Steven Earle was born in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. He earned a BSc in geology from the University of British Columbia in 1975 and a PhD in geochemistry from Imperial College (London University) in 1982. He worked as a geologist and geochemist in the mineral exploration industry in western Canada from 1978 to 2000. For 20 years he developed and taught a wide range of earth science courses at Vancouver Island University. He currently designs and teaches distance courses for Thompson Rivers University (Open Learning), and also helps to grow food and drive the Community Bus on Gabriola Island. He maintains that the best way to see rocks is from a kayak.