I grew up in the West in a small town working in the family toy factory and enjoying the rivers, mountains and sage covered hills. After earning my BA in Earth Sciences at UC San Diego in 1970, I headed to UC Davis to complete an MS in Ecology in the multidisciplinary Eco-Grad Program. I started a company doing environmental impact analysis, then transitioned to a solar research and design firm, Living Systems, where I worked on community design, passive solar heating and cooling, building codes and solar rights. My research on passive solar heating and cooling led me to the California Energy Commission as a solar specialist, where I earned a commendation for my work on the passive section of the state Solar Tax Credit program. I then established the Passive Solar Institute to continue research, education, and consulting on solar design and energy conservation. I started work on straw bale building systems in 1985 with a consulting project for a farmer, an interest that eventually led to the completion of The Straw Bale House in 1994. After the collapse in energy prices dampened interest in solar energy in the early 1980s I returned to academia and worked on desert restoration at UC Riverside and San Diego State University from 1986-2001. In 1995 I started teaching at Alliant International University, where I retired as Associate Professor of Sustainable Management in the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. My current research involves micro-irrigation, cool pool design, and true cost accounting.