Ray and his parents “immigrated” from New York City to the Southern California desert foothills when he was in elementary school. He rapidly became a desert “hick” and discovered a love for nature and the outdoors, mainly because the closest town was some 15 miles away. He was the first in his extended family to earn university degrees. A B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Bacteriology soon led to further studies in Texas and Maryland prior to his professorial “landing” in 1970 at Oregon State University and later with the US Environmental Protection Agency in Corvallis. Ray has been a teacher and an environmental research scientist spanning over 40 years. He is one of the early MCP graduates and has been a happy SOCAN volunteer since our inception. He loves the outdoors, hiking, and gardening, especially growing English and French lavender varieties on his hobby/business enterprise near Ashland. Of course, all the plants are grown in healthy soils using regenerative agricultural practices.
Ray was instrumental in the successful effort to exclude GMO crops from Jackson County and has become an expert in promoting regenerative agriculture as a means of restoring and maintaining soil health.