FINGER LAKES INSTITUTE STAFF
Dr. 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.
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
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.
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.
Education Program Manager
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.
Food Systems Program Manager
Phone: (315) 781-4382
Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science (2000) and Masters of Professional Studies (2003) degrees from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, N.Y. Today, she is the Finger Lakes Institute’s Food Systems Program Manager, working on regional food system initiatives while offering organizational and programmatic support to Fribolin Farm, at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, located in her hometown of Geneva, N.Y.
In this position, which she has held since 2013, Sarah coordinates multiple socially responsible community garden growing projects working with regional chefs, as well as college students and volunteers, to support hunger relief efforts throughout Geneva and the Finger Lakes region. Many of the co-curricular and community projects Sarah manages are complemented by the 34-acre campus farm, which holds over 4,000ft.2 of edible garden space. Sarah routinely dedicates her time to the Finger Lakes Catholic Charities’ Geneva Community Lunch Program, as well as coordinates the Growing Geneva Together Community Garden Coalition. She is currently vice chair of Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty and one of the key coordinators of their annual fundraising gala, Harvest Dinner.
Sarah has worked at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 2004, starting as the Finger Lakes Institute’s Community Outreach and Public Service Coordinator. Sarah credits her early interest and perseverance in serving the environment, sustainable agriculture, and protecting our natural resources to her parent’s influence and early participation in Girl Scouts of America and the Student Conservation Association. She enjoys spending time outdoors kayaking, hiking, gardening, and taking photographs; but most of all, becoming a beekeeper and developing her Worker’s Ransom local honey products.
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
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.
The Finger Lakes Institute collaborates closely with a number of HWS Academic Departments, specifically Environmental Studies, Biology, Economic, Geoscience, and Architectural Studies.