John grew up in Seaview and Long Beach and went to high school in Camas. He received a BA in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University and an MS in Biology from the University of Southern California where he worked in the “Worm Lab”. He worked as a curatorial assistant in the Invertebrate Department of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology caring for one of the world’s largest spider collections. After teaching science in private schools for several years he worked as a non-formal science educator in upstate New York and was a deputy director for the Gannett School of Science and Man, a life-long learning program in the Rochester Museum and Science Center. He got a teaching certificate in secondary science through Connecticut’s Alternate Route to Certification II while delivering watershed education programs as a naturalist on the Schooner Quinnipiack. Returning to Washington in 2005, he taught science at Forks High School until he retired from classroom teaching in 2021.
He is a representative to the North Pacific Coast Marine Resources Committee and the alternate to the Education Seat on the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. He also is a life member of the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators. While he was a classroom teacher he built on what he learned in PEI workshops to engage his students in learning science that was happening on the Olympic Peninsula and was named FieldSTEM Teacher of the Year by PEI in 2020.
His natural habitat is outdoors, gardening or walking beaches, preferably with his grandchildren. During the monsoon season, he likes to read, cook, and fold origami.