Dave Pacchioli spent most of his youth either perched in trees or lying on his bedroom floor, working his way through the World Book encyclopedia.
He earned degrees in journalism and political science from Penn State University at a time when computers still ran punch cards and all beer was pale. For two years after graduation he worked in an engineering laboratory that tests medical devices for hospitals.
Not really believing he could ever earn a living as a writer, he thought next to try to earn one as a reader, enrolling in a graduate program in English literature. One summer at large in Italy cured him of this bookish ambition, however, and soon after a science writer was born.
While working for many years as a science editor at Penn State, he has written as a freelancer for Discover, Runners World, Pennsylvania Heritage, and numerous university magazines, on topics ranging from hydraulic fracturing to the intersex pigs of Vanuatu. He has also edited two popular books on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. His professional exploits have included crashing a Shuttle simulator at Johnson Space Center in Houston, rescuing sea turtles in Trinidad, visiting logging camps in the Brazilian Amazon, and writing dispatches on the Mediterranean diet from the hill towns of his ancestral Abruzzo.
He lives with his wife and son in State College, Penn., where when not at his desk or rockhounding with his son he spends his time cooking, eating, splitting firewood, and running long distances ever more slowly.