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Born in Springfield, Ohio, Kevin McGowan has had a lifelong interest in birds and mammals. He received a B.S. in Zoology from the Ohio State University in 1977, and an M.S. in Zoology from Ohio State in 1980 for a thesis on small mammals and their use of arthropods on reclaimed strip-mines. He then went to the University of South Florida where he received a Ph.D. in Biology in 1987 for work on the social development of young Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens). He went to work at Cornell University in 1988 as a Curator/Research Associate in the Section of Ecology & Systematics (now the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology). He was promoted to Senior Research Associate in 1994. He was the principal caretaker of the bird and mammal collections, and conducted his own research. In addition, he taught classes at Cornell in specimen preparation, field collecting methods, the relationships of birds, and Neotropical canopy biology and canopy access. In July 2001, Kevin moved to the Education department at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, developing an informative website All About Birds and writing the Bird Guide section. Beginning in January 2005 he became the co-editor of the publication of the second New York State Breeding Bird Atlas project, officially a member of the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, but based at the Lab of Ornithology. The resulting book, The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State, was published in 2008 by the Cornell University Press. Kevin currently works in the Education department of the Lab again. He is the instructor for the long-running Home Study Course in Bird Biology and the online course Investigating Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds. Blurring the line between his professional and private life, Kevin has been an avocational birder since childhood. He has traveled throughout North America, as well as to Europe, Central America, South America, and Africa, watching and studying birds. He has led birding field trips for groups of all skill levels. He has been the President of the Cayuga Bird Club, the President and webmaster for the New York State Ornithological Association (formerly the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs), and a member of the New York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC). For 16 years Kevin was a member of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's team (The Sapsuckers) competing in the World Series of Birding in New Jersey each May. (The Sapsuckers, sponsored by Swarovski Optik, tied for first place in 2001, and won in 2002.