O'Donnell was born and raised in southern Colorado (USA) and is fortunate enough to call Taos, New Mexico his home base. He is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer and very proud father to two wonderfully wild and adventurous children. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Archaeology and Master’s Degree (MCRP) in Natural Resource Planning from the University of New Mexico.
Several years as an itinerate archaeologist (and occasional illegal farm worker) introduced O'Donnell to much of the United States and over 40 countries on five continents. These travels may also be to blame for the five languages he is sure he can stumble though. As a conservation advocate he co-authored and pushed two landscape protection laws through the United States Congress.
O'Donnell is the author of “Notes for the Aurora Society: 1500 Miles Across Finland on Foot” and “Rise and Go”, a collection of photographs and short travel stories. He is also to blame for numerous articles, sordid tales, brilliant observations, half-finished novels, angry letters-to-the-editor and other scribblings. Currently O'Donnell holds the Jack Williamson Endowed Chair for Literature at Eastern New Mexico University. His work has appeared in National Geographic Maps, BBC Travel, Sapiens, Trend, New Mexico Magazine, Matador, Peaks and Plains, Traveler’s Tales, Original World Insights, Perceptive Travel, Ski Country, High Country, Boots-n-All, Vrai Magazine and many more. Several of his short stories have appeared in anthologies including From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall, Facing the Change and Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why.
O'Donnell's current writing and research focuses on environmental issues, migration, science, history and the impact of tourism on culture and conservation. Find out more at Around the World in Eighty Years.