Here is a new installment in our ongoing series to learn more about who’s doing the work behind the scenes to keep our Chapter running along.
Stephanie Gardner, Newsletter Team member, conducted this online interview with our newly (re-)elected Chapter Treasurer, Carl Droms.
How long have you been a Virginia Master Naturalist? Of which Headwaters Master Naturalist cohort are you a member?
I’m in Cohort II, our class started in Fall 2012 and ended in Spring 2013. So it’s been just about 10 years.
What is your position on the HMN Board? How long have you been serving?
I am currently the Treasurer. I was Treasurer before for about five years, and I’m just starting a new term after a two-year hiatus.
Have you held other positions on the HMN Board?
What is your favorite thing about your role in the chapter?
As a member of HMN, my favorite thing is getting to know all these great people. As Treasurer, well, there’s not much to say; it’s really just bookkeeping.
What have been some of your most memorable activities/projects as a VMN?
Probably my favorite project was the “eMammal” project. For a couple of years, I would go to predetermined sites in the National Forest to set up “camera traps” (i.e., those automatic wildlife cameras). Then every three weeks or so, I’d go pick them up, replace the memory cards, and move them to the enxt location. The Principal Investigators were at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the goal of the project was to create a database of information about mammals: where they live, where they go, how they interact with one aonther, etc.
What are your future hopes for our chapter?
I would like to see our chapter continue to grow. We’ve been through a difficult time since 2020, and had quite a few members become inactive. But with a new cohort beginning this spring, the future looks promising.
Where do you live in the Valley?
I live in Harrisonburg with my partner Adrie, who is actually the person responsible for getting me involved with HMN (thanks, Adrie!)
Are you originally from Virginia?
No, I grew up in the Albany, NY area, and lived mostly in New York (with a couple of stints in Europe) until I moved to Harrisonburg to take a job at JMU. That was 40 years ago.
Please tell us a little about your past or present career(s).
I was a Mathematics professor at JMU for 29 years, from 1983 till I retired in 2012. One of the first things I did after I retired was join the HMN training class!
What do you enjoy doing when not volunteering for VMN?
I am an avid bike rider and skier. I also enjoy hiking and backpacking.
If you were an animal, plant or fungus; what kind would you be?
A bird (but only if I could keep my human brain!)
What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
Getting back to some semblance of normality after all the upheavals of the past few years.