Board of Directors - President
Gray grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin. At an early age one grandfather instilled a love of gardening in him while another taught him to fly fish. His dad taught him woodworking skills and a knowledge of what it takes to run a hardware store (one of the first Ace stores). He majored in Agronomy at Iowa State University and later earned a MS and PhD in Forest soils from Cornell University. After a stint in the Army, he worked as a research ecologist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee for eight years. Gray then spent 21 years as a faculty member at the University of Missouri where he was a Professor of Forest Soils and Watershed Management. During that time he also spent 3 years at EPA’s Environmental Sciences Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon as a visiting scientist in the Superfund Evaluation Program.
Gray discovered Sandpoint in 2010 and moved here in 2012. He currently lives in Bonners Ferry where his wife, Kate Painter, is a University of Idaho Extension Educator. He became active with LPOW in 2013 when he volunteered as a citizen scientist conducting water sampling at the Morton Channel site from a canoe. His sampling gave him an excuse to buy a fishing boat and he later expanded his sampling sites to Cocolalla Slough, Cocolalla Channel, and the Priest River Wastewater Outfall sites. In 2015, he was asked to join the LPOW board and currently trains other citizen scientists who are essential to the LPOW Water Monitoring Program.
Gray is a Past President of the Bonner County Gardeners Association and has served as the Treasurer of both the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 890 and the Sandpoint VFW Post. He currently teaches soil extension courses in both Bonner and Boundary Counties and is President of GROW! (Gardeners for Regional Organic Wellbeing), which manages the Community and Little Free Garden Programs in Bonners Ferry.