I am an independent consultant and writer working with people and organizations dedicated to increasing community sustainability and resilience through civic engagement and the preservation of cultural and natural resources.
Trained as a welder, I have been a sheet metal worker, a journalist, a hydrogeologist, and a nonpartisan science advisor to the Michigan Legislature with the Legislative Service Bureau. I recently finished a 21-year stint as the founder and Executive Director for LIAA, a nonprofit community service organization. LIAA is well known across Michigan for its efforts in brokering and supporting cooperative intergovernmental planning for more sustainable and resilient communities. Additionally, LIAA manages a number of community service programs in the Grand Traverse Region including the UpNorth Media Center, Northwest Michigan’s only public access and government access television stations.
I hold a B.A. in English and creative writing as well as a B.A. and M.S. in earth science and hydrogeology from Western Michigan University. I have also received my Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Natural Resources and Environmental Policy winning the Ayers Brinser Award for my research in land-use policy and the applications of geographic information systems (GIS).
Over the years, I’ve given hundreds of presentations on civic engagement, building a sense of place, resilient communities, and climate change. I also have also published numerous articles and reports on land use planning, resource management, intergovernmental cooperation and a wide range of science and technology topics. Last, but certainly not least, I write creative nonfiction and poetry, including pieces published by the Dunes Review.