Rob received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1986. Rob's interest's moved from cancer research to toxicology and, in 1993, he received a Master of Science degree from the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Washington in Seattle. Rob's thesis was in the field of exposure assessment investigating the dermal uptake of contaminants from soil. Following his thesis work, Rob was employed by the State of New Hampshire in the Bureau of Health Risk Assessment with duties involving risk assessment, community education, grant writing and development of regulatory standards. After moving back to Washington in 1996, Rob did similar work as a toxicologist for the Washington State Department of Health eventually becoming Director of DOH's, Office of Environmental Health Assessments where he led a team of risk assessors, toxicologists, epidemiologists and health educators towards the goal of reducing human exposure to environmental contaminants.
In 2007, Rob became manager of the Environmental Assessment Program at the Washington State Department to Ecology.The Environmental Assessment Program provides critical monitoring and analytical capacity to measure toxics, nutrients and bacterial contamination in both marine and freshwater aquatic environments. Assessments of these data provided by program staff are the foundation for agency decision making to protect and enhance human health and the environment in Washington State. From 2014 to 2019, Rob was a senior policy advisor to Governor Jay Inslee. Rob advised the Governor on issues including water resources, water quality, salmon recovery, Hanford Site cleanup and oil spill preparedness.