Rev. Stephen Mitten, S.J.
Title/s: Ecology Faculty and Spiritual Director
Specialty Area: Conservation Biology, Tropical Ecology, Ornithology
Office #: BVM Hall 313; LUREC
CV Link: Mitten CV
Rev. Stephen Mitten, S.J. serves as the Spiritual Director and Resident Ecology Faculty at LUREC (Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus) within the Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES). He has been involved in education at the high school, college and continuing adult education levels. From 2005 until 2012 he worked in Belize, Central America where he was hired by the school President to develop, implement and direct the Environmental Science Associate Degree Program within the Department of Math and Science at St. John’s College Junior College. He served as chair of the Science and Math Department and was the college’s faculty moderator for GECO, the school’s ecology club. He also served for a brief time as Acting Assistant Dean for the School of Professional Studies where he developed curriculum for two degree programs: General Studies with specialization in Environmental Studies, and General Studies with specialization in Tourism Management. While at St. John’s College Junior College he taught Ecology, Evolution and the Environment (non-majors); Introduction to Environmental Studies (non-majors); Fundamental Ecological Principles; Environment and Society; Geography of Environmental Systems; Sustainable Agriculture and Aquaculture; Environmental Monitoring and Sustainable Energy; Research Methods in Tropical Ecology; and the Natural History of Belize (a joint field course with Viterbo University). Currently he is teaching the sustainable agriculture course and the field ornithology course at Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus and the J-Term, Natural History of Belize course, a multi-discipline course offered through the Office of International Programs and the Department of Environmental Science. He is also the retreat director for Eco-spirituality Retreats, oversees biodiversity research with student interns at LUREC and collaborates on restoration projects out at LUREC with Dr. Roberta Lammers-Campbell.
Fr. Mitten earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Northern Illinois University in 1979, a M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology-Berkeley in 1991 and a M.S in 2004 in Tropical Ecology and a Graduate Certificate in Tropical Biology and Conservation in 2005 both from the University of Missouri-St. Louis Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center (formerly the International Center for Tropical Ecology). While pursuing his master’s degree in ecology he was granted an International Center for Tropical Ecology (ICTE) Research Scholarship to assist in the study of the ecology of the White-crowned manakin (Pipra pipra) in Ecuador (2005); a Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Student Fellow to study mangrove avian communities in Belize (2004) and a fellowship to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, (STRI) Bocas del Toro, Panama in tropical marine ecology where he researched the behavioral ecology of Aratus pisonii, the Mangrove tree crab (2003). He has also participated in ecology field research in Guyana and Venezuela.
He has taught high school biology at Marquette University High School (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and at Red Cloud Indian High School (Pine Ridge, South Dakota) where he also served as chair of the science department. He served as director of the Sioux Spiritual Center in Plainview South Dakota and director of the Deacon and Lay Ministry Formation Program for the Catholic Dioceses of Rapid City.