I grew up in California and Oregon, spending a lot of time exploring western North America through work and play. My experiences on the oceans and in the mountains nurtured a fascination with the region that evolved into scholarly interests. I completed my degrees in history at the University of Oregon (1990, 1992) and the University of Washington (1996). Since then I have taught at Iowa State University, University of Portland, and Simon Fraser University. I think of myself first and foremost as a dad who just happens to be a professor of history, although I will also confess to having a special, probably innate gift for destroying '63 Chevy pickups.