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Laura Parker Roerden’s writing explores and promotes the development of social, emotional, and ethical development in young people towards creating socially-responsible adults, i.e. those who participate in democracy, positively contribute to their communities, and are stewards for the natural world.

Research shows that nurturing healthy relationships with peers, adults in their life and with the natural world can provide young people with the deep connection and sense of belonging necessary for later responsible action in the world.

“It’s quite simple,” Roerden explains. “Young people need to first feel safe and a sense of deep connection and belonging to the communities that we wish them to take responsible action within.”

“We can promote that sense of a healthy community in our classrooms, communities and families by nurturing pro-social skills such as responsible decision making, win-win conflict resolution, effective expression and regulation of feelings, cooperation and teamwork, and grit through challenge.” But that might not be enough.

“For many children,” Roerden adds, “who might not have always had a safe experience of being in community, time in nature can give the deep sense of belonging and connection necessary to healthy ethical development. This is why I love giving children those opportunities to explore who they are out of doors.”

“Often, there is something quite special that happens. And clearly,  if we want children to be environmental stewards, we need them to have a relationship with nature–a felt sense of being part of nature, rather than apart from it.”

Her most recent work centers on the application of social, emotional and ethical learning to environmental education. See below for some samples and a list of publications.

Writing Sample
“Lessons from the Wild” 









Marine Related Writing Samples:

Roerden, Laura P. Youth Development in a Hurricane. Disruptive Quarterly, Q1-2, 2022.

What Happens to the Coral Reef During a Hurricane?

Earth Day 2017, an Anniversary, and Our Belonging Places

Cashes Ledge: Save Our Future Fish Today

Can You Hear Me Now: 6 Amazing Things about Sound and Marine Life

Six Steps for Solving Single-Use Plastic While Building Resilient Children

A Very Good Reason to Be Hopeful About our World’s Oceans

Finding Dory as a Marine Conservation Compass

See her Salt from the Earth blog, or better yet subscribe!


Roerden, Laura P. Bridge of Song. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2023 (forthcoming).

Roerden, Laura P. Youth Development in a Hurricane. Disruptive Quarterly, Q1-2, 2022.

Roerden, Laura P. Pelagic Waters. Disruptive Quarterly, Q1-2, 2022.

Roerden, Laura P. I Voted. Disruptive Quarterly, Q1, 2021.

Editor: Roerden, Laura P. Ocean, Environment and Impact. Disruptive Quarterly Q1-2, 2022.

Wheeler, Lissa. Engaging Resilience. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, 2017. (Ghost writer.)


Roerden, Laura P. “Fires on the Water: re-imagining educational elements.” Ed Circuit, (January 3, 2017).

Roerden, Laura P. C Squad: Together for the Journey. New York, NY: Morningside Center for Social Responsibility, 2016/2017.

Roerden, Laura P. Don’t Laugh at Me. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2000, 2017. Includes Grades 2-5 and Grades 6-8 Guides, Camp Guide, Olympic Guide, and Professional Development Training Manual (2000-2017).

Lantieri, Linda and Goleman, Daniel (forward) Building Emotional Intelligence: Practices to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children . Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2007. Winner of the 2009 Nautilus Gold Award. (Ghost writer.)

Roerden, Laura PDirect from the Field: A Guide to Bullying Prevention. Boston, MA: Commonwealth of Massachusetts 2007.


Publisher/managing editor and production: Cranberry Day, Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah, 2002. A children’s book about this important harvest festival still celebrated today.

Writer and production: Wampanoag Way: A Cultural Trail Map. Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah, 2002. A trail and story guide to cultural heritage sites of the Wampanoag Tribe on Gay Head (Aquinnah), Martha’s Vineyard.

Writer/managing editor: Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) Lessons Plans about Cranberry Day and other 3rd grade lesson plans for infusing the native story into the Pilgrim one. Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah, 2002.

Managing Editor/writer/production: Impact Quality. Washington, D.C.: After-School Alliance, Volumes 1-3, 2002. A three volume guide with CD interactive training on improving quality in after-school programming across the United States. Produced in conjunction with Project Adventure.

Roerden, Laura P. “Lessons of the Wild,” in Schools with Spirit. Boston, MA: Beacon Press 2001


Roerden, Laura P. “The Resolving Conflict Creatively Program.” Reclaiming Youth, v10 (Spring 2001): 24-28.

Olympians of the Heart. Steamboat Springs, CO: Athletes for Character Education, 2000.

Roerden, Laura P. SafeNight USA. Washington, D.C.: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, simulcast nationally on June 5, 1999.

Editor, Changing Channels. Boston, MA: Work/Family Directions, 1998. Includes Grammy-award nominated “Children’s Music” CD by Cathy and Marcy.

Roerden, Laura P. “Adolescent Development and Conflict,” in Conflict Resolution in the Middle School. Cambridge, MA: Educators for Social Responsibility, 1998.

Editor, Linking Up! Cambridge, MA: Educators for Social Responsibility, 1998. Winner of the Olive Branch Award.

Editor, Early Childhood Adventures in Peacemaking. Cambridge, MA: Educators for Social Responsibility, 1997 with William J. Kriedler and Sandy Whitall. Winner of a Distinguished Achievement Award, Association of Educational Publishers.

Roerden, Laura P. “The World Wide Web and Community Youth Development,” New Designs for Youth Development. Washington, D.C.: National Network for Youth, 1997.

Roerden, Laura P. A Summer of Service. Boston, MA: Work/Family Directions, 1997.

Roerden, Laura P. Net Lessons: Web-Based Projects for Your Classroom. Cambridge, MA: O’Reilly and Associates, 1997.

Editor, School-Age Adventures in Peacemaking. Cambridge, MA: Educators for Social Responsibility, 1995.

Editor, Teaching Young Children in Violent Times. Cambridge, MA: Educators for Social Responsibility, 1994.


Editor, Conflict Resolution in the Middle School. Cambridge, MA: Educators for Social Responsibility, 1994.


“Environmental Education on the Net,” GNN Magazine. Cambridge, MA: O’Reilly and Associates, 1993.

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