Dr. Lisa Cleckner


Lisa Cleckner 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.

Susan Cushman

Research Scientist

Susan Cushman 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).

Kathryn Des Jardin

Water Chestnut Project Manager

Kathryn Des Jardin

Phone: (315) 781-4383

Kathryn Des Jardin joined the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) as Water Chestnut Project Manager for the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-funded water chestnut control project in partnership with the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (FL-PRISM). Kathryn was instrumental in the survey, control, and post-survey of water chestnut across 13 project sites while managing a field crew to hand-pull sites where physical harvest was appropriate. During the 2016 field season, 179.05 acres of water chestnut were controlled across 12 sites. The Kathryn and the crew surveyed 9679.14 acres for water chestnut and other aquatic invasive species across 49 days during the 2016 field season. The most common co-occurring aquatic invasive species was Eurasian watermilfoil and European frogbit. Kathryn will coordinate and manage the 2017 field season utilizing partner and stakeholder input to effectively address the water chestnut across the region.

Kathryn graduated summa cum laude with the combined B.S./M.S. degree ('13/'15) in Environmental Science & Biology from The College at Brockport, State University of New York, which focused on wetland ecology and included research on water chestnut (Trapa natans) and invasive species management. While completing her degree, Kathryn primarily collected plant data for the EPA GLRI-funded Coastal Wetland Monitoring Project for three field seasons, but assisted with aquatic invertebrate, fish, and water quality data collection.

Prior to joining FLI, Kathryn worked for an environmental consulting firm where she provided field and technical writing skills to assist in wetland delineations, restoration project site oversight, and project reporting. She is a member of the Society of Wetland Scientists, a Wetland-Professional-in-Training (WPIT), and involved in the all-volunteer, nonprofit organization Bergen Swamp Preservation Society.

John Halfman

Professor of Geolimnology and Hydrogeochemistry, FLI Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies

John Halfman 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.

Nadia Harvieux

Education Program Manager

Nadia Harvieux Phone: (315) 781-4386

Nadia Harvieux joined FLI in 2013 as the Education Program Manager, bringing with her seven years of experience in developing K-12 educational programs and curriculum focused on watersheds, aquatic ecosystems, and water quality. Harvieux credits growing up on Canandaigua Lake for sparking her interest in stewardship, education, and protection of the Finger Lakes. After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology from Hamilton College, Harvieux worked as a field geologist in the Puget Sound region in Washington State and continued her education with a Masters in Teaching degree from Seattle University in Secondary Science and Earth Science. She taught 8th grade Earth Science until moving back to the Finger Lakes region in 2004. Harvieux has been a part of the Finger Lakes education community since 2006 when she co-founded a watershed-focused educational outreach program for the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association. Programs included curricular enrichment for Elementary and Middle School science students, stream monitoring, and service projects such as storm drain marking. In 2010, Harvieux joined Finger Lakes Community College’s Conservation Department as the K-12 Conservation Educator at Muller Field Station on Honeoye Lake and as an Environmental Science Adjunct Instructor, positions that she will continue in conjunction with the Education Program Manager role at FLI.

Sarah Meyer

Community Outreach Coordinator

Sarah Meyer 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:

  • EPA ENERGY STAR Green Small Business Award 2009;
  • United Way 2010 Gold Award;
  • Sustainable Tompkins Board of Directors Sign of Sustainability 2011;
  • EPA Green Power Partnership Leadership Club Membership 2011;
  • Living Lands and Waters Alternative Spring Break Scholarships (2) 2011;
  • Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA Designation and Tree Planting Event Award 2012; and
  • Inclusion in the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology 2011 Case Studies.

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.

Hilary Mosher

Coordinator, FL-PRISM

Hilary Mosher Phone: (315) 781-4385

Hilary Mosher is the Coordinator for the Finger Lakes-Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management. She is committed to working with local, state, regional, and federal agencies, NGOs, private enterprise, academic institutions, citizens, and others to manage invasive species efforts on behalf of the 17 counties of the Finger Lakes region.

Prior to this role, Mosher was an instructional support technician and adjunct instructor in the Department of Environmental Science and Biology at the College at Brockport, teaching or assisting with field instruction in courses such as Environmental Science, Limnology, Fish Biology, Marine Biology, and Plant Ecology. Mosher has taught courses in Biological and Environmental Sciences including Sustainability in the Cloud Forest Region of Ecuador, Environmental Science, and Limnology & Ecology labs.

Service to the broader community includes environmental education to non-profit, corporations, citizen groups, and school groups covering a variety of topics from aquatic ecology to education for sustainability. Mosher has held various leadership roles within the community and managed projects on both a large and small scale.

Mosher holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from SUNY Plattsburgh and master of science degrees in biological sciences and MPA, both from the College at Brockport.

Roxanne Razavi, PhD

Post-Doctoral Research Scientist

Roxanne Razavi Phone: (315) 781-4559

Dr. Roxanne Razavi joined the FLI in May 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher to take on a leadership role in FLI’s NYSERDA-funded mercury study of the Finger Lakes. Razavi completed her PhD at Queen’s University (Canada) and is an expert in limnology and aquatic ecotoxicology. Razavi’s research experience began in wetland ecology of the Laurentian Great Lakes at McMaster University (Canada). She has published on mercury dynamics in systems ranging from a Great Lakes Area of Concern on the St. Lawrence River (Canada) to reservoir fishes of eastern China. Razavi has worked as a staff scientist at the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences, where she played an active role in environmental research, education, and outreach.

Affiliated Faculty

The Finger Lakes Institute collaborates closely with a number of HWS Academic Departments, specifically Environmental Studies, Biology, Economic, Geoscience, and Architectural Studies.

More Info

Phone: (315) 781-4390



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