Assistant Professor of Wildland Fire Science
I was born and raised in Fairbanks Alaska and received my primary and secondary education at local Fairbanks schools. I attended college briefly at the DeVry Institute in Phoenix, Arizona for electrical engineering before switching gears and pursuing my true passion, Physical Therapy, at the University of Montana, Missoula. I received my B.S. in Health and Human Performance with a minor in Natural Resource Management from U of M in 2006.
I began working on wildland fire crews in 1998 with the State of Alaska. I moved into initial attack with the state in 2000 working on Helicopters and Fire Engines before accepting a position as a Wildland Fire and Resource Technician in 2002. As a Technician with the State of Alaska I was involved with Initial Attack, hiring, emergency firefighter training and instructing. My instructing duties included the rookie red card class, pack testing, the annual firefighter refresher and organizing several of the same classes offered by the University today. Although I have moved into other areas of fire today, I still actively fight fires every summer and have traveled all around the country from Alaska to Florida to assist with some of the nations largest incidents. At first wildland fire seemed like a great way to pay for college, but I quickly fell in love with the many aspects of the job and have found myself slowly making a career out of it.
I come from a family of five. My mother and father still live and work in Fairbanks but threaten to move out of the cold every year. I have two sisters, one still lives in Fairbanks and the other now lives in Portland, Oregon and I am now a proud uncle to two nieces and one nephew. I am an avid snowboarder and enjoy backcountry boarding as much as riding a chairlift. I also enjoy traveling and try to find time to see a different portion of the world for a month or so every year (Thailand is my favorite so far). I love vehicles and also love working on vehicles and practice mechanics regularly. I am an entrepreneur and love putting my ideas into action. In 2006 I started a wildfire contracting business and lease my fire engine out to wildfires as needed. In 2007 I started the Pub Line LLC, which was a late night bus route that ran on the weekends to provide an alternative to drinking and driving. I am also part of a think tank organization created for the sole purpose of creating new business ideas, patents and inventions.
I am proud to be a part of the University here in Fairbanks and am excited to put my years of experience and head full of ideas into the wildland fire program to help it grow… like wildfire!