Dan has always had a curiosity for the natural world and for exploring new places. He grew up near the shores of Lake Erie in the small town of Thompson, Ohio, where he first gained his love for the outdoors while exploring the woods and cliffs of the nearby township park. His parents’ collection of National Geographic magazines dating back to the 1950’s provided a view into the outside world that planted the seed for this budding geographer.
After high school, Dan moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to go to art school. Partway into his time in Pittsburgh, he took advantage of an opportunity to head west for a few months to work on a fishing boat in Alaska. During that time, he fell in love with the islands and rain forest of Southeast Alaska. After graduating, he returned and spent four of the next five years working as a sea kayak and mountain bike guide in Ketchikan.
When Dan was a teenager he used to go on long distance bicycle rides with friends, sometimes with no particular destination in mind. He always wondered what it would be like to just keep riding. in 1999, with this idea still in is mind, he decided to ride his bicycle across the US for the summer. Starting in Bar Harbor, Maine, his plan was to ride to Portland, Oregon – the city where he had moved the previous winter. Riding from Maine to New York with 2 friends and then the rest of the way solo, 2 months and 15 states later, he arrived.
After moving between Alaska and Oregon over the next couple of years, Dan decided to move to Portland permanently in 2002. At first he worked as a sea kayak guide and instructor, before deciding to go back to college at Portland State University. Having having spent countless hours of his life poring over maps and reading about other countries and cultures, Dan decided that the geography program at PSU was a natural fit for his interests. Four years later he graduated with a double major in geography and Russian language.
Since then, Dan’s background in art and geography have led him into a career as a cartographer and GIS analyst. He has been fortunate to call Portland home for the past 12 years, and the forest, ocean, and high desert of the Pacific Northwest continue to inspire him.
The wanderlust, however, is calling again…..and Dan is extremely excited to have the opportunity to travel the world in 2015!
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