Published author, scientist, and volunteer: DNRP employee does it all

LauraHartemaWater and Land Resource Division (WLRD) Ecologist Laura Hartema makes her debut as a published author after transforming her fading journal entries into a book, Bering Sea Strong: How I Found Solid Ground on Open Ocean.

Laura’s journal entries from her time aboard a Bering Sea catcher-processor vessel manifested into a book that shares how she used her at-sea experience to find solace from her past and harness the strength to pursue a rewarding career and a better life. “I started the book years after I returned from sea; I didn’t know how to write a book, I just started,” Laura said. “The key is to push yourself beyond your circumstances to test that threshold. We are all stronger and more capable than we know. Well, I went to sea and found out.”

Laura’s contribution to sustainability has not stopped on catcher-processor vessels. For over 20 years, she’s been committed to restoring and monitoring King County’s streams, wetlands and their buffers. Concurrently, Laura has spent nearly two decades volunteering her time as the Director of Friends of Des Moines, and was recently presented with the Des Moines Legacy Foundation LEGACY Award 2017 for her work in habitat restoration.

“I don’t volunteer for praise, or pay, or credit, but I admit it feels good to be recognized for my leadership for nearly 20 years of community service,” Laura said. “It takes a little leadership and, at times, a push to accomplish great things, but the Des Moines Parks department has supported my efforts. It’s special to gather and work hard with a group of strangers for a common good.”

LauraHartemaAward.pngLaura’s personal and professional work are a testament that every individual has something to offer their community and neighbors. “‘Think globally and act locally’ is what I do,” Laura said.

You can find out more about Laura, her book Bering Sea Strong and upcoming events, and sign up to receive her Love This Day blog posts at Her book’s release date is March 13, and is now available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and IndieBooks. It may also be found in your local bookstore.