My professional mission is to advance the science underlying how we build and care for sports fields. More broadly, I like to help others appreciate science. I believe that the scientific process is the greatest idea that human beings have ever come up with, so I’m proud to take part in using and sharing it.
I like to think across scientific fields (pun not intended!) and challenge conventional wisdom when appropriate. As a geologist turned groundskeeper (see experience and CV), my sweet-spot is how those specialties overlap. Nature produces a staggering variety of raw materials, and people have dreamed up many creative ways to alter and use them. This process is what makes our wonderfully modern life possible, and engineered soils are a perfect example.
Teaching and learning are my favorite activities. I think the best part of this two-way process is how ideas interact. Reading and studying broadly allows us to absorb disparate ideas and let them bounce around in our minds for a while - intermingling and combining like a pot of soup simmering on the stove. Usually the process creates something much greater than the sum of its proverbial parts!
I’ve fully embraced programming and the philosophy of reproducible, open science. I mostly use R but have also ventured into Bash and Python. I’ve written a few R packages for my own use - so far they just live on my GitHub page but I believe they can benefit other soil scientists and I eventually plan to put soiltestr on CRAN. R Markdown and GNU Make are my go-to tools for assembling projects. Learning these computational tools was a steep climb, but well-worth the struggle. It has both improved the quality of my work and reduced my frustration…. no more copy-pasting graphs into MS Word!
Life is full of joys, struggles, and unforeseeable twists. I aspire to embrace all of these. My personal interests include reading, fitness, cooking, and of course my friends and family.