Richard Cannings was born and raised in the Okanagan Valley of BC and worked for most of his career as a biologist. He curated the Cowan Vertebrate Museum at the University of British Columbia for 17 years, then worked with Bird Studies Canada for 16 years, coordinating Canadian Christmas Bird Counts, the eBird program, and the British Columbia Owl Survey. He was a founding director of the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance and has also served as a board member for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Richard has written over a dozen books on the natural history of British Columbia, including Birds of Interior BC and the Rockies. In 2015 he moved from biology to politics and now serves as a Member of Parliament in Ottawa.