Paul Gessler was born and raised in Wisconsin. He obtained his bachelor’s (natural resources) and master’s (environmental monitoring) degrees at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and served as a graduate research assistant at the Environmental Remote Sensing Center. He then went to work for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization – Division of Land & Water in Canberra, Australia, where he was charged with developing their geospatial research facilities. He completed his doctorate research in environmental modeling at the Australian National University in 1996 and spent one year as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California–Santa Barbara before joining the faculty at the University of Idaho in 1997. Paul and his family live in rural Latah County where he practices tree farming, gardening and log home renovation in his spare time.