Graduate Research Assistant
The Evergreen State College
Christina Stalnaker grew up in Hampton Roads, Virginia along the James River. When she wasn’t buried in a book, she was outside exploring the woods and splashing around the James. After graduating high school she attended the Virginia Military Institute and trained to become an officer in the United States Army while obtaining a B.A. in Chemistry.
Upon commissioning, she attended Officers Basic Course in Air Defense Artillery at Fort Bliss, TX and pinned on a pair of jump wings from Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA. She reported to Fort Campbell, KY to serve with the 2nd Battalion 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment and, within a short week of arriving, her unit received orders to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Operating out of NATO Headquarters in Kabul, Christina was part of a team that assisted the Afghan Ministry of Interior coordinate recruitment, training, and assignment of personnel to the Afghan National Police. Christina worked with Afghan counterparts to recruit more Afghan women into the police ranks. This mission required their team to travel to each region of Afghanistan and she witnessed how decades of war can devastate the landscape. Grappling with the harsh reality of war, she found a glimmer of hope while volunteering with the Boy and Girl Scout Troop in Kabul.
After deployment, Christina chose to leave the Army to continue her education. She has since completed a fellowship working with The TREE Program, a learning-based community garden for kids in Lakewood, WA and is a Master Gardener Intern with WSU Pierce County Extension. Christina is pursuing a Master of Environmental Studies degree at The Evergreen State College and wants to better understand environmental degradation that she has seen both overseas and at home. She aspires to be an environmental researcher and educator, and overlooked populations’ access to environmental education opportunities is especially important to her. She is excited to bring environmental education into prisons by coordinating The Roots of Success program with SPP.