Jon is from St. Louis, Missouri. From 2002 until 2005, he attended Missouri State University. In the fall of 2005, he transferred to the University of Kansas to pursue a degree in astronomy.

At that time, Kansas was involved in its "great evolution wars". Shortly after beginning at KU, the Kansas State Board of Education, in effort to push Creationism into science classrooms, redefined science, removing the requirement that explanations be testable. This led to a continued desire to help the public better understand science.

To that end, he has teaching certifications for middle school math and science, as well as high school math and physics. He was also previously a contributor to the astronomy news website Universe Today. His writings there have been picked up by numerous other science news outlets including physorg and Astrobiology Magazine. Additionally, he tours several talks to regional conventions and other venues promoting science and other topics.