Ed earned his B.S. in Biology in 1982 from Virginia Tech, and his M.S. in Entomology in 1987 from Ohio State University. His master's thesis was on parasites of the endangered Puerto Rican parrot.
He has lived and worked as a biologist in southern California since 1989, first with Tierra Madre Consultants, in Riverside, and then forming Circle Mountain Biological Consultants with his wife, Sharon Dougherty, in 1994.
He worked for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management from 1998 to 2004, as a biologist on the West Mojave Coordinated Management Plan. His responsibilities included writing conservation strategies for desert tortoise and Mohave ground squirrel. He worked with State and Federal agencies, county governments, munipal governments, and the public to create consensus on the Plan, which encompassed over 9 million acres of the West Mojave Desert.
Ed served on the Board of Directors for the Desert Tortoise Council from 1991 to 2004, and 2011 to the present. He has served as the master of ceremonies for the Desert Tortoise Council's Survey Techniques Workshop every year since 1992.
Ed was the editor of the Desert Tortoise Council's "Guidelines for Handling Desert Tortoises" (1994, revised 1999), which was adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and used as the protocol for handling the desert tortoise throughout its range through 2009. His work is cited in the USFWS 2010 survey protocol.
Ed has completed hundreds of surveys for Agassiz's desert tortoise, and now holds a trapping permit from the California Department of Fish and Game for Mohave ground squirrel.
In 2011, Ed led a crew of five biologists on surveys of 1,187, 1.5-mile belt transects throughout the 975 square-mile 29 Palms Marine Corps Base in support of their Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan, revised in 2012.