Paul Wieland is a professional engineer (P.E.) who earned degrees in botany and mechanical engineering from the University of Louisville (Kentucky). From 1983 to 2005, he was a NASA civil servant at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, working primarily on developing the environmental control and life support systems for the International Space Station and other space missions. In 1991 he was a founding member of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Life Support.

Pursuing his interests in sustainability and energy efficiency, from 1989 to 1991 he founded and ran Wiseland Products, the first paper company in Alabama to carry recycled paper products; he served as a technical adviser to the American Lung Association Health House® '96 project in Huntsville, AL, to demonstrate that it is possible to build a house that is energy efficient and has good indoor air quality, and later renovated three 60-year-old houses to meet the Health House criteria; and, in 2009, he became a LEED Accredited Professional. He also converted a Ford F-250 diesel pickup truck to run on waste vegetable oil.

Paul enjoys hiking and camping; contra dancing and swing dancing—he founded the Huntsville Swing Dance Society in 1995; and making pottery—he was a co-founder of the Tennessee Valley Ceramic Arts Guild in 2008.