Ron has been a Life Science instructor at Mesa Community College (MCC) for nearly 40 years since the fall semester of 1972.
In 1970, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Arizona State University followed by a Master's of Science degree in Plant Physiology in 1973.
has completed graduate studies at Brigham Young University, University of Arizona, Colorado State University, University of Bridgeport Connecticut, Southern Utah University, Western Washington University, University of Vermont, Alaska Pacific University, and the University of Hawaii, Hilo
many years of teaching and learning, he
has completed more than 30 hours of horticulture and 50 hours of environmental studies.
As an MCC Life Science instructor, Ron has developed courses in Botany (majors and non-majors), Environmental Biology, and Natural History of the Southwest.
passion for science education has led him to teach a cohort of classes in Environmental Biology for education majors.
life-work has been dedicated to teaching others about the Sonoran Desert ecosystem, the importance of desert landscaping (also known as xeriscape), and water conservation.
It is his
love and appreciation for the Sonoran Desert that inspired Ron
to investigate and research the utilization of drought tolerant native plant species for landscape purposes.
initial work resulted in two well-received publications entitled "An Illustrated Guide to the Landscape Trees of Southern Arizona" and "An Illustrated Guide to the Landscape Shrubs of Southern Arizona" released in 1981.
has also authored laboratory manuals for Botany and Environmental Biology, and co-authored manuscripts for Natural History of the Southwest, general biology for both majors and non-majors, and a comprehensive xeriscape manual for those who are enthusiastic about or interested in desert landscaping.
has written landscape articles for several magazines including Fine Gardening and American Horticulturist.
To this day he
continues to publish low-cost manuals for the students who enroll in his
Mesa Community College
Ron has been the advisor for the MCC Environmental Action Club (EAC) since its inception in 1988.
has participated in dozens of projects over the years involving all aspects of environmental education and commitment towards influencing thousands of students and community members on the importance of living a sustainable life.
has worked with MCC service learning students, a program designed to encourage students to volunteer for non-profit organizations, since the program was initiated.
has also spearheaded the Life Science Department's "Science Days" and "Science Camp", bringing thousands of local elementary students to the MCC campus for a fun and educational science experience.
These activities also involve volunteer work with the students of MCC
has developed and coordinates MCC's Life Science greenhouse.
The major focus of the greenhouse is to educate students about sustainable gardening including organic practices, use of native crops, and basic horticultural techniques.
In addition, basic research on propagation of native desert plants and the feasibility of growing specific groups of native plants in the lower Sonoran Desert of is also practiced in the greenhouse.
Over the years, thousands of individuals have participated in the MCC greenhouse experience.
career at MCC
has served on dozens of campus committees.
Especially rewarding have been the committee on campus beautification in which he
chaired for several years, the "greens" group, and campus sustainability committee.
The results of this committee work can currently be seen on campus.
is more student-friendly with more sitting areas for students to study and interact with each other and professors outside of the classroom.
In addition, this committee work has also resulted in an intensive recycling program, xeriscaping, and an overall reduction in our carbon footprint.
In 1997, Ron
received the "Outstanding Community Service Award/Employee of the Year Award" followed by the "Teacher of the Year" at MCC
In 2007, Ron
was awarded the "MCC
Faculty Excellence Award.
career is saturated with community service and dedication to the enhancement of the educational experiences for everyone he
has worked closely with the Arizona Game
& Fish Department facilitating classes in Project Wild, a program that trains teachers to introduce conservation and ecology across student curriculum.
More recently, he
worked in collaboration with Focus Wild, a program designed for education majors taught only during winter intercessions.
Additional work with Arizona Game & Fish
included advising MCC students with volunteer work, also known as service learning projects.
has also attended many Game & Fish workshops on topics such as Arizona's
threatened and endangered species and partnering for conservation, which unites state agencies (the Bureau of Land Management
, Forest Service, etc.) with colleges and universities in Arizona
has been involved with community education of homeowners in landscaping methods and techniques, emphasizing sustainability in water conservation, wildlife habitat, and organic gardening.
Since 1981, he has taught xeriscape classes for the cities of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Scottsdale.
During this time, he also taught classes for the Desert Botanical Garden and the Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum.
also delivers volunteer lectures and workshops for valley schools, garden clubs, women's and men's clubs, new-comer clubs, and many other non-profit organizations.
As a landscape designer and consultant, Ron has designed hundreds of valley landscapes, both residential and commercial.
Several have received awards.
He co-chaired the committee that established the first xeriscape demonstration garden in the Phoenix metropolitan area at MCC, to which he was one of the principle designers of this award-winning garden. . For this accomplishment, he received the 1989 "Innovator of the Year" award at MCC, the Maricopa Community College District (MCCCD), and was nominated for national recognition due to his efforts with the xeriscape demonstration garden.
In 1988, Ron
was a keynote speaker at the Phoenix Xeriscape Conference where he
established the importance of using desert landscaping in the valley.
In 1990 and 1991, Ron
presented programs for the Arizona Xeriscape Conference.
In 1993 he
was honored the "Xeriscape Innovator of the Year" by the Arizona Municiple Water Users Association
(AMWUA), a program consisting of members of the valley's water conservation departments.
From 1994 to 2002, he
was a participant in AMWUA's Smartscape lecture series for Phoenix valley landscapers.
As an active member of National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Ron has attended NWF Summits in the Colorado Rockies, Adirondack Mountains, Maine, Vermont, Washington, California, Utah, Hawaii, Alaska, West Virginia, and Montana.
In 1990, Ron
participated in NWF's first political action workshop held in Washington D.C.
worked closely with NWF's
"Cool It" program, which encourages college students to be environmentally active on their campus and in their community.