About me

I grew up on the shores of a wooded lake in Connecticut, attended Phillips Academy, Andover and then Brown University. I earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Colorado, in 1971. The same year, in honor of Earth Day 1, I co-authored the first environmental science textbook in the United States. It sold well over 100,000 copies and spearheaded the development of environmental science curricula in North America. At the same time, hounded by restless spirits, I began wandering the globe, visiting people and places that were so far from my childhood upbringing. Over the decades, I have kayaked across the North Pacific and around Cape Horn, mountain biked through the Gobi desert, made first climbing ascents of big walls on Baffin Island, and first ski descents in the Tien Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzia.  In 2011, I circumnavigated Ellesmere Island with Erik Boomer.   

I am now 73 years old, and still blessed with good health. Even though I am slowing down considerably, I still live in a world of "walking meditation."  Body, Mind, and Nature.  Hunter, Shaman, and Tundra.  

I have a son, two daughters, and six grandchildren. In order of age: Nathan Young is a team leader for software development, Reeva Saria is a veterinarian and Noey Turk is an organic farmer.  In the spring, summer, and fall, my wife, Nina Maclean, and I live in a wondrous house/cabin in the Montana forest, where we feast on fresh vegetables from Nina’s garden.   In winter, we live in a two-bedroom apartment in Fernie, B.C., amid great skiing.  

In all the glory and tragedy, the focus and the synchronicity, the serenity and the madness, my life has become a journey seeking sanity within this oil-soaked, internet-crazed, consumer-oriented modern world.  This journey is reflected in my relationship with my family, as well as, writingpublic speaking, and expeditions.  

A Few Random Statistics

It’s sort of a funny list, as all such lists are strange and suspect.

December 16, 1945

Graduated High School
Phillips Academy, 1963

Graduated College
Brown University, 1967

Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry University of Colorado, 1971

First Textbook
Published 1971

Cold Oceans
Published 1998

The Wake of Jomon
Published 2005

The Ravens Gift
Published 2010