Christopher A. Schroeder ~ MEREO President
At age 8 I moved to Colorado, and on this move the weather bug was placed in my life. On our move from Arizona, we stopped in Santa Fe, NM to spend the night before continuing on our trip. While in Santa Fe, a large thunderstorm came through the area, large enough to knock out the power. This started to get me interested in weather. When we arrived in Colorado at our new house in Colorado Springs, there was another severe thunderstorm. This storm was producing lots of hail about nickel size. The following day I received a package from my grandmother in AZ, in the box was "intro to weather definitions". This started me down the path of studying weather.
Now let’s fast forward to 4th grade. For this wonderful year, I attended "School in the Woods". School in the woods is a small science school in black forest Colorado. Every year they accept 50 young students from a large pool of applications. During this year at school in the woods, I studied the subject of weather greatly.
Continuing on to middle school, my dad and I went to a weather conference in boulder Co. While there we attended a NWS Spotter Training, Toured the NWS Offices, and toured the NCAR facility. This really anchored my love and passion for weather.
In 2008 we grew from 5 to 9 kids all with a love and passion for weather; we also changed our name to the storm chasers. We started studying more in our "chases" we now brought cameras with us, and photographed the storms rolling through.
In 2009 we made a big leap forward, we all had friends out of state who were in love with weather, so we started growing out of the state lines. Our number that year was 15 kids all with a love and passion for weather.
In 2010 i moved again, this time I moved back to Arizona to help care for my Great Grandmother. While down in Arizona, I started drawing up a plan that would change the USSC yet again, the plan was for a new vehicle to help with understanding the vast ness of nature. The project's name was project Steve.
In 2011 I returned to Colorado after my great grandmothers passing. The rest of 2011 was mainly planning and researching parts of technology for project Steve; in the summer of 2011 the first parts were ordered.
In July of 2012 I officially declared Steve 1.0 was built! It took 12 years to get to the point from when I started falling in love with weather to building my own storm research vehicle.
At the End of 2012, I started really looking for a crew to run this new vehicle. I began looking deeper into my friends to find the 3 additional members to the crew. The search had just begun.
In the Early part of 2013, Along with trying to fill the crew of Project Steve, another new twist was to come into play. My Grandfather in Colorado was very interested, and excited to help me with my dream, so with his help; a new overhaul went to the systems of Project Steve. Because of the system change, we unofficially named it Steve 1.5. We now had systems in there that I never thought would be on the project, and we also added a few new safety components too.
In May 2013, the Project Steve Crew was born. After months of sifting through who I would trust to be in the vehicle with me, they came. God really had a part in that, I never would have figured out who to choose if it weren't for him. Also in this time we were offered a spot in an event. This was the first time that any part of Steve would have been shown off. I was very excited to have that opportunity to do so!
In January of 2014, A new step was being done. The United States Storm Chasers had reached its peak. The future of the group was growing, but the group couldn't grow any more. The leaders of The USSC got together, and a new organization was Born. MEREO, which stands for Meteorological Research and Education Organization. Our goals were still the same, however they were now larger then ever before. I took on the role of President of this new organization, knowing that it wasn't going to be an easy journey. As time went on however, it was proving to be more of a reward then a burden.
By March of 2014, We at MEREO knew that Education was going to be Key, so I started brushing off my teachers hat, and started getting to work. And to this day we are Teaching classes all over the Eastern part of the state near Colorado Springs. One of the places I was able to teach in was where my dream really became a reality, School In The Woods. Returning to where the seed of Storm Research was cared for, and where I realized this is what I wanted to be was a dream within a dream. To get the opportunity to share with those who are following in the same path and the same dream was more then I could have ever hoped for.
Now even though this story is ended here, it doesn't mean the story is over. There is much more places to go, things to research, and classes to teach. My Story is not over, and I plan on adding to this as time goes on.