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Charlie Laurel arrived at GCC in 2008 after 12 years living in the edge of the Painted Desert in Arizona where he was building houses out of used tires, straw bales, mud, aluminum cans, etc. He also worked with communities on the Dine’ Nation (Navajo) lands making links between forest restoration and building semi-traditional “Hogan” dwellings and ceremonial structures. Charlie earned his Masters of Sustainable Communities degree at Northern Arizona University, writing a thesis that combined his interests of Zen Buddhism and Environmentalism. Teaching a few courses at Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, Arizona sparked Charlie’s desire to focus on teaching when he moved to New England. In addition to teaching Environmental Studies at GCC, he also teaches Passive Solar Design; Building with Earth, Straw, Wood, and Stone; and a variety of special one-credit courses. Charlie teaches permaculture through the Vermont Wilderness School, enjoys gardening, and is working on a Masters in Community Mental Health at Southern New Hampshire University.