Phone: (315) 781-4381
Dr. Lisa B. Cleckner, an expert in collaborative aquatic research, community outreach, and administration, became the director of the FLI in 2011. She earned her PhD in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan and worked as a post-doc and staff scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In these roles, Cleckner led a research group investigating mercury cycling in the Great Lakes and Everglades, and supervised a water chemistry laboratory. Subsequently, she earned an MBA from the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester. Lisa was most recently assistant director of operations with the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, in Syracuse, N.Y. There, she worked with academic institutions and industry partners on applied research and demonstration projects in water resources, clean and renewable energy, and indoor environmental quality. She was also a faculty member for a certificate of advanced study in Sustainable Enterprise at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, and a member of the leadership team of the Sustainable Enterprise Partnership.
Throughout her career, Cleckner has been involved in education and outreach activities targeted to a wide range of audiences including the public, students, businesses, and professional scientists. She has also successfully pursued grant funding totaling more than $3.5 million from federal, state, and non-profit organizations. Most of these proposals have been collaborative efforts engaging different constituencies such as faculty, research scientists, federal agencies, community organizations, and outreach groups.
Since joining the FLI, Dr. Cleckner has secured new funding for the development of initiatives in aquatic invasive species including the FLI’s recently launched Watercraft Steward Program, sustainable community development, a video baseline of the Finger Lakes ecosystems, water quality of green infrastructure installations, and trace metals and mercury in the Seneca Lake watershed. Lisa also has a faculty appointment in the Environmental Studies Department at HWS.
Phone: (315) 781-3599
Susan Flanders Cushman has worked at the Finger Lakes Institute as a Research Scientist since 2010. She studies various streams and their watersheds in the Finger Lakes, including those found around Owasco, Seneca, Cayuga, and Keuka Lakes. An expert in fish and stream ecology, she measures stream health by a suite of metrics and indices from water quality, benthic macroinvertebrate communities, and stream fish assemblages. Specifically, she has been monitoring stream communities in one of the major Keuka Lake tributaries, Cold Brook, since fish habitat restoration for Rainbow trout was completed in 2006. Her other projects include assisting in the Seneca Watershed Characterization report by surveying the major tributaries around Seneca Lake, contributing to knowledge of trout and other sensitive fish populations within the region, and studying Castle Creek (Geneva) intensely with her research students to better understand changes in stream health along a rural-urban, land-use gradient. In addition to conducting research, Cushman helped establish the FLI Stream Monitoring Program and plays an active role in training teachers involved with the program.
During the academic year, Cushman is the Director of Introductory Biology Laboratories in the Biology Department at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. She has worked at the Colleges since 2007, after completing her PhD at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Fisheries Science in 2006. She received her Masters of Science in Environmental Science at The Johns Hopkins University (2001) and is an alumna of William Smith College (1998).
Professor of Geolimnology and Hydrogeochemistry, FLI Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies
Phone: (315) 781-3918
John Halfman teaches in the HWS Department of Geoscience and Environmental Studies Program. He is also intimately linked with creation and development of the Finger Lakes Institute at the Colleges, accumulating over $4.2 million in funding over the past four years from state, federal and private foundation sources. Building on Lake Superior and the East African Rift Lake research before coming to HWS, his current research interests focus on the Finger Lakes and include the collection of limnological and hydrogeochemical data to investigate records of environmental change. Current projects include the hydrogeochemical impact of zebra mussels on these lakes; the source and fate of non-point source pollutants within these watersheds; and water quality variability between watersheds. He also investigates the high-resolution records of climate change that is preserved in the Holocene sediments of the Finger Lakes.
Project Manager of the Sustainable Community Development Program
Phone: (315) 781-4380
Maurer joined the FLI Staff to oversee the Sustainable Community Development Program in 2011. Maurer grew up in a small rural town in northern New York where he gained an appreciation for community, nature, and food production as he spent his summers helping his grandfather and father on their family dairy farm. From there, he earned a B.S. degree in management with a concentration in marketing from St. John Fisher College. After earning his undergraduate degree, Maurer began his professional career as a production supervisor in Syracuse, N.Y., for a national homebuilder. He spent four years supervising the construction of new homes before moving on to earn a Master’s of professional studies in environmental studies from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. His graduate work focused on the implementation of local sustainable infrastructure and processes. He also received a certificate of advanced study in sustainable enterprise from Syracuse University and is a LEED Green Associate. During Maurer's graduate work, he was engaged as an intern at the Syracuse Center of Excellence to assess the state of deconstruction in Central New York and make recommendations for overcoming barriers of implementation. Although much of his background has been associated with construction, his professional and personal interests are diverse within the sustainability spectrum, from community development to biofuels.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Phone: (315) 781-4382
A native of Geneva, N.Y., Meyer earned bachelor of science (2000) and master's of professional studies (2003) degrees from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, N.Y. Her higher education concentrated on information and technology, environmental science, and water and wetland resource studies. Since 2004, Meyer has served as the Finger Lakes Institute's community outreach coordinator. As such, she provides leadership and direction for the FLI community outreach and public service program and multiple FLI projects. Meyer provides on going lecture series, publications, educational exhibits, and internships for college students. Projects in which she has actively participated and assisted include the compilation of the Seneca Lake Watershed Management Plan, FLI Watercraft Steward Program, Owasco Lake Asian Clam Task Force, Seneca Lake State Park Enhancement Project, FLI Green Infrastructure Project, FLI Sustainable Agriculture Development Project, HWS Urban Forestry Project, HWS Readers College class, and the HWS Greens House and Sustainable Foods Club. In addition to outreach, Meyer coordinates public service projects that include Finger Lakes beach cleanups, water quality monitoring days, field trips to regional natural areas, and the annual HWS Alternative Spring Break Trip. She often presents to area interest groups, such as research groups, garden clubs, schools, and national conferences on topics relating to the Finger Lakes. While at the Finger Lakes Institute, Sarah has been responsible for applying for and successfully receiving, on behalf of the Colleges and the FLI, the following:
Meyer credits her early interest in the environment and protecting our natural resources to her participation in the Hobart and William Smith Science on Seneca (SOS) Educational Program, Girl Scouts of America, and the Student Conservation Association. Since receiving her degrees, she has been employed by the Federation of New York State Solid Waste Associations, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, The Great Lakes Research Consortium, and the United States Forest Service Wrangell Ranger District in Wrangell, Alaska. Through her experiences, Sarah has gained skills in and knowledge of environmental education, information design and watershed hydrology.
Phone: (315) 781-4386
Jordan Youngmann, a 2010 graduate of Hobart College with a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in environmental studies, was hired to coordinate the Finger Lakes Regional Stream Monitoring Network. This FLI education outreach program involves local middle and high school classrooms in stream monitoring at various sites throughout the Finger Lakes. As a student, Youngmann assisted in developing the two tiers of field protocols and assisted in collecting baseline data for the stream sites that are part of the FLI Stream Monitoring Program. As a project coordinator, he assists schools in the field while they conduct their monitoring. Youngmann is very excited to see students interact with the environment through the fieldwork they do and hopes this program opens new doors in environmental education throughout the Finger Lakes region.
The Finger Lakes Institute collaborates closely with a number of HWS Academic Departments, specifically Environmental Studies, Biology, Economic, Geoscience, and Architectural Studies.