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Eli Marienthal

Co-Director & Co-Founder at Back to Earth Outdoors
Eli Marienthal

Eli is a lifelong learner and educator. He is a co-founder of Back to Earth, a nature connection, culture building organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he guides wilderness rites of passage adventures for teens and young adults. He is trained through The Tracking Project in Corrales, New Mexico, a non-profit led by John Stokes devoted to peacemaking, nature awareness and cross cultural respect.

Eli holds bachelor’s degrees and a master's degree in comparative literature and international development studies from Brown University, and is an “all but dissertation” PhD candidate in the Geography Department at UC Berkeley. He has conducted research in Haiti, India and the United States, where his interests have included agrarian transitions, the humanitarian-industrial complex and the cultural politics of belonging.

Eli is also a poet, songwriter and spoken-word performer. He is a former Youth Speaks slam champion and a national youth slam team member. As a young person he worked extensively in Bay Area regional theater, as well as in film and television. His most recent work is a series of altar as art pieces addressing the grief of an altered climate, with support from the Smithsonian and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

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