I was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, the child of American medical missionaries working in that country. My early childhood was spent in Asia. I formed friendships with the local children as well as the children of other missionary families in the area who were expatriated from a variety of countries. Early on this planted in me the concept of the oneness of humanity. My childhood involved no real borders and was filled with adults and children interacting simply as humans—regardless of nationality. My family moved back to the U.S., and my parents pursued careers in clinical and research science, and finally as educators. My father is a backpacker and my mother has been scuba diving since the 1970's; so these activities were big parts of my childhood as well. Having been introduced to the world by scientists, I developed a sense of wonder at the workings of the natural world that has only grown deeper over the years. This wonder, and the philosophy that knowledge should be used in the service and education of others, are huge influences on my life for which I directly credit my parents.
I have explored a variety of professions, finding eventually that I am happiest (and most effective) when I work outdoors under the sun. I served as a deckhand on an oil spill clean up vessel on the California coast, for a short time on a working boat laying the fiber optic cable that connects Asia to the U.S., and currently work in natural gas construction as a construction foreman for a large utility company.
My formal education ended about mid-way through undergraduate level. My actual education has continued unabated and will never end. Today's world allows us unlimited access to the collective knowledge of mankind, available for free anytime. I take advantage of this every day.
My dive experience began as an adolescent. My father, mother, brother, and sister dive, so spending time in the ocean is just part of life in our family. I have certification cards from several agencies, the most recent being from GUE. My favorite water to dive is here off the coast of California; this part of the ocean is home to me. Every dive is still a learning experience. Through my life as a diver and in my various jobs I gained experience in maritime operations, safety during such operations, logistics, as well as useful skills such as line rigging and work site survey. I enjoy doing physical work on the water as well as developing and executing a plan to complete a mission safely, efficiently, and in adverse conditions if necessary.
In addition to the above, my brother Peter and I have worked the last few years to develop skills in underwater video. We had such incredible experiences underwater that it became an obsession of ours to share our experiences with others. The quest to show the sea in all its beauty is ongoing for us. We hope to foster, in others, the love of the Ocean that so deeply underpins our own view of the world. Of late, I have been building and flying unmanned aircraft as camera platforms. The power of an aerial image is a huge compliment to our other video work and will help to expand our ability to tell the story of the ocean (and ODA) going forward.
I took my first breaths on scuba in 1995 at the age of 14. Though my body walked out of the water that day, my soul has remained in the sea ever since. If one spends any length of time in the water, signs of negative human influence on the marine environment are unavoidable. Having been so inspired by and connected to the ocean my whole life, I simply have no choice but to defend the marine environment as best I can. This is why I support ODA. As an organization, ODA strives to reverse damage to the ocean and save marine life by locating and removing marine debris. Any other concern is secondary to this mission. I am thankful such an organization exists because it allows me to use my own skill set and world view to pursue an even deeper connection with the sea.