Sponsors - Life
Bookshelf - Water
  • Water and Architecture
    Water and Architecture
    by Charles W. Moore
  • Architecture and Water (Architectural Design Profile)
    Architecture and Water (Architectural Design Profile)
    John Wiley & Sons
  • Deep Immersion: The Experience of Water
    Deep Immersion: The Experience of Water
    by Robert Lawrence France
  • Sensitive Chaos: The Creation of Flowing Forms in Water and Air
    Sensitive Chaos: The Creation of Flowing Forms in Water and Air
    by Theodor Schwenk
  • Water: The Element of Life
    Water: The Element of Life
    by Theodor Schwenk, Wolfram Schwenk
  • Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection
    Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection
    by Stephen R. Kellert
  • Understanding Water: Developments from the Work of Theodor Schwenk
    Understanding Water: Developments from the Work of Theodor Schwenk
    by Andreas Wilkens, Michael Jacobi, Wolfram Schwenk
  • New Waterscapes: Planning, Building and Designing with Water
    New Waterscapes: Planning, Building and Designing with Water
    Birkhäuser Basel
  • Groundswell: Constructing The Contemporary Landscape
    Groundswell: Constructing The Contemporary Landscape
    by Peter Reed
  • Radical Landscapes: Reinventing Outdoor Space
    Radical Landscapes: Reinventing Outdoor Space
    by Jane Amidon, Kathryn Gustafson
  • The Blue Revolution: Land Use and Integrated Water Resources Management
    The Blue Revolution: Land Use and Integrated Water Resources Management
    by Ian Calder
  • Ecology, Community and Delight: An Inquiry into Values in Landscape Architecture
    Ecology, Community and Delight: An Inquiry into Values in Landscape Architecture
    by Ian Thompson
  • Life's Matrix: A Biography of Water
    Life's Matrix: A Biography of Water
    by Philip Ball
  • Handbook of Water Sensitive Planning and Design (Integrated Studies in Water Management and Land Development)
    Handbook of Water Sensitive Planning and Design (Integrated Studies in Water Management and Land Development)
    CRC
Links - Networking
Bookshelf - Life+Work
  • The History of Saudi Arabia
    The History of Saudi Arabia
    by Alexei Vassiliev
  • The King's Messenger: Prince Bandar bin Sultan and America's Tangled Relationship With Saudi Arabia
    The King's Messenger: Prince Bandar bin Sultan and America's Tangled Relationship With Saudi Arabia
    by David B. Ottaway, David B Ottaway
  • A Land Transformed: The Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia and Saudi Aramco
    A Land Transformed: The Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia and Saudi Aramco
    by William Facey; Paul Lunde; Michael McKinnon; Thomas A. Pledge
  • Discovery!: The Search for Arabian Oil
    Discovery!: The Search for Arabian Oil
    by Wallace Stegner
  • Out in the Blue: Letters from Arabia 1937-1940
    Out in the Blue: Letters from Arabia 1937-1940
    by Thomas C. Barger
  • Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds (Second Revised Edition)
    Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds (Second Revised Edition)
    by David C. Pollock, Ruth Van Reken
  • Looking for Dilmun
    Looking for Dilmun
    by Geoffrey Bibby
  • Saudi Arabia: An Environmental Overview
    Saudi Arabia: An Environmental Overview
    Taylor & Francis
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Stacey International)
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Stacey International)
    by Max Scott
  • Travellers in Arabia: British Explorers in Saudi Arabia
    Travellers in Arabia: British Explorers in Saudi Arabia
    by Eid Ai Yahya, Eid Al-yakya
  • Honey And Onions: A Life In Saudi Arabia
    Honey And Onions: A Life In Saudi Arabia
    by Frances Meade
  • Mysteries of the Desert: A View of Saudi Arabia
    Mysteries of the Desert: A View of Saudi Arabia
    by Isabel Cutler

This is getting personal...

 

The basics...

I am Carter Swartz, male, age 58, married, 3 kids, currently residing in Sarasota, FL, USA.

and some details...

The first half of my life was a bit out of the norm, having moved from Indiana to Saudi Arabia in 1959 as a 6-year-old. My dad and mom had chosen to pursue a somewhat unique life at the time - not many people packed up their kids and headed off to the Middle East in those days, but a great opportunity to work for ARAMCO (Arabian American Oil Company) was available to them and they took it - and I went along for the ride (like I had a choice).

It is hard to imagine a more fulfilling and enlightening environment to grow up in. The other-worldly remoteness, the exposure to cultures unimaginable to most, the opportunity to travel when traveling was really an adventure, the ability to pursue activities like diving, sailing, and desert travel by Land Rover or motorcycle that took us to places no one may have ever been before were all part of it. Yet, there were also the "normal" things that kids had - Little League, Scouts, tennis, school, pool (and pool hall), beach, and many friends with whom to do just about anything we wanted - safely, freely, and without worry. I and many more who came before and after, would not trade it for anything.

At the time I was in Arabia, it was necessary for kids who completed ninth grade to leave the country to continue their high school education. So, it was off to boarding school at the age of 14. Seems tough now, though at the time it was normal and a rite of passage that most everyone there experienced. Now days, kids can continue their education through college level in-Kingdom or nearby in Bahrain. I went to Culver Military Academy, TASIS Switzerland, Gstaad International School, and, finally, graduated from Baleares International School in Mallorca, Spain (one might say that I had a tough time adjusting).

College was a different story - well, somewhat. After fumbling around for awhile in Germany, Switzerland, Arabia, Spain, Lebanon, and the UK after high school graduation, I chose to head to Arizona, where some of my friends were attending the U of A in Tucson. I eventually enrolled in Pima Community College in the engineering program. I was also interested in earth sciences and it was in a Geology class taught by Liz Peebles that I had my first career epiphany - she introduced me to the fascinating subject of Hydrology. I was hooked.

I finished up a year and-a-half at PCC and enrolled in the Hydrology program at U of A, received my Bachelor's Degree and headed back to Arabia to work for ARAMCO - I had not had enough of that life. By this time, I was married and had a 6-year-old daughter, so it had a bit of a sense of deja vu, 20 years later. Life was good - working, traveling, camping, diving, desert riding, and more. Things started to heat up, politically, in the '80s, and in 1984 we made the decision to leave and head back to the States. (Please note: for career details, please see the Work section, where I elaborate further on the various paths my career has taken.)

Without a job lined up in advance, Sarasota, FL, was the default place to go as my folks had retired there and it seemed a logical place to find work in my field. While job-searching, I delved immediately into extracurricular things that had kept me active in Arabia - boating, fishing, tennis, etc. - and my first son was born.

Seeking a position in my field was not fruitful, but other passions influenced my decision to venture into the yacht charter business. This was a highly rewarding experience as a lifestyle, as it was a vehicle for combining business and pleasure on a daily basis. I met a lot of great people, both as customers as well as associates in the business. The rigors and my personal goals of self-employment brought out some major differences in outlook on life between my wife and me and we split up. I was fortunate to be able to have my dad and mom involved in the business with me and it helped maintain a connection between us that had started many years before when we sailed and camped together in Arabia. The business also afforded me the opportunity to do a little fishing, sailing, and exploring on my own, making many short trips to scout the Charlotte Harbor area, a few longer trips to the Keys and Dry Tortugas, and even a month-long journey from Annapolis to Charlotte Harbor. I also met my wife-to-be at this time, when she sailed into the marina after cruising the Bahamas for a year, came to work for me, and the rest, as they say, is our history.

I sold the charter company after 10 years (when a former customer made me an offer I couldn't refuse), took a little time off to travel a bit, then did some work for some former associates in the marine industry. Anne and I were married and our son was born.

Returning to school at age 52 was not the easiest thing to do, but was the step that I/we believed was necessary to enhance our future. I chose to pursue the Master of Architecture degree at the University of South Florida and graduated in May, 2008. Could I have picked a worse time?

I've done some minor consulting with a local firm, but current conditions are not conducive to significant projects being initiated - thus, I've had a lot of involuntary "spare time". In the interim, I have spent a significant amount of my time researching and learning things that were not taught in school (which is a subject unto itself) that I will need to know to proceed in this career. I have been able to organize my thoughts as to what I believe are important issues and how I would like to address them in my efforts to contribute something meaningful while I'm around.

We remain living in Sarasota, open to the next chapter in our lives.