Lance Gunderson was born and raised in southern Florida . He attended the University of Florida , receiving bachelor's and masters degrees in Botany and a Ph. D. in Environmental Engineering Sciences. He worked for over a decade as a botanist with the US National Park Service in the Big Cypress and the Everglades regions of southern Florida. He then worked for a decade as a research scientist in the Dept. of Zoology at the University of Florida . He has been chair of the Department of Environmental Studies at Emory University since January 1999. He has served as the executive director of the Resilience Network, a program of the Beijer International Institute for Ecological Economics, Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, as Vice Chair of the Resilience Alliance and on the Science Advisory Board of the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, and Chair of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council Committee on Ecological Impacts of Road Density.