From the classroom to the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors, from the outdoors to the arts, Peter's servant leadership is always evident through fundamental belief in the dignity and worth of all people, belief in everyone's ability to succeed if given the tools to help them, and an abiding love of home guide him.


Dr. Peter Buck & Claire Talley present at the 2018 AASHE Conference.


 In his spare time, Peter enjoys spending time with his son, with friends, writing, playing music, and enjoying the outdoors. He and Sacha (8th grade at Delta Middle School) enjoy playing games, exploring the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and getting out for hikes. A great day for them involves a good movie, a steep hike with a snake siting, and a delicious dinner outside.


Peter loves to use his imagination. He started performing music as with the church choir as a little boy, learned the guitar and bass guitar in high school and went on to earn two degrees in Music. He has played in several bands. He once opened for the Yard Birds, a performance that pleased his mother--a child of the 60's--immensely. No longer professionally engaged in music, he listens to lots of music every day and plays the guitar regularly. Starting in 2014, he has written poetry and occasional short fiction, with minor publications in The Short EditionWatershed JournalViral Imaginations, and a book, Heartwood. 


Since childhood, Peter has loved the outdoors and has enjoyed hiking, short backpacking and camping trips, and mountain biking. From his mid-twenties to mid-thirties, he raced as a competitive amateur mountain biker across Pennsylvania, including in 100-mile single-day races and seven-day stage races. Today, he just enjoys getting out on hikes long and short, taking photographs, and breathing the Pennsylvania air.

Peter has been working in the community for over a decade in education, local government, and community non-profits.


Peter has worked at Penn State University’s Sustainability Institute for the last six years. He collaborates with teachers, students, staff, and community members on a wide variety of sustainability projects. Since 2014, he has:​

  • Cooperated with primary and secondary educators in the State College area and Penns Valley to develop high-quality sustainability and environmental education materials. He has had five interns, including Claire Talley (pictured at right) who have performed service projects with elementary and secondary teachers for the State College Area School District..

  • Worked with the Office of Physical Plant on the University’s solar power purchase agreement, currently the largest in the state.

  • Cooperated with state and local government, local authorities, schools, and libraries, retirement facilities, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and others on issues like climate change, land development, and issues of democracy and human health.

  • Performed audits and program evaluations of dozens of initiatives for their effectiveness.

Prior to his position at Penn State, Peter worked at the Kiski School, a boy's boarding school in Westmoreland County, as well as a Penn State instructor in different departments. There he served as the Sustainability Director, taught Environmental Science and Senior English, and coached the long-distance runners in Spring Track as well as for voluntary trail half-marathons. As an instructor, Peter has also taught first-year students English Rhetoric and Composition, Integrative Arts, Music, and Geography. One of his favorite teaching experiences was working with Career and Technical Teachers to achieve their certifications.


In local government, Peter has been chair and vice-chair of the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors. He has also served on the Facilities and the Public Services and Environmental committees of the Centre Region Council of Governments, and on the Spring Creek Watershed Commission. In local and regional government he and the Board:

  • Worked with staff to maintain a healthy fund balance, not raise taxes, provide excellent services, and earn a Moody’s AAA Bond Rating.

  • Cooperated with the chief of police to adopt body cameras to protect citizens and police.

  • Led municipal and regional investment and legislation for green buildings, renewable energy, smart infrastructure, wise land use, and personnel to protect water, climate, and health.

  • Continues to chair a regional intergovernmental solar power purchase agreement working group.


Peter has given his time to a wide variety of organizations over the last few years.

  • Since 2019, he has served on the Penns Valley Conservation Association with appointments on the Environmental Education Committee and the Finance Committee. Currently, he serves as President of the Board.

  • Starting in 2020, Peter has served on the Penn's Woods Music Festival Board. Penn's Woods is an annual summer classical musical series at Penn State University that brings excellent professional musicians together to play some of the world's greatest music.

  • Regularly visits State College Area classrooms and works with teachers to support environmental and sustainability education.

  • Donates time and money to community mental health, homelessness and health programs, as well as his church.