Education Program Producer - Eric Gietzen

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When he isn't surfing sub zero temps...

Eric Gietzen is a teacher, writer, and freshwater enthusiast. As Chairman of Surfrider Foundation Milwaukee, Eric has worked for the protection and enjoyment of our Great Lakes by fostering a powerful network of communities, businesses, and wave chasers.

Eric Gietzen teaches English at Shorewood High School, where he also serves as English Department Chair. Shorewood High School is consistently ranked as one of the best high schools in Wisconsin; in 2013, Shorewood High School was named the #1 High School in Wisconsin by U.S. News & World Report.

After earning his baccalaureate degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Eric set off on an odyssey around the world, travelling by train, bus, and foot through Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia, and China, where he stopped long enough to begin his career as an English teacher at Lau Wai Language Institute in Taipei, Taiwan.

Eric currently holds a Master’s Degree in Information Science and resides in Shorewood, where he has been teaching English/Language Arts in grades 7 – 12 since 1994.

Eric is the co-founder of Watershed Wisdom, an interdisciplinary, experiential educational experience offered at Shorewood High School. The goal of Watershed Wisdom is to broaden students’ understanding of where they live by exploring the problems within and the potential of their local waterway, the Milwaukee River Watershed. The class has been part of Shorewood High School’s curriculum since 1998. Watershed Wisdom Alumni have gone on to pursue careers in environmental science, environmental education, and environmental justice.

Watershed Wisdom has been featured in Ripples (the school newspaper), The Milwaukee Journal / Sentinel, and on the television program Outdoor Wisconsin. Watershed Wisdom has also received two certificates of recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency.

In 2001 Eric Gietzen was awarded the Jarvis E. Bush Award for excellence in teaching writing, and in 2002 he was awarded the Outdoor Educator and Stewardship Award by Milwaukee Riverkeeper.