Dr. Jeff Thornton was born and raised in central Massachusetts, receiving a BS degree in Marine Transportation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1974. In 1976, he received an MS in Earth Sciences from the University of New Hampshire, before traveling to southern Africa to take up a research fellowship with the University of Zimbabwe. After completing the field work for a PhD in 1979, he took up a position with the Zimbabwe Government as Government Hydrobiologist, with responsibility for water quality and pollution control in natural waters throughout the country. In 1981, Jeff was recruited by the South African National Institute for Water Research to manage the data gathering program for the Hartbeespoort Dam Ecosystem Study. He received his doctorate in 1982, completing both an MBA and Associate Degree in Theology in the following seven years. In 1987, he joined the Cape Town City Council, first, as Water Management Planning Specialist, and, later, as Head: Environmental Planning for this City of 2.5 million. Returning to the United States in 1990, he took up a new position as a Lake Management Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, before returning to environmental planning as a Principal Planner with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission in 1992. Concurrently, Dr. Thornton worked closely with several United Nations agencies in formulating an international waters policy for the Global Environment Facility, in his capacity as Managing Director of International Environmental Management Services Limited, a nonprofit environmental education corporation focusing on the developing world. He has contributed to over 100 articles and books on the subjects of water quality, policy and resource management, and serves on a number of national and international committees dealing with water resources issues, most recently in developing a Transboundary Lakes Assessment Protocol for the United Nations Environment Programme.