Having grown up in the wilds of Northern Minnesota, Eric’s lifelong love of nature and a desire to explore was a forgone conclusion. His childhood summers were spent canoeing the lakes of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and his winters were spent exploring those frozen lakes on skis. It was no surprise when he decided to spend his summers working in Alaska’s fishing industry on a four-person commercial salmon fishing boat in Prince William Sound while attending the University of Minnesota. He did take a break to study abroad for a year in Helsinki, Finland.
At the age of 22, Eric began working at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station for the United States Antarctic Program. This once-in-a-lifetime experience started a 20 year career working in Antarctica. Eric worked at all three of the USAP’s permanent science research stations and research icebreakers. Eric was awarded the United States Antarctica Service Medal, including all three possible ‘winter-over’ bars awarded for extended winter service in Antarctica. He earned his last winter-over bar as the Station Manager at Palmer Station.
During his required breaks from “the ice,” one is only allowed to work in Antarctica for 14 months at a time, Eric indulged his passion for travel. An avid cyclist, he cycle-toured in New Zealand, across Australia, across all contiguous countries of Scandinavia, and around Lake Superior. He has also traveled in Africa, Asia, and South America with just a backpack and a guidebook. He explored all seven continents before he was 25 and marked the occasion with a hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Eric moved to Denver, Colorado to work at the USAP headquarters planning the field season for science expeditions. Although Eric enjoys Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine per year, the words of Sir Ernest Shackleton, “What the ice gets, the ice keeps” ring true.