My Story

Toad Haul Manor
Everyone has a story to tell and this blog is my latest chapter. In it I am free to travel to anywhere in North America in my RV, otherwise known as the Toad Haul Manor. I am accompanied by an aging Yorkshire Terrier, Whiskers, acquired by my late wife and I from a Des Moines, IA animal shelter in 2011.

Whiskers and the late Roger Dodger
I didn't anticipate this chapter's plot line, but I do enjoy it immensely, as apparently have my dogs. I get to meet a lot of people, experience the awesome wonders of nature, and contribute to organizations and causes that share my interests and values.

The first three years of my travels are dedicated to my late wife, Janet Kay Robertson.

Upon arriving in Flagstaff, AZ in 2016 I met my new life partner, Cathie Schmidlin, a retired US Forest Service employee. We retain the RV, Toad Haul Manor, and travel as much as we can, but now we reside in a house in Flagstaff.

My previous four decades were spent in varied careers of alternative energy development (solar, wind, energy conservation), information technology, and shelter: building rehabilitation, historic preservation, and community development. When I wasn't working indoors, I was usually exploring the outdoors.  Below are the Cliff Notes of the full task book still in editing

I began my travels on the road as a solo, work-camper with diverse experience and skills in the teaching profession, project management, computer/networking/wireless systems technology, social media, building construction trades, facilities management, RV and property maintenance, property inspection services, and solar energy and energy conservation technology and services.


(10/2017 to Present) Friends of Northern Arizona Forests, Flagstaff, AZ

(10/2016 – 01/31/2017) VIP Ranger, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Flagstaff, Arizona
Visitor center interpretive services, access fee collector and gift shop cashier.

(04/2016 – 10/2016) Assistant Coordinator, Preventative Search and Rescue Program in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness and Interpretive Partnership Roving Ranger Program of the National Park Service and US Forest Service, Flagstaff, Arizona

(04/2016 – Present) Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue Team and Instructor
of the national Hug A Tree and Survive Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) program.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team

Home Builder with Habitat For Humanity’s RV Care-A-Vanner Program.
  • 01/14/2018 – 01/28/2018: GV18-0030, Hobbs, NM
  • 03/21/2016 – 03/25/2016: GV16-0200, Taos, NM
  • 02/21/2016 – 03/09/2016: GV16-0071, Mason, TX
  • 11/16/2016 – 12/27/2015: GV15-0208, 0209, & 0210, Hobbs, NM
  • 10/04/2015 – 11/01/2015: GV15-0239 & 0240, Las Cruces, NM
  • 03/22/2015 – 04/01/2015: GV15-0101, Salt Lake City, UT
(03/2015 – 09/2015) Campground Host / River Permit Inspector / Maintenance Volunteer, National Park Service, Dinosaur National Monument, Gates of LoDore Campground, Colorado
Assisted park staff in managing riverside campground. Provided visitors with information regarding natural and cultural resources, park regulations, permits and fees. Performed 500+ rafting group equipment/safety inspections and orientations.  Maintained all site buildings, campgrounds, and trails.  Operated government vehicles, tools and radio equipment. Assessed situations and reported emergencies and major violations to law enforcement officials.

(2007 - Present) – American Red Cross - Central Iowa Chapter, Des Moines, Iowa
Disaster Response Manager of the National Disaster Action Team known as DST: Disaster Services Technology. The DST Team is the technical backbone of the Red Cross Disaster Services during regional and national disaster operations. Responsible for all voice and data communication infrastructure during any disaster operation. This includes cell phones, VoIP phones, Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) radio systems, satellite and landline phones, satellite dishes, the emergency communications trailer, analog fax machines, IP fax machines, UHF radios, VHF radios, FRS radios, deployed servers and workstation computers, etc.

(2011 - 2015) American Red Cross - Metropolitan Disaster Action Team (DAT) Lead for the Central Iowa Region. Local Disaster Responder to local single-family and apartment disasters (e.g. fires and floods) to provide emergency assistance of food, clothing, shelter, and medical support.  DOVE Program Member.

(1990 - Present) Sierra Club
Wilderness, Service Project and Expedition Leader, San Francisco Headquarters, California
   Leadership Roles:
  • Midwest National Outings Chair, San Francisco, California
  • Illinois Chapter Executive Committee Outings Chair, Springfield, Illinois
  • Shawnee Group Executive Committee Outings Leader, Carbondale, Illinois
Service and Volunteer Trip Leader For:
  • Buffalo National River Service (National Park Service), Arkansas
  • St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Service (2x) (National Park Service), Minnesota
  • Katy Trail Bike Tour, Missouri
  • Mickelson Trail Bike Tour, South Dakota
  • Vince Shute Black Bear Sanctuary, Minnesota
Other volunteer activities:
          Rebuilding TogetherBuilding Rehabilitation Foreman

  • Construction trades skills: carpentry, plumbing, electrical, drywall/masonry, flooring, & coatings.
  • Equipment operator: farm and construction tractors, trencher, backhoe, dozer, aerial/articulating lifts, Gator utility vehicles, ATV/UTV, snow cats, snowmobiles, school bus
  • Youth counselor, wilderness/survival skills trainer/leader (camping, canoeing, mountaineering)
  • Health & Safety: Recent EMT School graduate. Currently certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR. Prior certification as an Urban First Responder.
  • Historic Preservation: building restoration, preservation policy advocate, community organizer.
  • Hobbies: Downhill skiing, bicycle camping, and wilderness exploration.

(01/2017 – Present)  IT Specialist -- Reservist Cadre, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Washington, DC.  Responsible for Local Area Network (LAN) (PCs, servers, printers, and faxes), interconnection to the Wide Area Network (WAM) (routers and external interface devices), all telecommunications routes and services (PABX and phones), and all internal and external coordination for these services. Participated in Hurricane Harvey and IRMA deployments.

(12/2009 – 12/2014) President of Des Moines Tech Support LLC, Des Moines, Iowa
Website/blog designer and technical consultant. Computer repair services.

(12/2010 - 07/2014) Technology Coordinator II at Titan Tire, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa
Office and tire manufacturing facility focused technology management and end-user of data networks, printers, security, public address (PA), telephony, and disaster recovery.

(04/2007 - 11/09) IT Lead at Marketlink, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa
Large, multi-state telephony call center technology director.

(12/2004 - 11/06) IT Director at Southern Illinois Regional Social Services, Carbondale, Illinois
Responsible for a regional mental health center computer system and its integrated behavioral health management, accounting system, fundraising, and HR systems.

(04/1999 - 12/04) Director of Computing Services at Jackson County Government, Computing Services Department, Murphysboro, Illinois. Systems administrator of a county’s IT operations including Geographic Information System (GIS).

(1990 - 1998) Founder and Director of Shawnee Free-Net, Inc., Carbondale, Illinois
Founder of internet service provider focused on delivering technology resources to underserved non-profit agencies.

(1986 - 1991) Owner-Manager of Inspector General, Carbondale, Illinois
Residential real estate inspection company.

(1986 - 1991) Owner-Manager of Bob Pauls’ Rehabilitation Services, Carbondale, Illinois
Historic property restoration and consulting company.

(1985 - 1990) Adjunct Faculty, John A. Logan Community College, Carterville, Illinois
Taught environmental studies, anthropology, sociology, and political science curriculum.

(10/1979 - 1985) Energy Coordinator, City of Carbondale, Illinois
Provider of residential and commercial energy audits and education programs on renewable energy resources and energy conservation.

(2/1979 - 9/1979) Project Research Coordinator, So. Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
Co-author of state-wide community college renewable energy teaching curriculum.

(1976 - 1979) Co-editor & Business Manager, Alternative Sources of Energy Magazine, Milaca, Minnesota.  Pioneering conservation and renewable energy publisher.

(1973 - 1976) Institutional Researcher, Minnesota Metropolitan University, St. Paul, Minnesota
Statistical researcher and federal report writer.


Completed two years of Masters Degree study at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in community computing (social) networks before leaving to manage a new ISP company.

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science. Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minor concentrations: American Studies and Sociology


-- Emergency Medical Technician, EMS University, Tempe, AZ
-- Data Center University Associate (DCCA) by Schneider/APC
-- Computer Technology Industries Association (COMPTIA): Server+ Subject Matter Expert,
-- Certified SonicWALL Systems Administrator (CSSA) {SonicWALL was acquired by Dell}
-- 50+ IT Course certificates from Microsoft, HP and others.

-- FEMA Courses:  (ID: 0001912779)

·         Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100
·         ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incident, IS-200b
·         Incident Command System, Intermediate, MAG 300 (Arizona)
·         Incident Command System, Advanced, MAG 400 (Arizona)
·         National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction, IS-700.a
·         National Response Framework, An Introduction. IS 800.b
·         WIN-CASIE – Victim Search Location Methodology Software

--  American Red Cross Courses:
·         Basic Food Handling
·         CBRNE Ready Respond
·         Client Assistance Cards Caseworkers
·         Client Assistance Cards Financial and Statistical Information Management Workers
·         Client Assistance System (CAS) Workshop
·         Client Casework: Providing Emergency Assistance
·         Collaborating to Ensure Effective Service Delivery
·         CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and the Healthcare Provider
·         Disaster Frontline Supervisor and Simulation
·         Disaster Public Affairs Overview
·         Disaster Services Technology T048 - The First 48 Hours of a DRO
·         Disaster Services Technology Communications Workshop - DSMSS114W
·         Disaster Services Technology Computer Operations Workshop - DSMSS113W
·         Disaster Services Technology Customer Service Workshop - DSMSS111W
·         Disaster Services Technology Networking Workshop - DSMSS112W
·         Disaster Services Technology Overview Workshop - DSMSS110W
·         Disaster Services Technology Workshop -TIMS - DSMSS115W
·         Disaster Volunteer Management Team Workshop
·         Emergency Operation Center/Incident Command
·         ERV: Ready, Set, Roll!!!
·         Fundamentals of Chapter Disaster Operation Management
·         Fundamentals of Disaster Assessment
·         Fundamentals of Disaster Public Affairs Local Response
·         Fundamentals of Disaster Public Affairs National Response
·         Fundamentals of Staff Services
·         International Humanitarian Law
·         Introduction to Disaster Services
·         Mass Care: An Overview
·         Mass Care Operations
·         Mass Casualty Disasters (ARC 3079)
·         National Shelter System Introduction
·         NSC Defensive Driving Course 8.2 Edition (2010.03.05)
·         Preparing for and Managing a Spontaneous Volunteer Workforce
·         Psychological First Aid  
·         Response Center Enterprise Call Agent Training
·         Serving People with Disabilities Following a Disaster
·         Staff Health: An Overview
·         Staff Health: Working on Disaster Relief Operation
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* Members of DOVE are Red Cross-trained in disaster relief and recovery skills like all other Red Cross disaster workforce volunteers, and they participate in disaster services in some capacity, such as performing administrative tasks at a local chapter, serving on their Disaster Action Team (DAT), teaching disaster classes, or going on deployment to national disasters.

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