About UsBio - Robert "R.J." Gipaya, Watershed Field Specialist, Americus
My name is R.J. Gipaya and I have been the Watershed Specialist for the Flint Riverkeeper since 2018. Although, I have spent the better portion of a decade working and living in other regions of both the state of Georgia and the country, the Flint River has always held a spot in my heart and eventually called me home.
I grew up in Meriwether County and was raised by lovers of the Flint and all of their river rat friends. I learned how to fish and paddle a canoe in the Flint. I learned how to set up camp and cook over an open fire sitting on its banks. I learned how to drive on the winding dirt roads that eventually dead end at the Flint. So many memories in my life and the person I have become are directly linked to the Flint River.
I attended college at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, where I received a bachelor’s degree in marine biology. After completing my degree, I landed a job with Alaskan Observers Inc. working out of Dutch Harbor Alaska. I was recording biological and catch data in the Alaskan commercial fishing industry for NOAA.
I currently live with my wife in the town of Americus, which is located on the Muckalee Creek, one of the Flint Rivers major tributaries. I always knew how long the Flint River was and what path it took through Georgia, but I was unaware of just how diverse, in terms of ecology and geology, the watershed was. I have truly enjoyed living below the fall line and learning about this beautiful resource that is the heart of southwest Georgia.
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