Ron Mastrogiuseppe (founder and president)
Ron grew up
among the fragmented, logged deciduous forests of West
Virginia's Appalachian Mountains and graduated from West
Virginia University with a B.S. in forest science. His first
Forest Service job was as a timber cruiser and as a fire lookout
at historic Bessie Rock with a view into Crater Lake National Park.
exposure to professional naturalist activities was through
the mentoring of Dick McP. Brown, Chief Naturalist. He also had
the good fortune of working with Russ Grater's naturalist
team in 1965-66 at Sequoia-Kings Canyon and assisting the
ecology studies of Drs. Richard Hartesveldt and Tom Harvey
of San Jose State University, in Redwood
At Humboldt State, he studied coastal
redwood ecology and researched the variation in Klamath Mtn.
and southern Sierra Nevada foxtail pine
populations for his M.S. Thesis research.
Ron was the first
naturalist at Redwood National Park and worked later as a
forest ecologist following park expansion in 1978. He
also assisted in pioneering the fire ecology and fire
management program at Crater Lake following the drinking
water crisis of 1975.
Following his retirement
from the NPS, Ron began promoting the idea of an educational
institute at Crater Lake to serve as a forum for debate of
natural resource issues and to enhance the visitor
experience through a lodging and learning program.