Get to Know your Board of Directors!
Eric Gdula, Membership Chair
What do you do for your day job?
I work for the Superior National Forest as the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program manager. I work with all program areas across the forest to ensure our spatial and tabular data are as up to date as possible, made available to all staff or the general public as requested, and used for all the various analysis we do.
What hobbies or interests do you have outside of birding?
My other passion is exercising – be it spending time at the YMCA lifting weights (and yes, I do see our DAS President at the YMCA on occasion), running, skiing, or taking long hikes. I try to stay fit so I can spend a lifetime actively birding.
How did you get into birding?
My wife Mary gifted me a bird feeder many, many years ago and thought it would be fun to hang in the yard and see what showed up. I don’t think she ever envisioned it would turn into such an interest.
Do you have any destination birding dreams?
Both Papua New Guinea to see the Birds-of-Paradise and the Falkland Islands, where you can see 5 species of penguins.
What was your spark bird?
American 3-Toed Woodpecker – for it was the first bird I researched and actively sought out to find. This involved spending time wondering around recent high severity fire patches in forests along the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. I did find a wonderful male with that yellow head and was hooked!
How about favorite bird?
Black Swift, for its amazing nesting locations, its daily activity cycle while hatchlings are maturing on the nests, and its otherwise mysterious life.
What are your hopes for Duluth Audubon?
That it continues to inspire people to be passionate about birds at any level – from back yard feeder watchers, to attending bird talks or bird walks, to competitive listers, or whatever other capacity. The more people who care about birds, the better off we all are.