Schuster, Christopher

Schuster, Christopher


Describe your background, interests, and vocation.

Born and raised in Western PA (Farrell), I grew up in an avid outdoors family: hunting, fishing, canoeing, camping, etc. I attended Penn State University where I earned a professional degree in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Environmental Studies. After college I worked for the National Park Service in the National Capital Region (Washington D.C.).

My home unit was Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. During my time there I worked on many natural resource projects, most notably the planning/implementation of a 1-acre meadow as well as the restoration of a shade garden. In partnership with the Potomac and Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) we implemented a 2.5 mile loop trail providing hiking opportunities and access to the entirety of the park property that previously did not exist.

I attended George Washington University as a Rodger Kennedy Fellow (NPS) where I received a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Policy. I went on to attend Virginia Tech, earning a Masters degree in sustainability/resource management. In 2017 I took a position with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) which brought me back to Western PA as a Natural Resource Specialist in the Pittsburgh District Office.

I now oversee a number of programs for the 16 reservoirs located in NY, OH, PA, WV, and MD and 23 locks and dams on the three rivers within the District. My first summer back in PA my wife and I signed up for the Full Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. We were able to do it again in ‘21 and our oldest daughter (4-months old at the time) accompanied us on all our training hikes! My wife and I have two daughters now (2yo and a 6-month old) and both still accompany us on all our hikes along with our 7yo German Shepard, Maverick.

Why would you like to be on the RCTC Board?

Being able to advocate for and have an impact on the resources in your backyard is profound. It’s partly why I accepted the position with USACE. I grew up hunting/fishing on the reservoirs I now help to manage. I walk on my section of trail everyday as it is right out my front door. I love the trail challenge and the conservation/preservation that goes into making it all possible. It is with that same enthusiasm I am seeking consideration. Additionally in my current role for USACE, I work with a number of 501(c)3 non-profits, I am very interested in acquiring experience on the side of the non-profit organization.

What makes you a good addition to the RCTC Board?

I have 10-years of experience in the Natural Resource Management/Outdoor Recreation field as well as Government Operations. In my current position with USACE, I am the Partnership/Volunteer program coordinator. I also serve as a Local Government Liaison during Federal disaster responses. In that role I network with local governments relaying their needs and concerns with the federal agencies responding to that disaster. This organization depends a great deal on volunteering and partnering as well as engaging outside entities to accomplish its mission and I feel that my previous work experiences provides me a unique perspectives that I would bring to this position.


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