I grew up on a family farm in Saskatchewan, Canada and played an active role in animal care, field cropping and traditional farm self-sufficiency gardening. I completed a B.Sc in Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan in 1972 but the orientation to controlling nature for economic ends was dissonant with my own life experience of relating to the natural world. In response, I traveled around the world for two years searching to develop my own understanding of humanity’s relationship to nature. During my travels, I met Richard St Barbe Baker (aka Man of the Trees) and felt an inner calling to understand his grand vision of a cooperative relationship with the earth. On return, I completed a Master’s program in Environmental Planning at York University in Toronto. My intellectual inquiry and the follow-up influence of being with St Barbe Baker three more times led to my embracing the Baha’i Faith in 1982.
In terms of developing a more holistic approach which integrates the material and spiritual, I was also influenced by being part of the first Permaculture training course in North America in 1979. I began researching how Baha’i teachings spoke to sustainability in 1986, and a subsequent paper, Spiritual Foundations for an Ecologically Sustainable Society was published in the Journal of Baha’i studies, Baha’i World and in Worldviews and Ecology. It was also widely distributed throughout the 1990s as a booklet by the former Baha’i Office of Environment in New York.
My expertise, besides the above research, is primarily in soil survey, land base mapping, land use planning, soil conservation, and agroforestry. I have worked in these fields with the University of Saskatchewan, Agriculture Canada, and private companies.