I am, by both profession and avocation, a geographer. For me, this means a never-ending search to understand what it is that makes each place unique in the world. Place. A central tenet of geography, ‘place’ describes the human and physical characteristics of a given location, though I also believe that the concept encompasses something much more nebulous and personal than just that. The writer and historian Rebecca Solnit once wrote, “when you give yourself to places, they give you yourself back”, an observation that hints at the value of a life deeply imbued by the acts of seeking, and seeing. This desire to experience, understand, and translate to others the innate perfection of every place also describes me as a photographer. Through the lens, I search for this perfection in all of its aesthetic forms: color, texture, pattern, and shape. Photography provides me the means to connect to a place, and thus, to myself.
I am an associate professor in the Department of Environment, Geography and Earth Sciences at Gustavus Adolphus College, a small, friendly, liberal arts college in Minnesota. As an educator, I teach courses on climate change, hydrology, glaciology, and geospatial technologies. As a scientist, I work to understand mountain glaciers, their response to a rapidly warming climate, and the implications of glacier change on the environmental and social systems that exist downstream. For more than a decade, my research has focused on the glaciers of Ecuador, astride the equator yet very high in the atmosphere. More recently, I have also begun to do work in the arctic-alpine landscapes of Sweden. I grew up in Colorado, and continue to find my spiritual home in the mountains, though my time in Minnesota has taught me how to also find perfection in the prairie and forest landscapes of this much more gently sloping part of our world.