John is a professor emeritus of geoscience at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of New Mexico. He received a BS, MS, and PhD in Geology (now Earth and Environmental Sciences) from the University of Michigan. He is a Past President of the Geological Society of America as well as the Editor for the GSA Bulletin. He also was the Editor for both Eos and
Tectonics, two journals of the American Geophysical Union. He was President of the Faculty Senate at UNM for two and a half years. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union. He has over 300 peer-reviewed science journal contributions.