I am a California native - born and raised in Los Angeles. I currently reside in San Francisco and near Nevada City, California. My professional career has included teaching college-level geography, geology and earth sciences, and management of research projects and staff (making earth observations from aircraft and spacecraft). From 2001 to 2014, I was a federal civil servant with NASA. I retired in 2014 as Deputy Division Chief in the Earth Science Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA.
I started studying Tai Chi in 2000 (now seventeen years ago!) with the school in Arlington VA during the time my wife Jan & I lived there. I became an apprentice in 2014 and have continued to enthusiastically attend most US trainings. It’s been great fun in particular, co-teaching African drumming with Jan at the Whidbey summer trainings.
Some of my other organizational experience comes from being a Board member and treasurer of the Diamond Heights Village Association - a homeowners association in San Francisco with 396 households and an annual budget of approximately $2.5M. In addition: member of the Diamond Heights Neighborhood Association, Friends of Christopher Park, Resilient Diamond Heights, the Diamond Heights Neighborhood Emergency Response Team and the Little Red Hen Community Garden.
Besides African drumming, I enjoy cross stitchery, photography, and hiking in the California foothills. I’ve been married to Jan Sheffner (nee McNeil) since 1998. From our previous marriages, we have three grown children: Loryn Sheffner (Cambridge, MA), Kerry Sconce (El Cerrito, CA), and Leon Ryan (Bainbridge Island, WA), and two grandchildren!