Alan grew up in rural Iowa before attending Iowa State University to study plant ecology and corn genetics. He then joined the US Peace Corps where he served as a Science Educator in Sierra Leone (West Africa). While in the Peace Corps, he did public outreach on malaria, maternal health, sanitation, and Ebola prevention. Upon returning to the US, he attended Saint Louis University for graduate studies working in collaboration with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Kunming Institute of Botany (China). For his PhD research, he spent three summers living on a Himalayan Mountain conducting field research on the drivers of bumblebee diversity. At Saint Louis University, he started several programs with the aim improving graduate education and inclusiveness. Alan is excited to work with Legislators, Teachers, and Scientists to improve education in Missouri!