Meet the Leaders

2018 Leaders

Linda Hogan, Keynote Speaker

Linda Hogan (Chickasaw) Former Faculty at Indian Arts Institute, Writer in Residence for The Chickasaw Nation, and Professor Emerita from the University of Colorado is an internationally recognized public reader, speaker, and writer of poetry, fiction, and essays. In July, 2014, DARK. SWEET. New and Selected Poems, was published from Coffee House Press. Her other books are Indios (Wings Press, 2012, long poem, performance piece) Rounding the Human Corners (Coffee House Press, April 2008, Pulitzer nominee) and the well-regarded novel People of the Whale (Norton, August 2008). Works include novels Mean Spirit, a winner of the Oklahoma Book Award, the Mountains and Plains Book Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Solar Storms, a finalist for the International Impact Award, and and New York Times Notable Book for the Year. Power, also a finalist for the International Impact Award in Ireland. WW Norton has published her fiction. In poetry, The Book of Medicines was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other poetry has received the Colorado Book Award, Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, an American Book Award, and a prestigious Lannan Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. In addition, she has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, The Wordcraft Circle, and The Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association. Her most recent award was the 2016 Thoreau Prize from PEN, and a Native Arts and Culture Award. Her lyrical work is considered to be writing of literary quality that illuminates a new Environmental and Indigenous Activism, as well as Native spirituality. It is included in anthologies on on Nature, Science and the Environment.

Jason BreMiller, Institute Director

Phillips Exeter Academy

Jason BreMiller teaches English and serves as the Sustainability Education Coordinator at Phillips Exeter Academy. He has taught extensively within the scope of field-based environmental humanities courses, including courses in Environmental Literature, Sustainability Design Thinking, Adventure Literature, and The Philosophy and Literature of The Hunt.  Jason supports the twelve student environmental groups on campus, develops sustainability curriculum, and teaches a field-based environmental literature course called Literature and the Land. He is also the English Department Chair and Director of The Writing Lab for the Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School.  Jason maintains an active Field Instructor status with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and has logged extensive field time leading student backcountry expeditions throughout North America and abroad.  He has presented and written on the intersection of Harkness pedagogy and experiential education, and his primary professional and intellectual interests involve the relationship between indoor and outdoor classrooms. Jason lives in Peabody Hall with his wife Molly (PEA English Department), their daughter Rosemary, and their son Alden.

Mark Long, ELI Co-Leader

Master Teacher in Residence, Keene State College

Mark C. Long is professor of English at Keene State College, where he is an affiliate faculty in Environmental Studies. A former chair of the Department of English, he is currently the director of the college-wide Integrative Studies Program.

Mark's courses in English, American and Environmental Studies include a first year writing seminar, “Searching for Wildness,” an environmental studies elective that explores the emergence and social movement of environmentalism, “Writing in an Endangered World,” and a humanities seminar, “The Open Space of Democracy.” He has also taught a field-based environmental literature course in Alaska for the Bread Loaf School of English. Mark’s current teaching methods include project-based undergraduate research and the digital humanities. 

A past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE), Mark’s writing in the environmental humanities includes essays, book chapters, and reviews on Mary Oliver, A.R. Ammons, John McPhee, Gary Snyder, and William Carlos Williams. He is co-editor of the 2008 collection of essays Teaching North American Environmental Literature and the forthcoming Approaches to Teaching the Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 2011 Mark received a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop an interdisciplinary course on the intellectual history of changing experiences and concepts of nature from the ancient world to the age of Darwin. 

Mark’s professional website offers a fuller profile of his teaching and scholarship, including his background as an outdoor educator, mountain guide, and coach, and his recent collaborations with colleagues in India.

Stephen Siperstein, ELI Co-Leader

Choate Rosemary Hall

A poet, literary scholar, and environmental educator, Stephen will be teaching English and Environmental Humanities at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT this fall.  He has a PhD in English from the University of Oregon and his research focuses on environmental education, climate change cultures, and contemporary North American literature.  He is co-editor of the forthcoming collection Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities (Routledge, 2016), and his poetry has appeared most recently in The Hopper, saltfront, Poecology, and the collection Winds of Change: Short Stories About Our Climate, among other publications.  A central goal across his writing, teaching, and advocacy work is to bring attention to the personal and emotional dimensions of climate change and to empower people to participate in wider public conversations about social and environmental justice issues, in the process expanding who counts as a climate change expert. In pursuing this goal, Stephen works with the Climate Stories Project, an online forum for individuals and communities to share personal stories about climate change.  Stephen is likewise committed to the Environmental Humanities more broadly, exploring the ways in which humanistic inquiry and education can help us better understand what it means to be human/humane in the Anthropocene.  

Dr. Laird Christensen

ELI Master Teacher in Residence, Green Mountain College, VT

Born and raised in western Oregon, Laird Christensen has been spent his career as a writer, teacher, and activist questioning the role of humans in a wild world. His work is informed by decades in the woods, stretching from a stint as a lumber grader to direct action in defense of ancient forests. In 1999 the University of Oregon awarded him a Ph.D. for his dissertation, Spirit Astir in the World: Sacred Poetry in the Age of Ecology. Laird currently teaches literature, creative writing, and Environmental Studies at Green Mountain College, where he directs the graduate program in Resilient and Sustainable Communities.

His poems and essays have appeared in a variety of books and journals, including Northwest Review, Wild Earth, Northern Woodlands, and the Utne Reader.  His books include Teaching about Place: Learning from the Land and Teaching North American Environmental Literature (edited with ELI co-founder, Mark Long). Whether leading international workshops on place-based teaching or speaking about the role of literature in the age of climate change, he is careful to ground global concerns in local practice. As a result, his own classes have become increasingly project-based, most recently producing a website on local refugee resettlement and a digital story map compiling neglected stories of bioregional history.

Dr. Annie Merrill

ELI Master Teacher in Residence, Davidson College, NC

Previous Leaders

Jennifer Pharr Davis, Presenter, ELI 2016

John Elder, Author, 2016 ELI Workshop Leader, Middlebury College

Dr. Rochelle Johnson, ELI Master Teacher in Residence, College of Idaho, ID

Scott Russell Sanders, Author, Indiana University, 2016 ELI Keynote Address

Clare Walker Leslie, author and artist, 2016 and 2017 ELI Workshop Leader

Patrick Thomas, 2016 Workshop Leader, Milkweed Editions Publishers

Robin Wall Kimmerer, SUNY ESF, 2017 ELI Keynote Speaker and Workshop Leader