I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I graduated from Millersville University with a B.S. in Computer Science, then went on to graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Pittsburgh, earning an interdisciplinary Ph.D. across the departments of Psychology, Computer Science, Medicine, and History and Philosophy of Science. After graduate school, I studied news and magazine writing and editing at the old UC Berkeley Extension campus in SF.
Since 1990, I have been a research psychologist at NASA and have studied the effects of increasing technology in the airline cockpit. Many of my scientific publications can be found here.I fly airplanes and helicopters. Over the years, I worked my way up to an FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate, and got rated to fly the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
I'm an avid photographer and I still ride skateboards.
I have traveled to 30 countries so far and I'm always looking to expand the list: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lesotho, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and Zambia. I carry a backpack slung over my shoulder and I skip the fancy hotels (never could afford them anyway). I learned as much from traveling as I did from getting college degrees. I've found that the world and the people who live in it are the best teachers.
Some of the safer things I use are the same things most all of us use: cars, bicycles, skateboards, screwdrivers, hammers, and ladders. How have I fared while using those things? I've been all over the pavement. I've broken ribs, fingers, a hand, and an elbow. I've had black fingernails. I've laid on stretchers. I got scars, man.
How did I survive the dangerous stuff and end up in the emergency room after using things we give to kids for their birthday? Because I spent time thinking about how to be careful while flying. There's a system there and I took the time to learn and use it. (Actually, I was forced to learn it by various federal government agencies, but you get the idea).
Realizing that there was no Federal Bagel Slicing Administration to watch over my kitchen activities, I decided to do some of that airplane-style safety thinking and apply it to my everyday activities ... before I ended up with the tip of a kitchen knife sticking out of the back of my hand like a cute little shark fin.
I also now have a kid who I'm constantly worried about.
I'm just trying to get through life in one piece and have some fun doing it. And this is how Careful came about.