I am originally from Grangeville, a small town in northern Idaho. I grew up on a farm, where we grew mainly wheat and barley, and raised cattle, sheep, and hogs. I attended the College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho, and obtained a B.S. in mathematics in 2001. I completed my M.S. in geology from Idaho State University in 2004, and taught as an instructor at Idaho State during 2005 and 2006. I completed my Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2010, where I had the opportunity to do research in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Then, I worked as a research professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, until coming to Washington State University in 2015.
My wife Heather Green is also a geologist. We spend a lot of time together outdoors in the northwest with our 6-year old son Evan and our dog Ziggy.
I am a huge fan of bluegrass music, and have been playing guitar for over 20 years. At Princeton, I played with the bluegrass band Prospect Crossing, which included fiddle phenom Brittany Haas, (now in the Boston-based band Crooked Still), and banjo picker Paul Prestopino (formerly of the Chad Mitchell Trio and long-time back-up instrumentalist for Peter, Paul, and Mary). In Reno, I had the great pleasure to play with two groups, 6 Mule Pile-up, a bluegrass and old-time band, and The Road Apples, a folk and bluegrass trio. I recently played with the Moscow-Pullman based band Taproot Bluegrass, and am currently playing with The Moscow Mules and The Chelseas.