I began my professional career as an aeronautical engineer working at a wind tunnel testing the take-off and landing configurations of jet aircraft.  From there, it was a natural move to flying airplanes.

An interest in space exploration led me to the California Institute of Technology where I received a doctorate degree in planetary geophysics.  After that, I changed fields again and was hired by the U.S. Geological Survey to study volcanoes and earthquakes.  That led to work at Mount St. Helens in 1980 and, later, at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the institution started by Thomas Jaggar.  Work on volcanoes continued.  It included a year in Indonesia and three years in Italy.

At mid-life I changed careers once again.  This time I began a 20-year stint operating one of the telescopes at Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii`i.

One of the best ways to understand me is to examine a short list of some of the books that have influenced me . . .