- B.S., Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976 (with honors); Junior Year Transfer to University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 1974–75
- Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, College of Forest Resources, 1983
- Honorary Ph.D., Brown University, 2014
- Fundamentals of Ecology Course, Organization of Tropical Studies, Costa Rica, summer, 1979
- Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, 1983–84
Steven is an extremely hard-working and engaged individual. He has a positive attitude toward learning and intense desire to take in all he can from his surroundings. He constantly asks questions and strives to understand. At times, his comments are surprising (e.g. religion and environmentalism), but his peers take in what he has to say with respect and understanding: they tend to look to him for insight.