Peter Neill is an author and an editor on environmental and ocean issues, and the founding Director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place for education and information exchange on the health of the ocean. Previously President of the South Street Seaport Museum from 1985-2005, he was tenured as a Research Associate at the Climate Change Institute, University of Maine in 2015. Neill lives in Sedgwick, Maine, with his wife Mary Barnes, who is an artist and President of the Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
Peter Neill graduated from St. Paul’s School in 1959 and Stanford University[dead link] in 1963 with Bachelors' degree. After enrolling the US Army between 1964 and 1966, in 1969 he finished the University of Iowa Writers Workshop with MFA. As an educator, he was an Adjunct Professor of English at Yale University, Fairfield University, and between 1970 and 1980 Tsuda College in Tokyo. At Yale 1979–1980, Neill was the Editor of the Yale Alumni Magazine and Journal. He was the founder of Leete’s Island Books in 1972.
Neill has always maintained an interest in nature while working with the Nature Conservancy, Connecticut Chapter (Trustee, 1978–1982), High Mountain Institute, Leadville, Colorado (Founding Chair and Emeritus, 1995–2007), and on the East coast in Maine, the Atlantic Challenge Foundation, Rockland (Chair, 1988–2006), the Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport (Trustee and Vice Chair for Programs, 2006–2014), and the Ocean Classroom Foundation, Boothbay Harbor (Trustee and Chair, 2007–2014).
His career has been dedicated to marine affairs and the future of the oceans, as the past President of the Council of American Maritime Museums and of the International Congress of Maritime Museums, and also holding educational programs for schools on ocean related subjects with a strong proponent of maritime education. During his time at the South Street Seaport Museum, he devoted a third of the museum's budget to the New York City schools, and was the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Ocean Classroom Foundation. Neill is a co-founder of two innovative public high schools, the Sound School in New Haven, Connecticut, and The Harbor School, New York, NY. They developed context for teaching and learning to apply maritime history and environment.
In 2015 he published American Sea Writing: a literary anthology as his second anthology. He also contributes regularly for a blog on the Huffington Post. His contributions were published in Smithsonian, The New York Times, WoodenBoat, and other publications.
- A Time Piece. New York: Grossman Publishers. 1970. ISBN 9780670714957. OCLC 65441.
- Mock Turtle Soup. New York: Grossman Publishers. 1972. ISBN 9780670482436. OCLC 315071.
- Acoma: a novel. New Haven, Connecticut: Leete's Island Books. 1978. OCLC 729784296.
- Maritime America: Art and Artifacts from America's Great Nautical Collections. Balsam Press in affiliation with H. Abrams. 1988. ISBN 9780810915275. OCLC 17480048.
- 3. Leete's Island Books. 2013. ISBN 9780918172501. OCLC 908939040. Reprint of "A Time Piece" (1970), "Mock Turtle Soup" (1972), and "Acoma" (1978.)
- Once and Future Ocean, Notes Toward a New Hydraulic Society. Sedgwick, Maine: Leete's Island Books. 2015. ISBN 9780918172570. OCLC 951681688.
- Trachtenberg, Alan; Bunnell, Peter C (1971). The city: American experience. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195014006. OCLC 138576.
- Krohn, Barbara Ehrenwald (1991). Great maritime museums of the world. New York: Balsam Press in association with H.N. Abrams. ISBN 9780917439124. OCLC 23253214.
- Randall, James; Demisch, Suzanne; Steen, Gareth L (1995). On a Painted Ocean: Art of the Seven Seas. New York University Press. ISBN 9780814757871. OCLC 194133740.
- Fletcher, Ellen; Brouwer, Norman J (1999). Walking Around South Street: Discoveries in New York's Old Shipping District. South Street Seaport Museum. South Street Seaport Museum in association with Leete's Island Books.
- Neill, P, ed. (2000). American Sea Writing: a literary anthology. Library of America.
- "Faculty & Staff". University of Maine. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- "Barnes Elected President of Blue Hill Heritage Trust". The Ellsworth American. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "World Ocean Observatory - Welcome". Thew2o.net. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "About W2O › Staff". the World Ocean Observatory. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- "PETER NEILL, c.v". Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- "World Ocean Observatory's Peter Neill Endorses Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary September 5, 2017". Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- Russel Shorto (12 September 2004). "The Future of the Past". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Stamler, By Bernard (29 March 1998). "Rough Sailing for South Street Seaport". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- "Board Of Directors". Ocean Classroom Foundation. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- Gluckman, Nell (25 July 2014). "Financially strapped Maine-based Ocean Classroom Foundation to close". Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on 30 April 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- "American Sea Writing: a literary anthology" reviewed on the New York Times. Buckley Jr, William F (3 December 2000). "Editors' Choice: The 10 best books of 2000—Siren Songs". New York Times. HOLIDAY BOOKS 2000. New York, N.Y. p. 27. ISSN 0028-7806. Archived from the original on 13 September 2001. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- "Peter Neill". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 18 January 2015.