Dr. William Schuster has served as the Executive Director of Black Rock Forest Consortium since 1992. Bill has overseen the development of the Consortium as a biological field station of national significance, and led the successful effort to build a $4 million green campus with classrooms, laboratories and a 60-bed lodge. Under his leadership the Consortium has grown to support more than 13,000 student-visitor days annually at Black Rock Forest, as well as an annual public visitorship of 50,000. Bill’s primary research interests are understanding tree and forest health and growth in relation to environment, and long-term ecological sustainability. He has oversight of, and ensures the support for, dozens of active research studies at the Forest. Bill holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Colorado, an M.S. from Pennsylvania State University in forest ecology, and a B.A. in biology from Columbia University. He served as the Board President for the Organization of Biological Field Stations from 2011-2013, and currently serves on the Board of the Hudson Highland Land Trust.
John Brady served as Forest Manager since the establishment of Black Rock Forest Consortium in 1989 and retired in 2018. A graduate of SUNY Morrisville, John served as an assistant forest manager the Black Rock Forest from 1979-1989 when it was owned by Harvard University. He oversees forest management and access, including maintenance of roads, trails and facilities; safety; equipment, including operation of the Forest sawmill; and the work of the Forest crew, dedicated paid and volunteer staff who do the physical labor and upkeep around the Forest. John provides research support, assists visitors in their activities in the Forest, and manages the local deer population through periodic census and regulation of an annual deer hunting program. As an educator, he has developed many programs, including the brook trout nursery and related curriculum. John leads the Black Rock Forest history hike to introduce visitors to many dimensions of the Forest's cultural and land use history, including its use by Native Americans, by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and by European homesteaders.
Since 1993, Barbara Brady has served as the assistant to the Executive Director of Black Rock Forest Consortium. She is also the Consortium's Office Manager, with responsibilities including oversight of reception, scheduling and other member and visitor services, purchasing, bookkeeping and management of events at the Forest.
Senior Education Liaison
Jack has served as the Operations Manager since 2004. He manages the Consortium's facilities for use by visiting scientists, students, summer camp participants and a wide variety of other groups. He also manages the buildings' green technologies including geothermal heating and cooling and solar electricity systems. Prior to joining the Consortium, Jack was a teacher and administrator in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District for 33 years, with emphases on outdoor and experiential education and technology for elementary school students. A life-long educator, Jack works with other Consortium staff to develop and implement curriculum and programs for institutional members and the general public.
Emily was hired at the Consortium's Development Director in 2007 and currently serves as the Associate Director. She has oversight of fundraising, communications and marketing programs, and provides staff leadership for initiatives ranging from strategic planning to the development of new public programs, including Summer Science Camp and the Hikes for Friends and Families program, as well as the Consortium's annual benefit luncheons. Emily formerly served as the Director of Major Gifts for Human Rights Watch (HRW), in which role she helped launch the Chicago Committee, a volunteer arm whose successful fundraising led to the opening of the Chicago office. Prior to HRW, Emily served as the Vice President of Development for Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area. She holds a B.A. with Honors and an M.A. in English literature from Stanford University.
Jamie has served as a part-time educator for Black Rock Forest Consortium since 2003. In this role, he designs, leads and supports educational activities of member institutions in Black Rock Forest. Prior to joining the Consortium staff, Jamie was a teacher in the Cornwall Central School District for 29 years, including seven years teaching in the district's Gifted and Talented Education program. Jamie's current focus is serving as an educator, guide and liaison for the Metropolitan Montessori School, an active Consortium member institution. During the summer, he and his wife Chris serve as evening activity coordinators and chaperones for the Consortium's Summer Science Camp. When he's not teaching children how to catch and hold a frog or a snake, Jamie writes science fiction poems and short stories for publication.
Facilities and IT Manager
Since 2002, Matt has overseen the Consortium's environmental monitoring network, field sensors, radiotelemetry network, research database, and local area and wireless computer networks. He assists visiting researchers and teachers, and works as an educator with many school groups. He also runs the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) Station for the U.S. Geologic Survey and works with the Forest crew. Matt lives on site as the caretaker for the Consortium's buildings, equipment and grounds. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Unity College, and is certified as an Emergency Medical Technician.
Katie has served as an Educator and Research Associate for the Consortium since 2009. In 2013, she also became the Program Manager for the Summer Science Camp program. Katie teaches and assists other educators visiting the Forest during the school year, and also co-teaches a course for the Summer Science Camp. She assists Consortium scientists with their field work and collects data for the Consortium's Future of Oak Forests and Ecological Connectivity research program. Katie holds a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Guelph and an M.A. from Columbia University in Conservation Biology.