Laura Marcus, Executive Director. Laura is committed to a vision of education that integrates the active life with the life of the mind. As founding director of the Arete Project, she has worked with her students to create experiential and liberal educational programs that prepare students to be thoughtful stewards of the world around them. Prior to founding the Arete Project, Laura worked at Deep Springs College and as a ranger with the National Park Service. Laura has her B.A. from Yale University, her M.Phil from the University of Cambridge, and is a doctoral candidate at Stanford University. In her spare time, she is an avid backpacker, reader, and cook. laura@areteproject.org


Amity Wilczek, Chair. Amity is the Vice President of Deep Springs College and professor of natural sciences. Working closely with students has been an important and constant emphasis, and prior to Deep Springs she taught and mentored undergraduates at Brown and Harvard University, where she received her PhD and multiple teaching awards. Her current research explores how plants, both wild and cultivated, tolerate and adapt to diverse climates. As a teacher, she strives to emphasize the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge by incorporating practices that allow students to contribute to the process of building scientific understanding of the natural world.

Joseph Charlet, Vice Chair. Joe hails from the great state of North Carolina. Growing up in Cape Hatteras and finishing high school in Asheville, Joe has benefitted greatly from education that breaks down the silo of “the life of the mind” and integrates intellectual pursuits with physical ones and interaction with the environment. An associate at the law firm Hogan Lovells, Joe focuses his practice on litigation and regulatory counselling regarding environmental, land use, and tribal matters. Outside of his academic and professional life, Joe enjoys hiking, rock climbing, sea chanteys, and, of course, softball.

Amelia Wilson, Treasurer. Amelia Wilson is of Tlingit and Irish descent from the village of Hoonah, Alaska and member of the Chookaneidi brown bear clan. Amelia serves as Executive Director for Huna Heritage Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of Huna Totem Corporation established to foster and support educational and cultural opportunities. She is a motivated service-to-community oriented professional who enjoys volunteering at the local level as a city council member, vice mayor of Hoonah, member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, member of the Hoonah Liquor Board, Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a Tlingit dance group member of the Gaawx Xaayi Dancers. On a state level,Amelia was appointed by the governor of Alaska to serve on the Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board. Amelia is personally and professionally committed to the ongoing development of her cultural knowledge base, passionate about building bridges and believes in the power of unity.

Shubhra Murarka, Alumni Representative Emeritus. Shubhra  is drawn to the idea of community as a central component to education. She finds the Arete Project compelling because it intentionally moves beyond the classroom to include care of the land and community as integral to the pursuit of great learning. She attended the Blue Ridge Session in 2016 and has stayed involved with the Arete Project through the Faculty Hiring Committee and the Alumni Advisory Board. After receiving her B.A. from the University of Chicago, she has primarily taught both in the U.S. and abroad. In her spare time, Shubhra enjoys reading, dancing, and theater.


Hank Lentfer. I believe the quickest way to connect with the land is to eat it. Gardening, hunting and fishing transforms food from groceries to gifts. Through writing, recording wild voices and mentoring new arrivals to Alaska, I’m dedicated to helping other sense their connections to each other and the earth. I’ve spent all of my 50+ years here. Along the way, I’ve learned to pound nails, smoke fish, and a suite of other homesteading skills.  I’m eager to share them all.


Sage Logan, Alumni Representative. I am Lingit of the Kiks.adi and I came to Alaska to learn about my rich heritage. At University of Alaska Southeast I am majoring in Accounting and have minors in Tlingit language and Alaskan Native Studies. I decided to run for a board seat because of my experience at the Arete Project’s Glacier Bay Session. During my time I learned extensively how to live off the land and the privilege of subsistence living. I believe this lifestyle is heavily ingrained in Indigenous values, something I heavily support in all curriculum. I hope to offer both traditional values ideals and financial opinions that are heavily based around equity while serving on the Arete Project Board. Currently, I am working as a finance intern for Sealaska Corporation and in my free time I enjoy reading about finance and investing as well as researching sustainable ways to invest and how I can tie my cultural values into investments.


2020 Interns

Aazan Ahmad, Berea College. My name is Aazan Ahmad; I am a Pakistani who has lived in South Korea for most of his life. Now, I am an international student at Berea College. I am an agriculture and natural resources major with a personal focus on plants and soil. I enjoy working in a no-walls environment where everyone works together in a team to share ideas and get practical work done. I am interested in sustainable agriculture and hope to have a career researching on plants and soil one day. I also love reading and writing along with chilling with friends.

Nastasia Caole, University of Alaska Fairbanks. If I trace backward and linger upon every significant platform that I have ascended from until today, I would eventually return to another time when I was forced to leave my village for the City. I’m a girl from Quinhagak, AK. My first language is Yup’ik. My father is a Tribal Administrator and my mother is a Yup’ik Immersion teacher. We move from that remote village accessible only by air to Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, AK after my father is promoted. I observe adults and my peers. I learn to adapt. I lose my language after being bullied for my village accent. I begin to re-learn my language years later. I adapt when I am at a disadvantage due to a lack of experience or power. I take account of my weaknesses and I humble myself when I am lead by those who are more knowledgeable. I listen to, reflect upon, test, and apply their teachings. My father is now CEO of a Native corporation serving the Sugpiat village of Perryville, while my mother has returned to her roots to continue to teach her Native language to the youth. I still depend upon the lessons I have learned from the first abrupt change I experienced in my life, and I have developed a positive and resilient outlook to meet and overcome new challenges as they occur or as I pursue them.

Alice Dai, Duke University. Alice Dai recently graduated from Duke University, where she double majored in Electrical/Computer Engineering and English. Alice grew up in the Bay Area and has spent past summers working in China and the Brazilian and Peruvian rainforests with a science education startup. In high school, she spent a summer assisting autopsies at a morgue. Alice likes backpacking and surfing, but only got into the outdoors in college. She wants to live in a place where she can see the stars every night and be around people who like books.

Tsuzuchi “Tsu” Isaka, Berea College. Tsu is currently a sophomore student at Berea College with a major in Agriculture and Natural Resources. Through experiences working at various scale of school farms for the past 10 years, she came to believe that every educational institution needs a garden and/or a farm for students to connect with their surrounding environment and people through food. After spending a month in Inian Islands as a participant of the Glacier Bay Session, where she learned for the first time that vegetables and greens do grow in Alaska, she is excited for the opportunity to return as an intern to contribute to building new gardens on the Good River campus.

2018 Staff and Faculty

2017 Staff and Faculty

2016 Staff and Faculty

2015 Staff and Faculty

2014 Staff and Faculty