Nemitz, Eric


Director of PRISM
Director of Perkin Observatory

BA Geology / Environmental Science Carleton College

I grew up in Maine, spent my college years in Minnesota, and first came to the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire in 2002. After two years teaching ecology at Boston University's Sargent Center for Outdoor Education in the neighboring town of Hancock, I found my way to Dublin School rather serendipitously when I heard they were looking for a science teacher who could coordinate the student rock band. I spent six years as a science teacher, dorm parent, and coach, and then four more years as the Dean of Students. I have spent the two years since leaving Dublin School traveling and volunteering abroad, working as an EMT, and supporting my father in his ongoing battle with cancer. After an amazing time away, I feel so blessed and excited to return "home" to Dublin. Dublin School is where I met (and eventually married) my wife Jung and we are pleased to be returning our son, Gus, who joined us in March of 2016.

What book has made you think the most?    It's hard to single out and one book, and there are problem many that I am forgetting, but Deep Economy by Bill McKibben and There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz are two that stick out in my memory as having resonated long after I finished them.

What teacher has had the greatest impact on you? Why were they special?   Sue Richman, my high school Biology and Marine Biology teacher. She was passionate about her subject, held her students to high standards of rigor and conduct, and found a way to subtly inspire us with elements of her personal life (particularly her passion for the outdoors) without ever really shifting the focus to herself or seeking our admiration or approval. She also happened to survive being mauled by a grizzly bear while hiking in Glacier National Park the summer after I graduated high school. Impressively, the attack did little to dampen her passion for the outdoors.

How would your friends describe you in three words?   Competitive, sentimental, adventurous.

What is your favorite course you have taken in high school or college?   Plate Tectonics taught by Dave Bice at Carleton. It contained all the key elements that I love about science. Continental drift was such an audacious theory in its infancy, but through a mixture of logic, open-mindedness, and bit of luck, the mounting evidence won over the scientific community in an impressively short time. I also find comfort in the Earth as a moving, dynamic system, rather than an aging, decaying relic.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?   The Perkin Observatory on a clear, moonless night is hard to beat. I can also say from personal experience that Alumni Field on a beautiful evening in June happens to be a great place for a wedding ceremony.

I am most happy when...   I am surrounded by great people, great views, and great music (or any combination thereof).

What mistake have you made that ended up leading to a positive outcome?   I once climbed Monadnock on a school night with my roommate and fellow science teacher, Brad Bassi, during a torrential and unseasonable rainstorm in mid-February. Our goal was simply to see how nasty the weather might be at the summit. We left at midnight and continued to the summit despite wind gusts of 80+ mph above tree line. During our descent, we lost the trail after only about 100 yards, due to roughly 10 ft. visibility. After crawling on our hands and knees for an hour in an attempt to relocate the summit, but failing to do so, we decided to bushwhack our way straight down the mountain, using the wind as our compass. Multiple waist-deep stream crossings and miles of dirt roads later, we arrived back at our apartment in time to catch a 30 minute nap before morning meeting. There were two positive outcomes: 1) We survived. 2) The experience helped solidify our bond as a couple of masochistic adventure-seekers, which led to the eventual planning, sponsorship, and successful completion of a 50 day, self-supported canoe trip in the Canadian arctic.

If I had a free afternoon I would...   Climb Monadnock from campus, up and down via the Pumpelly Trail, with a brief stopover at the cave.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?   Backpacking. I may well have been a mountain goat in a past life. I find no greater satisfaction than paring down to the bare essentials, throwing on a pack, and heading out into the wilderness in a state of total self-sufficiency. The added weight makes each additional high point or view that much more fulfilling. I am particularly fond of places like Denali where, in the absence of established trails, you are forced to read the landscape and forge a unique path.