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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Laura Henry-Stone

Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Baker 304
(540) 458-8344


Ph.D., Sustainability Education    University of Alaska Fairbanks; Center for Cross-Cultural Studies
Master of Arts, Earth Literacy   Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Indiana
Bachelor of Arts, Biology    St. Mary's College of Maryland


Dissertation: Cultivating Sustainability through Participatory Action Research:
Place-based Education and Community Food Systems in Interior Alaska

This research explores how place-based education can promote sustainability of a community food
system in which feedbacks between production and consumption are integrated within a biocultural
region. This work is based at a junior-senior charter high school in Fairbanks, Alaska that teaches with
an Alaska Native approach, emphasizing place-based, experiential, and holistic education by utilizing
students' natural and human communities to facilitate learning. The collaborative design of an Interior
Alaska gardening curriculum serves as both an organizing framework for the project's fieldwork as well
as an outcome of the research. Through participatory action research, the project develops and
demonstrates pedagogical components of sustainability that are applicable to formal and non-formal
educational contexts. In this pedagogy, the purpose of sustainability education is to foster a community
culture that will promote the emergence of sustainability in complex adaptive systems with social and
ecological components.