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Stephen Joly was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. He first started to notice birds at the age of seven after a visit to his uncle's hobby farm. He was fascinated by the aerial abilities of the Barn Swallows as they flew in and out of the rundown barn where they were nesting. He got his first field guide (Peterson of course) from a classmate when he was in the fifth grade.
Stephen acquired his Bachelor's degree at the University College of the Cariboo (UCC) in Kamloops, BC and was hired on as a laboratory Instructor shortly after graduating. He has been at UCC, now Thompson Rivers University for over 11 years. He has worked on a few bird related research projects as a field biologist. The first was three summers in the high elevation forests of southern BC conducting songbird censuses. He has also assisted with recording Marbled Murrelet calls in the Redwood forest of northern California.
Stephen hasn't had too many opportunities to travel abroad yet, but has been to the southwestern states a few times and has fallen in love with Arizona and desert birding.