Lawrence Schuessler

Lawrence was born in Chicago, where he realized soon enough that he needed to be in the wild. He therefore left Chicago and hitchhiked around the United States, jumping trains and walking clear across the country, all the while searching for his place. During his journeys, he learned that he thrived in the wilderness and learned best by doing. These realizations lead him to attend Prescott College, where he completed his Bachelor's degree in Adventure Education. Lawrence continued on to work at Prescott as an instructor with the Wilderness Orientation program. He also began working for Outward Bound, where he currently works in a leadership role. While out on extended backcountry trips, Lawrence gains much insight from working with the staff and students in nature. 

Lawrence spent the last 15 years working with teens, young adults and mature adults in a variety of wilderness settings across the world. He has worked for a variety of different outdoor education programs as well as universities and small non-profits. Lawrence finds that bringing people into the wilderness is a great equalizer as this is where people are all treated the same regardless of their background, skin color or income level. Lawrence is passionate about working with people in the wilderness, where they gain a better sense of self by challenging themselves. He is committed to preserving wild lands, connecting people and nature, and exploring one's internal wilderness.

In 2012, Lawrence met a Gaia University graduate in Marin County and the two became fast friends. On their adventures together, building ponds, harvesting food and circumambulation on Mount Tamalpiasis, Lawrence learned about Gaia University. Lawrence was amazed such a school existed, and soon he applied and was accepted to Gaia U. His experience in the Master of Science program has left him feeling excited, inspired, connected and engaged. Lawrence is grateful for the path that led him to Gaia U and he is looking forward to the adventures ahead. Lawrence and his partner live where the seasons take them. 

Un/learning with Gaia U has been a refreshing experience, and has opened my eyes, heart and mind to the greater world that exists beyond my scope. I have felt re-inspired to continue to enhance my awareness, which can only benefit the work I do bringing people into the wilderness. Gaia is a beacon of hope in the higher education system and I feel grateful and excited to grow as I follow my pathway.