Born in Coquille, Oregon in 1930, Don attended Santa Rosa (California) Junior College and the University of California at Davis (UCD), where he received a BS degree with Highest Honors in Irrigation Science (1956). Don served three years in the Navy prior to attending college. Following graduation, he worked for UCD as a farm advisor in Yuba and Colusa counties (1956-1962 and 1962-1965), where he was responsible for training Peace Corps volunteers, establishing a company offering computerized management accounting for farmers, and managing farms in the Sacramento Valley. Don also worked for US Steel (1962-1965), where he helped develop and sell a modular steel irrigation headgate structure in the 17 western states.
Don joined CH2M HILL in 1974 and became the Department Manager for Agricultural Sciences in the Redding office. He was a Certified Professional Agronomist and worked principally on projects that included the land application of reclaimed water and biosolids, both municipal and industrial. His project work took him from Maine to Hawaii, Washington to Florida, and to Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, and Egypt.
Wherever Don worked, his principal job was to contact potential reclaimed water or biosolids users, agricultural or urban, determine their interest in using reclamation products, then develop management plans to effect their use. He also prepared and secured contracts and agreements between treatment agencies and users. Don also prepared the reuse ordinance for the City of El Paso and other treatment agencies.
Don retired in 1996 after over 21 years with the firm. He continued to work part time on special projects for about 5 more years. After retirement, Don's principal activity is playing as much golf as possible in as many different places as possible. After playing golf for over 65 years, Don has had no holes-in-one (that's pure luck) but did shoot his age (that's pure skill) twice in 2007.