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A Bit About Me

Growing up in a citrus grove in Southern California, I watched trees and fields disappear. They were replaced by tract houses, shopping malls, asphalt, and concrete. Such ugly “progress” shaped my life. I was imbued with a deep desire to escape to wilder, simpler places.

I plodded though the education system and eventually graduated from UC Berkeley. Afterwards, I sought out a chance to learn more practical education. A stressful job working with abused and abandoned children in Los Angeles provided me with lots of insights into human behavior, but a more adventurous life beckoned.

Four years of delight and freedom in Big Sur and the wilds of California taught me skills useful for a lifetime. But I realized I needed more formal education if I were to understand social behavior in humans and other animals. Off I went to the University of Oregon to get a Ph.D.

Earning my degree, I was offered a job at the University of Cambridge in the UK, in its animal behavior department. There I met and married a chimp researcher, David Bygott. Wanting to study wild animals in a natural setting, we applied for money to take over the Serengeti Lion Project in Tanzania, East Africa, to learn about the seasonal cycles of life, ecology, and the heroic struggle of one lion pride that we wrote a book about: "Lions Share."

While writing up our research back in Cambridge, we joined an animal behavior study group. We followed it with lecture tours across the USA. We wanted to give back to Tanzania, a country we loved, so we devoted two years to conservation-education work.

Economic, political, and personal crises led us to seek refuge on a remote farm in the arid Lake Eyasi Basin. There we began a new career, producing art and books and guiding safaris. The village offered us a plot of land where we built a home, fostered children, and learned much about rural village and tribal life. Yes, more lessons in human behavior. From those experiences we have written and illustrated two collections of stories, "Spirited Oasis" and "Beyond the Oasis."

Various pressures prompted us to move on. We chose Tucson, Arizona, where we could re-establish links and join an intentional community. Here is another great place to observe and learn about how humans bond, or don’t! Each day continues our education.

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