Josiah Johnston grew up in a rural part of the Ozark Mountains. He is great at construction and swinging a pick. Between college and grad school he lived in Baltimore for five years. When Josiah left for grad school, he was a tenured researcher in a genetics lab and had a seat on the board of a community development corporation. He came to ERG in attempts to merge his interests of research with implementing projects that address big social or environmental problems, with particular emphasis on poverty and power imbalances.