The son of an American nurse and an Egyptian petroleum engineer, I spent most of my young life baking in the extreme heat of Abu Dhabi. I ended up in Oklahoma for high school and college, where I majored in Philosophy and Geology and was struck by two tornadoes including the one with the highest wind speed ever recorded on Earth. I moved from the relatively safety of Oklahoma to the concrete jungle of Los Angeles to pursue graduate school, where I managed to get my PhD because of this really smart guy yelling at me. I simultaneously found time to learn some martial arts, achieve my black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu from a renowned master, and even fight in a cage occasionally (Fig. 1).
After graduation I sojourned briefly along the sandy beaches of San Diego before relocating to Alaska, where I learned about my possibly pathological love of the winter (Fig. 2). Eventually I made my way to Salt Lake City, which is a geological wonderland offering an incredible variety of outdoor research and recreation activites. Though time and injury are inexorably peeling away my athleticism, I still enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and sometimes even the much-more-dangerous-than-fighting snowboard run or two.
I have one wife, a paleontology professor here at the University of Utah, and one daughter named Valkyrie. We enjoy playing music and singing together, wandering through the readily-accessible mountains, and drinking beer (not Val).