Where are you from?
Lake Tahoe. I live in Gorham with my son. He’s 14 years old.
What is it like for you both to be in school?
He’s used to it, but he doesn’t like it much because I study more than he does. That kind of takes away from our quality, or actually, our quantity of time together. But at least once a week we do something special. Like I’m going to bug out early today so we can hang out. He likes things like going to the mall, and looking at the skateboards and things.
When and why did you decide to move to Maine?
In December 1994 I retired from the military after 20 years in the Navy. So I decided to go back to school. I tried going to college during active duty, but that didn’t really work out.
What did you do in the Navy?
I was a criminal investigator. I investigated things like sexual assaults, suicides, homicides. I was a cop. But I’m through with it. I still have retained my investigative nature, and I have decided I would like to apply that talent to the investigation of science. When I grow up I might get involved in forensic osteology. I like genetics. I like the study of bones; animal and human, and I have had the opportunity to work with both. I don’t want to go to med school, but I’d like to get a masters in biology.
Why did you decide to attend USM?
I used to go to UNE, but it had such a limited curriculum. My interests were so varied. For example I was the only student in both my invertebrate and vertebrate biology classes, and the only student in my botany class too. I was perhaps a little bit spoiled there, but there wasn’t enough. My interests are in biology, and also writing and art.
What are you doing in the lab today?
I’m transferring Drosophila melanogaster, [fruit flies] for genetic experiments in evolution. We’re up to the 340th generation. When a morphological trait is observed we will map it on the chromosomes.
What kind of advice would you like to give other students?
Getting an education is fun. And having an open mind and asking questions, and learning about things is one of the greatest things human beings can do. You create opportunities for yourself, and in creating opportunities for yourself, you help others.