A fourth-generation Californian, I grew up in the north county of San Diego, where I spent my childhood on a surfboard and, for one year, as a professional skateboard rider. In addition to wandering the coastlines of California and Baja surfing, I spent summers with my family camping throughout California, the intermountain West, and British Columbia. In 1973 I spent a year traveling with my family in Europe. Before finding my way to college in my late twenties, I spent nearly a decade living and working on the Eastern slope of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains—as a professional athlete, teacher, amateur naturalist and mountaineer.
During my four years in upstate New York completing a BA in English at Ithaca College I coached Division I NCAA cross-country skiing at Cornell University, and I taught beginning, intermediate and advanced skiing, basic and advanced rock climbing and mountaineering, and wilderness skills, for the Cornell University Outdoor Education Program. My work in environmental and outdoor education included field courses in Wyoming, New York, Washington, Montana, California, Canada, and Alaska. In 1990 I enrolled in the graduate school at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, where I studied American literature, modern poetry and intellectual history. When not in the library or classroom, I spent my time in the remote regions of Washington’s North Cascades on rock and ice climbs, ski descents, alpine traverses, and ski descents of the Northwest volcanoes. After completing my Ph.D. in 1996, I taught for two years as an Acting Instructor in the department of English at the University of Washington, Seattle.
For the past twenty years I have made a home in the Connecticut River valley with my family. When not teaching, reading, or writing as a professor of English and American Studies at Keene State College, I spend my time with my family at work and at play in the fields, woods, and gardens of Water Run Farm, or at our summer camp on Sand Pond near the headwaters of the Asheulot River.