Kim Mackey was born in 1951 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Parents were teachers. Spent his early life in Carmel Valley, California. At age 10 moved to southern Peru where parents worked in schools run by SPCC, Southern Peru Copper Corporation. Lived a year in Ilo, Peru and a year in Toquepala. Moved in 1963 to San Tome, Venezuela for two years. In 1965 moved to Thessaloniki, Greece living there for three years and traveled around Europe and Middle East including Russia, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. Moved to Kabul, Afghanistan for a year in 1968 before accepting appointment to West Point.
Spent two years at West Point before leaving and moving to Fairbanks, Alaska. Graduated from University of Alaska in 1974 with a degree in Natural Resources Management. Worked four years on Trans Alaska Pipeline as a security guard, weather observer, secretary, plumber, pipefitter, and welder. Left Alaska in 1978 and moved to Eugene, Oregon. Various odd jobs there. Received teaching certificate from University of Oregon in 1987. Worked as a math teacher in Metlakatla, Alaska for three years.
In 1990 with wife Melodie and son Patrick moved to Valdez, Alaska and worked at Valdez High School as a math and science teacher. Earned a Master’s degree in Geosciences from Mississippi State University in 2001. Retired to Anchorage, Alaska in 2010 and has taught online classes in Geology for the past eight years.