Educated in zoology and history at the University of Illinois, receiving a BA in zoology and a MA in Medieval Greek history. He earned a doctorate in European-Greek history at the University of Wisconsin. He did postdoctoral studies in the history of science at Harvard. He worked on Capitol Hill for 2 years and at the US Environmental Protection Agency for 25 years. He is the author of hundreds of articles and 6 books, including "Poison Spring," with Mckay Jenkings.