Meet the Leaders

Jason BreMiller, Institute Director

Phillips Exeter Academy

Institute Director Jason BreMiller

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, Adventure Literature, and The Philosophy and Literature of The Hunt.  As Sustainability Coordinator, Jason supports the ten student environmental groups on campus, develops sustainability curriculum, and teaches a project-based design thinking class. A former NOLS Instructor (National Outdoor Leadership School) , Jason continues to develop curriculum for and lead place-based field excursion, most recently to Iceland.  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 and orienting his students to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. His essays have appeared in NAIS, The Leader, and Terrain.org (forthcoming). Jason lives in McConnell Hall with his wife Molly and their two children Rosie and Alden.

Stephen Siperstein, ELI Co-Leader

Choate Rosemary Hall

ELI Co-Leader Stephen Siperstein

Dr. Stephen Siperstein has been teaching English and Environmental Studies for over a decade at various secondary and higher education institutions, including the University of Oregon, Stonehill College, and Vail Valley Academy. He currently lives and teaches at the Environmental Immersion Program at Choate Rosemary Hall, where he designs place-based curricula in the environmental humanities, co-teaches courses with educators from other disciplines, and organizes extra-curricular environmental programming. He also teaches in the English Department and directs the school’s Writing Center. His research and publications focus on developing effective strategies for interdisciplinary climate change education, and he is co-editor of the 2016 volume Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities. Stephen is also a poet and photographer, and his work has appeared in publications such as The Hopper, Saltfront, Poecology, and Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. A central goal across Stephen’s writing, teaching, and advocacy work is to bring attention to the personal and emotional dimensions of climate change and to empower young people to take action in their communities. His current joys include tagging monarch butterflies and exploring the forests and coastlines of New England with his family.

Susee Witt, ELI Co-Leader

The College Preparatory School

ELI Co-Leader Mark Long

Dr. Susee Witt teaches English at The College Preparatory School in Oakland, California. For nearly twenty years she has been a teacher and teacher coach in the Bay Area. Raised in Philadelphia and trained in Art History and American Studies at Stanford University and Middlebury College, Susee brings an interdisciplinary approach to her teaching, always looking at art, literature, history, and culture in context, and examining how race and gender operate in culture and inform our experiences in nature. Recent pedagogical activities include redesigning writing programs and developing interdisciplinary courses on the environment and climate change with colleagues in science. She finds joy in coaching both new and veteran teachers, and partnering with educators to include climate literacy in their courses and to work toward more equitable classrooms and curricula. Susee was a participant in the very first ELI, and is eager to help this year’s participants discover the shared sense of purpose, critical knowledge, and camaraderie that she has found there.

Sarah Jaquette Ray, Chair Professor of Environmental Studies

Cal Poly Humboldt

 Sarah Jaquette Ray is Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies at what is now called Cal Poly Humboldt. She researches and teaches on environmental justice, climate activism, the environmental humanities, and climate emotions. Her recent book, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet, explores the role of emotions in climate justice activism. She has written a book on how ideas about nature reinforce racism and ableism, The Ecological Other: Environmental Exclusion in American Culture (2013, Arizona), and co-edited three volumes bridging the environmental humanities with various social justice fields. She is currently getting certified in mindfulness facilitation, and is taking a leave of absence to further develop projects bridging emotional practices and climate activism, such as the Climate Wisdom Lab, a workshop with an organization called Emergent Resilience designed for groups seeking to better enlist emotional tools for climate justice. She is co-editing an edited collection for educators with Jennifer Atkinson, An Existential Toolkit for Climate Justice Educators. She speaks extensively on climate justice and emotions, and has written for the LA Times, The Scientific American, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Zocalo Public Square, and other venues.

Charley Mull, English Teacher

Worcester Academy

Charley Mull teaches English at Worcester Academy where he runs courses on wilderness literature and the coming-of-age novel. He writes about nature and skateboarding, and his work has appeared in Thrasher Magazine and the Kenyon Review. He coaches soccer and ultimate frisbee and in between classes skateboards with his students.

Christie Beveridge, UP for Learning

Educational Nonprofit

Christie Beveridge Howell works as a facilitator for a non-profit organization that helps foster youth/adult partnership in schools, focusing on making positive change in the areas of wellness, sustainability, and equity. She holds her B.A. from Colby College and her M.A. from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, and was a middle, high school, and community college English teacher for 18 years. She is passionate about Shakespeare, African American literature, environmental writing, and experiential education, and her adventures with students include backpacking, canoeing, and backcountry skiing throughout New England, hiking along the coast of Ireland, and exploring Panama's rainforests. Her book reviews and nonfiction have been published in the Lawrence Academy Journal, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and the Stonecoast Review. She lives in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, where she gets outside as much as she can. Christie participated in the first Environmental Literature Institute, and is thrilled to be a part of designing and leading it this year.

Previous Leaders

Jennifer Pharr Davis

Presenter, ELI 2016

Presenter Jennifer Pharr Davis

John Elder

Author, 2016 ELI Workshop Leader, Middlebury College

Author and 2016 ELI workshop leader John Elder

Scott Russell Sanders

Author, Indiana University, 2016 ELI Keynote Address

Author and 2016 ELI keynote speaker Scott Russell Sanders

Clare Walker Leslie

Author and artist, 2016 and 2017 ELI Workshop Leader

Author, artist and 2016 and 2017 ELI workshop leader Claire Walker Leslie

Patrick Thomas

2016 Workshop Leader, Milkweed Editions Publishers

2016 ELI workshop leader Patrick Thomas

Robin Wall Kimmerer

SUNY ESF, 2017 ELI Keynote Speaker and Workshop Leader

2017 keynote speaker Robin Wall Kimmerer

Linda Hogan

2018 ELI Keynote Speaker

2018 keynote speaker Linda Hogan

Dr. Laird Christensen

ELI Master Teacher in Residence, Green Mountain College, VT

ELI Master Teacher in Residence. Laird Christensen

Allison Hawthorne Deming

2019 Keynote Speaker

Mark Long

ELI Co-Leader

Rochelle Johnson

ELI Master Teacher in Residence

Annie Merrill

ELI Master Teacher in Residence

Dr. Drew Lanham

Clemson University

Dr. Renee Lertzman

Master Teacher