Don has been interested in and studying insects since the age of five. He spent his childhood in Minnesota collecting specimens and reading every book about bugs that he could find. He took up serious collecting as a young adult while attending the University of Minnesota in 1981. After relocating to New Mexico in 1982 his collection grew dramatically. Don studied entomology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and traveled around the Southwest searching for new and interesting specimens. Don moved to Washington State in 1989 and soon after began voluntarily showing his collection to school children. Don started Insect Safari in 1994 responding to the encouragement of teachers that such a program was much needed to support insect study in elementary curriculum.
Don continues his education through independent study as well as working as a volunteer in the insect collections of major universities and museums including
Oregon State University in Corvalis, California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Peabody Museum at Yale and the Natural History Museum in London, England. While the majority of the presentations are for elementary schools, Don regularly does presentations for the Pacific Science Center, Northwest Trek, The Burke Museum at UW as well as Library Summer Reading Programs throughout western Washington, Scout pack meetings, retirement homes, day care, home schools, birthday parties, coffee shops...Anywhere people might like to get together and look at an amazing collection of beautiful insects.