Ken grew up on a model Rodale organic farm outside Minneapolis and found early employment as a produce manager in a local family-owned grocery store. Prior to college, he traveled extensively in the US, Europe, Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and worked on a ranch in Cimarron (New Mexico), a date plantation in the Negev (Israel), and a vineyard in Provence (France).
He served an American Institute of Architects (AIA) apprenticeship while jointly attending the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he received a special interdisciplinary degree: Botany and Environmental Systems Design. Ken is a graduate Landscape Architect and Environmental Planner (MS). His thesis “Multivariate Methods in Regional Landscape Assessment Utilizing Remote Sensing Data” won him a Special Merit for Research Excellence award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Continuing in his PhD program in the Institute for Environmental Studies, where he was employed as a research specialist, he focused on natural resource planning and management and environmental law. All of his graduate training is in the School of Agriculture at UW-Madison.
After leaving UW, he worked for the Bureau of Research, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, until starting his own environmental consulting firm, Eco-Systems Design. ESD provided services to businesses and municipalities to meet regulatory requirements and apply ecosystem processes to better plan and manage working landscapes. The emphasis was on using the best technology to assess resource potentials and to draft conservation plans that satisfied community needs while improving business opportunities (particularly for family farmers).
Ken currently reports on and assists ecosystem-based planning and holistic management.