Barbara Lawrence was instrumental in founding Field Studies for Children at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, the Tremont School Fund in Tremont, Maine, and Hamilton-Wenham GREEN in Massachusetts. When she and her long-time partner Bob moved to Camden in 2015, experience with these organizations drew her to help create the Stewardship Education Alliance.
Lawrence earned a BA in anthropology from Bennington College, an MA in sociology from New York University, and an EdD from Boston University. She taught anthropology and history in a high school, then co-founded and ran a real- estate and construction firm in Northeast Harbor, Maine. After receiving her Ed.D., she served as a policy analyst for the Rural School and Community Trust and later at Knowledge Works Foundation, while teaching at Northeastern and Lesley universities in Boston.
Her dissertation, Working Memory: The Influence of Culture on Aspirations, a case study of schools on Mount Desert Island, won a National Rural Education Association award, and later became the foundation for her novels set in Maine: Islands of Time and The Other Island: Ben’s Story.