Michael has been a birder since the age of five. His birding travels have taken him to nearly thirty countries on five continents, as well as to 49 of the 50 US states. He especially enjoys birding seldom-visited regions, whether that’s in a nook and cranny of the Texas Panhandle or in a far-flung country such as Laos. Originally from North Carolina, he received his Bachelor of Science degree from Western Carolina University in 2014. Afterwards, Michael worked as an environmental consultant in Atlanta and then as a field biologist for Bird Conservancy of the Rockies in Colorado. In 2018 he moved to Texas to pursue his PhD at Texas A&M University, where he currently resides in College Station. He is a Graduate Fellow through the Welder Wildlife Foundation and studies the effects of weather and land-use change on songbird communities in the Gulf Coast region. Michael has previously served on the North Carolina Bird Records Committee, and in addition to guiding for Ventures has led trips for the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, Wings Over Water Birding Festival, and multiple state and local ornithological organizations. He thoroughly enjoys teaching and sharing his passion for birds with others and strives to make each of his trips a fun, educational, and memorable experience for all participants. Beyond birding and working on finishing his dissertation, Michael enjoys an eclectic assortment of other hobbies including distance running, photography, politics, public speaking, and gradually visiting all 63 of America’s National Parks.