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Bay Issues & Careers Panel Discussion

Professionals from government, non-profits, and private firms talk about careers paths for graduates with an interest in addressing the complex issues surrounding Chesapeake Bay restoration.
Matt Royer and panelists.

Matt Royer and panelists.

The Panel Discussion

The Chesapeake Bay Issues & Careers panel discussion was held on March 20th, 2014 at the Forest Resources Building. At this event, students learned how others’ paths have led them to careers to find solutions that address complex environmental problems dealing with the Chesapeake Bay.

The Hosts

ENRI hosted this event, with Matt Royer, director of the Ag & Environment Center as co-facilitator with Anna Marie Nachman, administrative support coordinator of ENRI.

The Panelists

Trevor Weaver

Trevor Weaver received a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Eastern Mennonite University in 2009 and a master of landscape architecture from Penn State in 2013. He currently works for the Mifflin County Conservation District as an outreach and technical assistant. Mr. Weaver’s capstone work while at PSU explored the “barriers and incentives to stream conservation: the influence of culture on riparian buffer design and implementation”. 

Mark Gutshall

Mark Gutshall is a principal and the founder of LandStudies, a recognized leader in the field of environmental restoration and land planning. He has more than 29 years professional experience in designing, permitting, and constructing ecological restoration projects in the Mid-Atlantic region. During that time, he also founded Octoraro Native Plant Nurseries, a wholesale source of native woody and herbaceous plants (1990). His diverse professional background emphasizes land stewardship and community-based planning, which he has applied to numerous projects in watershed planning, open space planning, stream corridor restoration, flood reduction, stormwater management, habitat improvement, and wetland creation. Mark researches and advocates pioneering land development and management techniques that are functional, cost-effective, and environmentally beneficial. He has been a leading voice in the acceptance of “legacy sediment” along stream corridors as a major contributor of sediment and nutrient pollution in waterways throughout the Piedmont physiographic province. He also has been a groundbreaker in adopting regional or watershed-wide natural resource management as an effective way to create partnerships among private, public, regulatory, non-profit, and educational groups and stakeholders. Both he and LandStudies have earned accolades for his innovative approaches to natural resource management and land planning.

Andrea Blosser

Andrea Blosser graduated from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences in 1997 with a degree in Soil Science.  After brief experiences with county government and private sector consulting, Andrea has spent the last 15 years of her career at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Southcentral Regional Office in Harrisburg. There she has served as both a field soil scientist and a manager of staff conducting regulatory compliance and enforcement work at land development sites and on agricultural operations.  A lifelong Pennsylvania resident, Andrea now makes her home in Cumberland County with her husband, Ben.

Mark Metzler

Mark is currently a Senior Environmental Scientist and Project Manager for RETTEW Associates, Inc. and is owner/president of Wild Resources, Inc. He specializes in stream and wetland restoration, dam removals, TMDL implementation planning and quality control for the Natural Sciences service area at RETTEW – and – specializes in riparian forest buffer installation and maintenance at Wild Resources. Mark has a Wildlife Technology degree from Penn State DuBois Campus and received additional training in wetlands, stream restoration, TMDL implementation planning, and erosion control when working as a watershed specialist for the Lancaster County Conservation District from 1990 through 2001. During much of that same time period, he was a Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. He has also taken additional macro invertebrate classes at Millersville and has picked up various stream restoration workshops and seminars along the way. In addition, he is a certified commercial pesticide applicator – this being related to his riparian forest buffer maintenance work and the application of herbicides.

Matt Ehrhart

Matt is the Director of Watershed Restoration at the Stroud Water Research Center. In January 2013 Stroud launched a new restoration initiative. As Director, Matt will be focused on building a restoration program integrates current science and technology into a restoration program that demonstrates how to maximize ecological and water quality outcomes while serving the needs of farms and communities. Further objectives include effectively leveraging federal and state resources and demonstrating how to improve public programs and public spending on natural resource restoration work. Prior to moving to Stroud in January, 2013, Matt served as the Executive Director for the Pennsylvania office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) for over 18 years. Prior to working at CBF he worked as a private environmental consultant. Mr. Ehrhart received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Resource Management and his Master of Engineering in Engineering Science from the Pennsylvania State University.

Peter Hughes

Peter Hughes grew up on his families’ 2,500 acre dry land wheat farm in Washington State. After graduating with honors from Washington State University with a degree in Natural Resource Science and Biology, Peter moved to Western Australia where he worked on a 25,000 acre crop and sheep farm outside of Perth for two years. In 2000 Peter joined Brubaker Consulting Group in Ephrata Pennsylvania as project leader and manager of the companies’ geographical information system and nutrient management division.  In 2001 Peter left Brubaker Consulting Group and formed Red Barn Consulting Inc. with his wife Molly, a professional engineer. Peter currently serves as the President of Red Barn Consulting and its sister company Red Barn Trading. Red Barn is an agricultural consulting and engineering firm based in Lancaster PA. Red Barn Consulting services agricultural clientele in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas. Its core business services over 1200 farm clients located within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The core mission of Red Barn Consulting is assisting farms in exceeding water quality standards through on farm nutrient control. To help facilitate the relationship between point-source and non-point source nutrient credit trading Hughes started Red Barn Trading Company in late 2005.   To date Red Barn Trading Company has brokered 27 Nutrient Credit Contracts resulting in 346,257 pounds of nutrient credit offsets.  

Jenna Mitchell

Jenna Mitchell will be graduating this May from Penn State with a degree in Environmental Resource Management in the Environmental Science Option with minors in Watershed and Water Resources and Environmental Soil Science. Upon graduation, she is incredibly excited to be joining the Lancaster County Conservation District as an Erosion and Sedimentation Technician. After multiple research positions at Penn State ranging from agro-ecology entomology to a global change ecology REU in Spain, Jenna served and currently serves as an intern at the Agriculture and Environment Center. It is in this position that she has found her passion for watershed restoration and the interface between the private, public, education and non-profit sectors. Jenna hopes to eventually return to school for her Masters or Environmental Law or both and further her contribution to environmental restoration.

Chesapeake Bay Career-Related Resources

When seeking assistance on career information including resumes, cover letters, job / internship search strategies, interviewing skills, networking, and more, please visit The Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services in the Ag Administration Building

Room 110, or talk with Richard J. Rateau, Ph.D. at rjr20@psu.edu.

On-campus Services

Associations

Penn State

Government

Video

Here is a video of the panel discussion from March 20th.