Richard Groover

It’s probably easier to ask Richard Groover what he HASN’T done. After being a scientist, a teacher, a field researcher, a government employee, a reserve deputy sheriff, hostage negotiator for 9 years, a documentary filmmaker, a National Park docent, a former member of the Governor’s Climate Change Commission for Virginia, a current member of the Board of Trustees for the Virginia Science Museum and now an author – you’d think there wouldn’t be much new territory left to explore.

Richard Groover poses with his wife, Patti Jackson. But he has plans.

“I figure I’ve got about 10 years left in me before my brain goes, so I’ve got a lot to do.”

Richard graduated from E&H in 1971, and at the age of 68 he just this year completed his Ph.D. in Environmental  Science and Public Policy at George Mason University. “Well, you know, the dog died, the children grew up, the skies parted – I realized I had time to do my Ph.D.”

He speaks excitedly about his graduate work: he focused on Ecology and Policy. He says he studied with the best and brightest in public policy (including Lee Talbott who authored the Endangered Species Act), but his real passion is education and research in the field. He is a Biology and Environmental Studies teacher at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, and he is currently doing a project for the National Park Service studying dragonflies on National Battlefields. (For the record, he has nothing against damselflies he just thinks they’re “wimpy.” We couldn’t reach a damselfly for comment.)

He is just about to publish an ambitious reference book: Second Edition of the Environmental Almanac of Virginia. Richard approached the author of first edition to encourage him to write a second part – but the author, Frits van der Leeden (real name) said Richard ought to write it. The book will be out in October of 2017.

Richard says he doesn’t mind staying busy. “I’m worried about being bored. If I die tomorrow, I’ve had a really fun life!”

You can reach Richard speak of many things, including his upcoming book: