Bureau of Indian Affairs
As a lifelong hunter and fisherman, he pursued a degree in wildlife biology. He attended Phoenix College and then Arizona State University where he graduated in 1983. While in school, he spent summers as a wildlife firefighter for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Springerville Ranger District. After graduating he moved to Springerville permanently and worked seasonally for the Forest Service. He also worked in the off-season for the Arizona Game and Fish Department as an intern conducting winter deer surveys and running pellet-plot transects in the Three-Bar Wildlife Area. In September 1985 he became a seasonal fisheries biologist with AZGFD in Yuma and the following August landed a permanent position with AZGFD as an assistant research biologist where he worked on big game ecology studies statewide, specializing in capture and handling of the state's big game species.
In August 1992 he was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Branch of Roads as an environmental protection specialist. He collected baseline data and prepared NEPA documents and related resource evaluation studies on approximately 25 road construction projects a year.
He returned to school and earned a Graduate Certificate in NEPA from Utah State University in 2006 and earned a master's degree in natural resources/ecosystem management (NEPA Emphasis) from USU in 2007.