Alan Belford has spent much of his life outdoors exploring and learning about wildlife - particularly birds. An avid outdoor recreationist and athlete, Alan is often out hiking, paddling, running, or cross country skiing - with his Labrador retriever Wren at this side. His hobbies and athletic pursuits soon became a profession when he began his career, earning two graduate degrees in wildlife along the way. A certified teacher and former cross country, baseball, and ultimate frisbee coach, he loves teaching others and has taught multiple natural history (specializing in ornithology) courses for both college students and the general public. His wildlife research has focused on vertebrates - particularly mammals and birds - most recently with the Wildlife Conservation Society researching the impact of human development on wildlife communities in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. He is a licensed guide in New York State, he has traveled widely both domestically and internationally, and he is also a published travel writer and photographer - focusing on outdoor and nature writing. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.