Bob Perrill has been a biologist his entire life. He started following ants on the sidewalk at two years of age and began collecting butterflies in the first grade. He started birding in the fifth grade and continues to this day. He received his BS in biology at Westmar College in 1975. Upon graduation he spent four years in the Air force in the veterinary surgery support section working with NASA and in medical research. He rode the human centrifuge monthly for three years and became a member of the 15G club (15 times normal gravity). Most three-day weekends were spent at Big Bend National Park or birding along the gulf coast. After an honorable discharge, he spent he two summers at Rocky Mountain National Park. The story “Ebony Islands on a Foam Covered Sea” in his blog happened during that time.
In 1970, Bob moved to Tucson, Arizona where he continues to live. He worked at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for 15 years as the Assistant Curator of Plants. During that incredible learning experience, he traveled extensively through Sonora and Baja California, Mexico, collecting seeds and plants for the museum. On his first trip to Baja California he fell in love with a strange plant called a boojum. He started growing boojum in 1973 and still has a small nursery. During this time he also started playing Dungeons and Dragons and fell in love with fantasy.
In 1985 he became an independent field biologist. For ten years he surveyed for rare and endangered plant and animal species throughout the southwestern US. At this time he became an avid reader of southwestern books (both fiction and nonfiction) and fantasy. He began writing personal experiences and soon branched into fantasy. A knee injury while looking for spotted owls brought the survey work to an end.
He went to work for the University of Arizona where he retired from the Valley Fever Center for Excellence after 18 years. Bob currently volunteers as a naturalist at Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District. He gives talks, leads walks, works in the visitor center and does research. He is a nature photographer (see his blog), has written several non-fiction articles and has contributed to many scientific publications. He lives with his wife on two acres of Sonoran Desert habitat.
Bob has a vivid imagination and has always been interested in fantasy. He has played in and run many role playing games. He always encouraged the players to be creative, pushing their characters to the limit of their abilities. Rules were only a guide. Flexibility within the adventure and having fun were always the most important aspect of the game.
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