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Erik Gearhart

Social Studies

M.A.Ed, Antioch University

B.A. American Studies, Carleton College

Secondary Teaching Certification in Social Studies, Carleton College

I recognize the terrifying dangers of despair… it is one thing to be realistic and honest about our capacities and another thing to surrender… Problems surely can and should be ameliorated, suffering and pain reduced, justice and equity increased, peace furthered, violence lessened, meaning strengthened… It (may not be) for us to finish the work, but neither are we free to take no part. -David Purpel

Erik Gearhart’s 30+ years in education have included both classroom teaching and instructing for NOLS, Outward Bound, and managing multiple outdoor education programs. He has taught history, literature, economics, humanities, English, and social studies for NAIS schools in California, Nevada, and Washington, as well as in rural public schools in Minnesota.

Erik also taught in Native American Schools with the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes and developed partner learning programs with the Inupiaq, Gwich’in, Makah, and Lakota nations. For his thesis, he researched the experience of BIPOC students and families in independent schools and developed a toolset for improving inclusion.

His specialties include creating interdisciplinary experiential programs in critical cultural landscapes that blend outdoor education with intercultural immersion and academic studies. 

Erik is an avid climber, kayaker, snowboarder, and surfer. Some of his favorite places to work with students include the Alaskan Arctic, the Mojave Desert, and South Dakota’s Black Hills. Erik and his wife Lisa moved to the island in 2022.