Growing up, my family and a neighborhood mentor fostered my passions for education, nature, travel, and community. Today, these interests define my life.
I grew up in Dixon, Illinois, a small rural agricultural community. My steel-working father and my mother divorced early, but shared parental duties in raising my sister and me. When I was 14 years old, my brother was born and shortly thereafter, I gained two sisters through my dad’s second marriage. I have worked consistently since the age of 14 and have a strong work ethic.
I am an education advocate and am always looking for opportunities to learn and to share. I received an A.S. in pre-Engineering from Sauk Valley Community College, a B.S. in Biology from Northern Arizona University, an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Northern Arizona University, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Hydrology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Professionally, a consortium of tribes (the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians) hired me to serve as their Tribal Liaison at the Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. In this role, I collaborate with the Native American community to address their climate-related tribal priorities.
My wife, Johanna, and I have been together since 2006 and have been fortunate to live in various regions of the country. We enjoy life living on a small pond in Philomath, Oregon with our dog and cat surrounded by wonderful neighbors. We love bringing diverse groups of folks together to socialize, network, laugh, and play. Building community comes naturally to me. Through organizing river trips, happy hours, developing a community garden, serving on the Board of Directors for the Corvallis Environmental Center, partnering with rural and native Alaskans, and working with Native American Tribes, I always find myself working to benefit my community.
When I have a moment to spare, I am often on the water (rafting, canoeing, scuba-diving, swimming), but can also be found mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, skiing (backcountry, alpine, cross-country, or water), snowboarding, camping, backpacking, stargazing, berry picking, or simply watching the clouds roll by. I feel at home when I am outside. I also enjoy wrenching on vehicles and do-it-yourself home improvement projects and have a well-used set of tools.
This is just a little about my life and family – and what motivates me. Ultimately, I strive to leave the world a better than I found it, so that my grandchildren’s grandchildren and your grandchildren’s children can enjoy a quality of life as good as our own.