Mark developed his love for snow and aversion to mosquitos from childhood years in Minnesota and South Dakota. But it was seasonal employment in Glacier National Park that sparked a passion for the mountains and prompted him to read Backpacker magazine on study breaks at St. Olaf College. After a year in Germany, he earned a master’s in religion at Yale, and a doctorate in ethics at the University of Virginia. His first real academic job was serving as Associate for Ethics & Society at The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute in New York. It was a love for wilderness that led him back to Montana, where he teaches courses in ethics and the humanities at the University of Montana in Missoula. He also writes in various areas related to ethics and society, with a particular emphasis on climate change and how humanity can develop greater respect for wild places.
Mark served for several years as a board member and president of the Montana Wilderness Association, working to preserve Montana’s wildlands. He became a master naturalist through the Montana Natural History Center. And he grabs any opportunity he can to cross-country ski, run trails, hike, and bag a peak or two. He loves helping others—especially his daughter—discover the wonders of the wild world.