About Me

I am a geographer, teacher, mapmaker, map nerd, writer, husband, and father.  I grew up east_westclosein both Southern Utah and Southern Nevada, and I still consider Las Vegas my hometown.  After spending two years as a young adult in the Kansai region of Japan, I became a Midwestern transplant by marriage and employment.  Still, whenever I get on an east-west Interstate, my mind and hands still veer in the westbound direction.

I received a B.S. in Geography from Brigham Young University, and an M.A. and Ph.D., both in geography, from the University of Kansas.  I taught for nearly three years at Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas, and one year at Illinois State University, in Normal.  After teaching for three years in Wisconsin, I returned to Central Illinois and I am currently an associate professor of geography at Illinois State University.

I live in Bloomington, Illinois, with my wife, Rachel, and our six children.  I have published one book (April 2013) and a number of scholarly articles.  Rachel and I are also deeply entrenched in what my friend Jude Kastens has called a longitudinal study of mammal development and behavior.  Others refer to it simply as raising children.  This is my favorite research project.

I love to travel, especially the long, winding drives I take with my family across the West.  I have been to 46 states and 8 countries.  I also enjoy exploring new cities with my wife, Rachel, on conference trips and vacations.

When I’m not traveling or teaching, I enjoy writing projects and research, working with teenagers in my local church group, watching movies, reading non-textbook books, rollerblading, and taking bike rides and playing boardgames with my family.