What is your position at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln?
I am a Professor in the School of Natural Resources, and Director of the Center for Resilience In Agricultural Working Landscapes. I was formerly the Leader of the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.
What drew you to the University of Nebraska—Lincoln?
I came here to found the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in 2004. In 2019 I retired from that position, but was not ready to stop contributing. In this new position, I am able to make new connections and establish new collaborations outside of my former scope, and help build a novel program combining agriculture and resilience that will hopefully be part of UNL for years to come.
What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
Seeing the lightbulb moments that come when a student understands a complex topic, or makes connections with other disciplines that transcend their primary focus.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
In the academic world, I am happy with the local, national, and international collaborations I’ve been able to foster and participate in. I’ve been happy to see the term “resilience” embraced, within UNL and more broadly. And it’s been exciting and satisfying seeing my students graduate, gain employment, and succeed. Many former students are current collaborators.
What is something that most people don't know about you?
I dropped out of college after my first year. I founded and was a partner in a chimney sweep business, but when it dissolved I found myself in a series of poor jobs that drove me back to school.
What is your life like outside of work?
I live out in the country, where I grow things and enjoy improving my property. I ride motorcycles as a hobby of sorts, and enjoy travel most of all, and exotic foods.