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Engineering & Science

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Background

I read somewhere—and can't remember for the life of me where!—that to be a good writer you must a) read, b) travel, and c) be someone. I've embraced that advice over the years. My reading is at times prodigious; Kate and I have been blessed to travel to far flung places; and I have worked on many diverse fronts employing my skills, interests, and education as a chemical/environmental engineer.

 

Yes, I am an MS chemical engineer—don't groan!—a fact that has greatly influenced my writing. I have worked as an engineering researcher at three national laboratories (Los Alamos, Sandia, and the National Bureau of Standards [now the National Institute of Science and Technology]), for a major electronics manufacturer (Hewlett-Packard), as the lab directory for the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center, and now as a science writer and facilitator working, most often, on all things Yellowstone and all things Montana.

Importantly, all of my work history has pushed me (with great joy!) deeper and deeper into the world of engineering and science writing.

Science Writing

In recent years I have had the honor of serving a number of critically important climate change task forces or writing teams, including:
 

Work History

Separate my creatinve writing, my engineering and science professional life has touched broadly on issues of resource management and climate change. I've led programs for materials reduction and recycling for a major manufacturing plant, completed engineering projects and served on an electronics industry professional technical advisory board scoped at reducing global warming gases from wafer fabrication processes, and helped draft research plans and science agendas dealing with natural resource constraints and climate change.

Below I provide a bit more detail on some of that work history. Each place noted played a part in texturing my writing, photography, travel, passions, and life. (A proper CV/resume can be found at the website of MountainWorks Software, Inc., the company Kate and I own.)

MountainWorks Incorporated

Co-Principal

MountainWorks provides software, engineering, and science communication services to clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies, NGOs to state, tribal, and federal agencies. I specialize in science writing and editing, as well as facilitation of meetings in the scientific, engineering, and public policy realms.

1999-present

Hewlett-Packard Corporation

Lead Environmental Engineer, Inkjet Business Unit

Responsible for reducing the environmental impact of our business. Work varied widely, ranging from global warming gases to VOCs, metals recovery to solvent recovery, acid gas scrubbing to product stewardship. Co-authored EIS's for new HP manufacturing sites in Ireland and Puerto Rico.

1989-1999

Los Alamos & Sandia National Laboratory

Research Scientist / Intern

Completed work in fundamental chemical engineering science, including experimental and theoretical modeling studies of surface science.

1983-1984

Yellowstone Ecological Research Center

Lab Director/Principal Proposal Writer

Led proposal writing efforts that resulted in multiple millions of funding dollars. Worked in conjunction with Lead Scientist to set and support YERC’s mission. Managed grants; conceived, and developed YERC website (no longer in place).

2003-2007

National Institute of Science & Technology

Research Scientist

Completed work in fundamental chemical engineering science, including study of amino acid transport through ion exchange membranes, as well as heat transfer during supercritical CO2 extraction processes.

1984-1986

University of Colorado / Montana State University

MS / BS Chemical Engineering

Master Thesis title: Electron-enhanced CO2 Adsorption and Stabilization on Aluminum Films. Go BUFFS! Go CATS!

1977-1983

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