Welcome to our First SRA Donor Profile! SRA is so grateful for all of its donors and volunteers – and we wanted you to get to know them too. Without YOU, SRA would not be where it is today. We asked Joan to answer a few questions about her support of SRA – enjoy!
— Havana Mullaly, SRA Staff Writer
Tell us how you first got involved with SRA?
Kathryn VonRueden, a neighbor-friend of mine in Sherwood Forest, as well as a water-quality-monitoring recruiter for SRA, organized an SRA meeting in our community. I attended the meeting and got to meet a few SRA members and learn what SRA is all about.
What has surprised you the most about working with SRA?
Tom Guay, SRA program manager and editor of my articles for the SRA newsletter, is a delight to work with — emotionally warm and appreciative of my efforts, which makes me want to do even more for the SRA.
I am also enjoying covering the diversity of scientific talks which Tom has asked me to write up for the newsletter.
What’s the worst thing to happen since you started working with SRA?
The first time I went out in the SRA skiff to help monitor the Severn’s water quality, I didn’t bring enough warm clothes. Tom Guay lent me a jacket.
Otherwise I would have gotten chilled and probably caught bronchitis, to which I am susceptible.
Why are you supporting SRA as opposed to other groups working environmental issues?
There is another environmental group I donate to — the Amazon Conservation Association. But I also wanted to support an environmental group close to home.
My community, Sherwood Forest, is one of the many little communities located along the Severn.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I am fascinated by snakes.
This past summer, a three-foot-long black snake made its way into the Sherwood Forest dance hall while a group of us were playing pickleball.
“Snake! Snake!” someone screamed; a number of the players raced for the exit. “Don’t worry,” I called out. “I’ll take care of it.”
I walked over to the snake, bent down, and quickly grasped it behind its head so that it couldn’t bite me. It then wrapped its body around my arm.
Several pickle players whipped out their smartphones and photographed the snake and me I then took the snake out of the dance hall and returned it to nature. After that, I acquired a new nickname: “The Snake Lady.”
What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating to, or volunteering for, SRA?
It is deeply gratifying if you have any emotional bonds with the Severn. It can also bring you together with other folks who have similar passions.