Bryan grew up in the Midwest where he attended and graduated from Culver Military Academy in Indiana. In 1974 he received a degree in Native American Studies from Westminster College in Missouri and in 1977 a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and Education from the University of Illinois, Springfield. Bryan began his teaching career at Rough Rock on the Navajo Nation, followed by teaching at a therapeutic high school in Idaho. He returned to Northern Arizona where he helped found the Leupp Boarding High School and taught all classes from 1988 to 1991.
In 1978, Bryan purchased the land in Doney Park where he and his family continue to live. Bryan designed and built a two-story, solar-powered Hogan which, in 2004, was designated a “Sustainable Building” in the first class of Coconino County Sustainable Building awards.
In ’91, Bryan joined the faculty at Coconino Community College, where he taught science for 24 years until his retirement in 2016.
In 2013, Bryan received the Viola Outstanding Science Educator Award. He and his wife started and support two scholarship programs at Coconino Community College. Bryan has worked as a naturalist for National Geographic, Smithsonian Journeys, Grand Canyon Conservancy, and NAU Road Scholar.
Bryan currently serves as Co-Chair of the Doney Park Planning Commission. He is the Board President of the Society of Cultural Astronomy of the American Southwest, was founder of the Flagstaff Water Group and serves on the Friends of the Rio Board. He served for 10 years on the Flagstaff Festival of Science Board, the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative’s Educational Sustainability Committee, and the advocacy team for Coconino Community College, all while teaching at CCC.
Bryan and his wife, Barbara, love the wilderness and the cultural history of the southwest. Bryan leads wildness trips and cultural history tours throughout Northern Arizona and the Southwest for a many different organizations, including National Geographic, Grand Canyon Field Institute, Road Scholars, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Smithsonian Journeys, and Grand Canyon Youth.