I was born in a tiny town in western New York in the early 80s.  Still to this day when I tell people I'm from New York, they assume the city.  Nope, I was born an hour and a half SE of Buffalo.

Admittedly, my interest in birds started at a pretty young age.  I was learning birds on flash cards at 3 years old.  Lucky for me, we had binoculars laying around too:
At around 11 years old, with the aid of my aunt who was also interested in birds, I started my first list of birds, a "life list" of sorts.  I promptly went outside and misidentified everything... but it was a start.

Lucky to be part of a family that valued traveling, we took several road trips when I was a child.  I remember visiting my 49th state at the age of 14 (#50 would come later).  On one such trip, when we drove from New York to Alaska and back, I remember a strange lady in Denali National Park... she was obsessed with birds!  How odd.  She pointed out a flock of jaegers swirling above the tundra but I hadn't even identified a Downy Woodpecker yet.

By the time junior high came around and I was living in Tennessee, I was well on my way down this road of obsession.  

We then moved to Berrien County in southwest Michigan where this lifelong hobby really grew into a lifestyle.  My first true field job came in the summer of 2003 after my freshman year of college when I volunteered for the USGS and spent a summer on Middleton Island in the Gulf of Alaska.  I was hooked.  From then on, I spent my summers working for various organizations and bird observatories.

For example, I worked in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost tip of the country, for two summers (2005 and 2006).  It was there that I started my work with shorebirds.

By the time 2007 rolled around, I had finished my B.S. at Andrews University with a degree in biology and had moved to Kansas.  It was there that I helped out with research on Upland Sandpipers:
Later on that year, I started a M.S. of my own at Iowa State University studying the ecology of Long-billed Curlews of western Nebraska:
After graduating, we headed west where I worked for Point Reyes Bird Observatory from 2011 to 2013 as a shorebird ecologist.  I was mainly involved in the Central Valley of California where I worked with shorebird banding, radio telemetry, waterbird surveys, and other fun stuff:
Later on in 2013, I swapped coasts and worked on the beaches of Georgia with Red Knots for The Center for Conservation Biology:
In the fall of 2013, I returned to Whitefish Point Bird Observatory in the UP of Michigan for my 4th season as a waterbird counter:
In the spring, summer, and fall of 2014 and 2015, I worked as a bird guide on St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs of Alaska:
In 2016, I was very fortunate to do some guiding for Field Guides, a company based out of Austin, Texas.  Some trips I helped with included Spring in South Texas, Big Bend/Hill Country of Texas, Northern Arizona, Machu Picchu in Peru, Cape May in New Jersey, and Australia.

In 2017 I officially became part of the Field Guides team and have since guided 60+ tours with them.