Born in Baltimore, Maryland, at the age of 11 moved to Latin America, lived in the Domincan Republic and Brazil until graduating high school; lived 4 years in Boston, Massachusetts, obtaining undergraduate degrees in Earth and Planetary Science and in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a year working as an electrical engineer at Lawrence Livermore Lab, returned to graduate school, obtaining a Master's degree from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Graduate and post-doctoral work focused on geologic mapping, structure and tectonics, and thermochronology, in complexly deformed terranes in the Arizona and California Basin and Range and the Fosdick Mountains in West Antarctica. In 1992 became a research geologist at the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS), and over the next 17 years worked on a series of geologic mapping projects in the Arizona Basin and Range.
Soon after starting at AZGS, began exploring how to use GIS software to manage and disseminate geologic information, and got involved in development of standards for geologic map databases and geoscience vocabularies in 1997; from 2000 to 2007 worked on an interagency agreement with the USGS on the National Geologic Map Database project. In 2005, the AZGS switched its geologic map production workflow to an entirely digital process utilizing ESRI ArcGIS software for compilation and cartographic production of final map products. Since 2009, engaged in development of GeoSciML, an XML markup language for geoscience information interchange, and development of the US Geoscience Information Network and National Geothermal Data System to deploy web services for geoscience information exchange. He is currently active with the International Organization for Standardization as the editor for ISO 19115-3, XML implementation of the updated international standard for geospatial metadata (ISO 19115-1).