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Field Notes Blog


Meet Roger Armstrong, Legacy Society Member
April 04, 2023
Meet Roger Armstrong, Legacy Society Member

“Over a beer, I realized I was becoming part of a conservation movement!”

Longtime ASA supporters, Roger and his late wife, Judy, made the thoughtful decision to leave a forever gift to ASA in their estate plans. At a recent visit to Roger’s home, he shared his story and passion for protecting our natural resources, not just for today but for tomorrow.

From Summer Farm Boy to Environmental Chemist

Born and raised just north of Boston, Roger was 10 years old when his parents bought an abandoned Maine farm. The farmstead was in the middle of nowhere and had no power or running water. Over time, the farm became the family’s summer retreat. Roger enjoyed being a summer farm boy who fixed fences and chased the neighbor’s cows.

He pursued chemistry in college and obtained a BS from Tufts University. Following a stint in the Navy, Roger attended Rutgers and received a PhD in Chemistry. Roger spent his 30-year teaching career at Troy’s Russell Sage College in the Chemistry Department.

Roger’s interest in environmental chemistry was sparked when he participated in an RPI aquatic chemistry program for college professors. He tested and analyzed the water quality of lakes and streams in Rensselaer County.

Land Conservation Advocate

Roger's affinity for environmental conservation grew as he recognized that clean water was a priceless natural resource. Protecting land around the Tomhannock Reservoir and promoting a healthy watershed became his passion. He encourages all of us to discover the 53 lakes and 56 waterfalls in Rensselaer County.

His land conservation work began in 1987 when he co-founded the Rensselaer Taconic Land Conservancy (RTLC), now Rensselaer Land Trust. Roger served this all-volunteer land trust for 20 years.

Along Came ASA

Roger recalled a meeting in the early 1990s of the two fledging organizations, RTLC and ASA. Roger met Teri Ptacek, ASA’s first executive director, and board member Dave Horn at a brewpub in Albany to share land conservation insights and talk about ASA’s success in protecting farmland. Roger smiled and chuckled, “Over a beer, I realized I was becoming part of a conservation movement!”

Throughout the years, the Armstrongs enjoyed attending Landscapes for Landsake and loved the picturesque setting at Maple Ridge. Harry Orlyk’s paintings, a Terry Peca work, and the most recent addition, Hiking, Early Fall by Ken Wilson, adorn his home.

Roger's devotion to land conservation has left a lasting legacy that will benefit future generations. His dedication to protecting farmland and forests, natural resources and promoting a healthy environment inspires all of us.


We thank you, Roger, for making a forever impact on our region

and leaving your conservation legacy.

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