recruited 45 volunteers; Educated 810 students. Collaborated with state agencies, community groups, nonprofit organizations, and private landowners to build capacity for Park Dept. development, including a project to print and distribute updated trail maps. August 2014 – August 2015

Additional information

Software and technical communication skills: NVivo 10, WebEx, iContact, Canvas; Experience managing multimedia content via blog posts, Facebook, and Wordpress; Fluent in South-American Spanish (speaking, reading, and writing); Knowledge of grant research and application process; Certified in First Aid, CPR & AED through the American Heart Association (expiration: March 2017)

Public speaking: Durham Toastmasters Sgt. At Arms; featured student speaker for Nicholas School Development and Alumni Relations events; student panelist for diversity & inclusion information session

Proficient with social media platforms and digital communications tools: Microsoft Office software, Google Suite, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wordpress, Weebly, WebEx, iContact, Canvas, and Qualtrics