Two things were important in my life growing up in the Central Valley: sports and nature. These two categories provided me an education about the wonderful diversity of people and habitat unique to California’s Great Central Valley. I grew up playing football and baseball with the grandchildren of Dust Bowl refugees. I played soccer with the children of Mexican migrant workers and kids who escaped Laos and Vietnam with only their lives. I looked for bird nests while picking peaches, clambered to observe snakes and small mammals fleeing flood irrigated orchards, surfed and frogged in the canals, and made sure to avoid stinging nettles and the hobo camps in the river bottom forests when looking for snakes, alligator lizards, and birds of prey.
After graduating from U.C. Davis, I lived and worked in Washington, D. C. for a year at the Smithsonian; near Dallas, Texas for five years at the University of Texas at Arlington Natural History Collection; and rural Utah for seven years before settling down presently in Stockton. In between these residences I have traveled across the United States and toured Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Guatemala by backpack.
It has always been my goal to return to California and establish a professional career dedicated to learning and teaching about it to others. And that is exactly what I am doing now
.(Yosemite National Park, 2012)
Tadpoles of the United States and Canada