Erv represents the Story Soil and Water Conservation District on the Board of Directors of the Prairie Rivers of Iowa. Erv is a founding member of the Prairie Rivers of Iowa Organization. Erv has served on the Prairie Rivers Board since its beginning. He began his third four-year term as a SWCD Commissioner in January 2009. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Squaw Creek Watershed Coalition, a member of Ames Smart Growth Alliance, and member of the 1000 Friends of Iowa Board of Directors.
Erv retired in 1999 as a wildlife biologist with the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey after 30 years of federal service. Erv grew up on a bottomland farm along the Mississippi River in eastern Missouri. He received his B.S. Degree from the University of Missouri in Wildlife Conservation (1956), and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Zoology from Kansas University (1963, 1970). He was a member of the biology faculty at Rockhurst College in Kansas City before joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife research biologist in 1971. His research included studies on the effects of organochlorine insecticides on bird reproduction, behavior and population dynamics of waterfowl and wild turkeys, and restoration and management of wetlands and prairies. He served as Assistant Leader (1975-1992) and Leader (1992-1999) of the Iowa Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit at Iowa State University where he was also a graduate faculty collaborator in the College of Agriculture. He is now ISU Professor Emeritus of Animal Ecology.
Erv lives in Ames with his wife, Janet, who is a retired librarian.