Dave grew up and went to school in upstate New York, receiving a B.S. in 1968 from the State University of New York in Syracuse. Following a brief tour with the Agricultural Research Service, he enlisted in the Army in 1969 and served in Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star and several other medals. Returning to SUNY Syracuse after his military service, he was granted a Ph.D. in forest entomology in 1976.
Dave started his permanent Forest Service career as a staff entomologist in the Region 5 Regional Office in San Francisco. When Forest Health Program service areas were created, Dave came to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in 1989, spending the rest of his career providing technical assistance to landowners and resource managers to promote the health, productivity and diversity of forests across all ownership boundaries in northern California.
Dave's friends and colleagues came to appreciate him as a master of dry wit, an encyclopedia of knowledge of the West, and an artist of frugality. He was one of a kind.