My hobbies bring me in contact with many people via the internet. This page will give those contacts some background on the person that they are chatting and trading with.
I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia where I spent the first 20 years of my life. Moved to Newfoundland for almost 15 years and then moved to Saskatchewan in 1989 and have been here ever since. People ask if I miss the ocean. Of course I do but I miss other elements as well. The rolling hills, sinkholes and white gypsum of the karst areas of Nova Scotia. The multitude of old foundations, forts, mines and caves. The sudden transition from sand to cobble to cliff face as you hike the shoreline. For this reason I go back east as often as I can. But to be honest, once out east, I also miss the open skies of the prairies, the warm, dry summers and the dry cold winters. As a naturalist you adapt to the environment you live in and I have fallen in love with the prairies.
Went to Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax and then from there to Dalhousie University, also in Halifax, for my B.Sc. (biology/geology) in 1975. I completed my B.Ed. (high school science) at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1977. Started a Masters in Outdoor Education at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley in 1978 but found the program was not what I had expected so only completed a summer season - but got my first taste of the open prairies. Completed the Interpreting the Environment correspondence course from the University of Washington. I believe in life-long learning and have done dozens of skills training and workshops including Advanced Photography, English as a Second Language Tutor, Scuba Diving, National Winter Woodmanship School, Dyeing with Natural Materials, Floor Loom Weaving, Standard and Wilderness First Aid/CPR, Interpretive Clowning, Medical First Responder, Law Enforcement Investigation, Camp Management and many other management courses that don't sound as glamourous but are in the long run, more important. With Scouts I have completed my Wood Badge I and II (Scouts) as well as my Trainer I, II and III. Currently have done my St. John Ambulance Instructor Training Course but need to be monitored before I can instruct the actual courses.
While you learn from every job, there have been several key ones and key people who change you in important ways. For me some of the highlights have been:
The Nova Scotia Museum. My first important formative job. I worked here after-school and for the summer. I loved it and with friends worked on displays and programs long into the mornings. I mainly worked with the education programs and maintained the aquariums and terrariums that were used in the education department. Several of us also took part in collection surveys especially for herptiles. It was here that I first developed my love of museums and similar centres. I can't give all the credit for that interest to my employment as I had been a regular visitor, education program participant and volunteer at the museum for a decade before I worked there.
Terra Nova National Park. A night-time commissioner at the Nova Scotia Museum, also the first world federalist I knew, encouraged me to apply for a job with national parks. He thought it was an appropriate job for me. I followed his advice and got a position in Newfoundland (my paternal homeland). This was the first job that took me away from home, so all experiences had special impact. I fell in love with Newfoundland and realized that my passion for museums and my naturalist interests could both be met by working in a park setting. I met my best friend, Mike Rosen, a fellow naturalist there.
Salmonier Nature Park. Salmonier provided me with the opportunity to work with one employer and at one site for almost 10 years, albeit in different positions. Overall it gave me the background, management skills and maturity to try many different things. It also provided me with the opportunity to work in many associated areas (i.e. Labrador small mammal surveys) that I otherwise would not have been able to do. I also got married and had my children while working there. My supervisor and good friend, Dennis Minty, helped me develop as a manager and mentored me in other areas such as environmental appreciation.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park. Moving to Saskatchewan was an important change and one that required adjusting to. I went from a position of comfort, confidence and knowing all the players to a new job in a new province with all new people - a "big fish, little sea" to "little fish, big sea" analogy. However I met some great people here who helped me adjust. This position was not without stress and I learned much from that. Having said that, I still wish I had learned it in a different way.
A resume only outlines the skill base and experience needed for the position being applied for. You never include a complete list of your employment as some jobs are too old and not applicable. However for the first time I thought I would create a single list of all my jobs:
My recreations have varied over time and have included scuba diving, backpacking, cross-country skiing, photography, cycling, natural history especially bird watching and looking for herptiles. When I had children some of these activities went on hold. Now that the kids are grown, some of these activities are coming back.
Books. I read often mainly related to natural history, science fiction or mysteries. I am a Sherlockian and have read the canon several times.
Television. I do not watch much TV but when I do it tends to be science oriented or science-fiction. I was a great Star Trek fan having grown up with the original series and was enthralled with Star Trek: The Next Generation. I watched the other Star Trek series as well although not as religiously. I enjoy most sci-fi TV series although quality varies greatly. The non sci-fi television I watch tends to be shows others are watching. I have a special place for British shows such as Prime Suspect, Being Human or Sherlock. I will watch TV regularly if a friend is watching but otherwise do not tend to watch episodic television unless I am binge watching. That's how I watched most of Walking Dead.
Movies. I watch a greater variety of movies than I do television but I still tend towards science fiction. I'm also the kind who likes to notice natural history errors in movies such as the introduced European ringed turtle dove in the old fort in Dances With Wolves. I hope to add a "Natural History Blooper" section to my web page soon.
There are not many actors or actresses that I like enough to guarantee I'll go to their movies but do have a soft spot for Helen Mirren and the late Pete Postlewaite.
Games. I love games from crosswords to playing board or computer games. I'm the kind who could sit around and play a board game (except Monopoly) or play cards almost every night of the week. Fortunately we are in a renaissance of board games right now. I also enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles but I'm very selective on the ones I do. I do collect jigsaw puzzles that are maps of Canada but that interest is waning. I also started a website to track Canadian manufacturers of jigsaw puzzles as this information wasn't found elsewhere. It's not something that is a main interest to me but I felt it needed doing. I rarely update that website and hope someone comes along with a similar one so I could transfer it all over to him/her.
Music. I listen to music much of the time. Bruce Cockburn is my favourite musician followed by Tony Joe White. Canada's Spirit of the West and Australia's Midnight Oil are also favourites. I don't tend to listen to music for the music sake but to listen to music for the lyrics and social content regardless of the muscial style.
Collecting. I've always collected something. From comics as a kid, which financially I wish I still had, to a rock collection, a part of which is still in existence in my father's house. My main collection are natural history books or juvenile literature series that I read as a kid: Golden Guides, How and Why, Hardy Boys, Peterson Field Guides, Tom Swift JR. Toys were a passing interest although I retain some interest in them. Likely the only toys I would keep will be the Fisher Price's Adventure People which represent a wide array of men and women in outdoor pursuit activities. I now think my collecting, especially the toys, was a replacement activity for my outdoor and naturalist pursuits that went on hold as my children were growing up. So while I still collect miscellaneous things that interest me - my focus is moving back to my outdoor interests.