Dr. Lisa Cleckner

Phone: (315) 781-4381
E-mail: cleckner@hws.edu

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.

Sam Beck-Andersen

Associate Director of Invasive Species Programs and Coordinator for the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (FL-PRISM)
Phone: 315-781-4388
E-mail: beck-andersen@hws.edu

Sam’s first position at the FLI was as the seasonal AIS Watercraft Steward Coordinator where he directly worked with 15 watercraft stewards throughout the 2016 boating season. Sam continues to manage the watercraft stewards, and coordinates aquatic invasive species programming at the Finger Lakes Institute. These programs include early detection and rapid response efforts (EDRR) and Hydrilla management on Cayuga Lake and monitoring region-wide. Sam also coordinates volunteer-based aquatic programs such as the FLI Macrophyte Survey citizen-science program, and water chestnut pulls around the Finger Lakes region.

Sam graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in Syracuse, NY in 2014 with a B.S. in Natural Resources Management with a focus on Recreation Management. Sam returned to SUNY ESF in 2015 and graduated in 2016 with an M.P.S. in Economics, Governance, and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Management. With a focus on human dimensions and management of natural resources, and a deep appreciation for the Finger Lakes that goes back to his infancy, Sam is right at home working with our seasonal staff and volunteers to protect our waterways from the threat of aquatic invasive species.

Susan Cushman

Research Scientist
Phone: (315) 781-3599
E-mail: cushman@hws.edu

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 Monacelli

Invasive Species Project Manager
Phone: (315) 781-4383
E-mail: monacelli@hws.edu

Kathryn Monacelli joined the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) in 2016, where she has managed various aquatic invasive species (AIS) control projects in partnership with the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (Finger Lakes PRISM). This has involved collaborating with partners and stakeholders to survey and control high-priority AIS across the Finger Lakes PRISM region, as well as providing education and outreach.

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 collected plant data for the EPA GLRI-funded Coastal Wetland Monitoring Project for three field seasons, and 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 support and technical writing to assist in wetland delineations, restoration project oversight, and project reporting. She is also involved in the all-volunteer, nonprofit organization Bergen Swamp Preservation Society.

John Halfman

Professor of Geolimnology and Hydrogeochemistry
Phone: (315) 781-3918
E-mail: halfman@hws.edu

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

Associate Director for Educational Programs
Phone: (315) 781-4386
E-Mail: harvieux@hws.edu

Nadia Harvieux joined FLI in 2013 and manages environmental and watershed-focused education programs for a wide range of diverse audiences. Harvieux coordinates internship opportunities for HWS students at the FLI, including summer research and intern positions during the academic year. Students gain valuable experience conducting research in the aquatic sciences and early career professional development. Harvieux also supports K-12 education across the region through programs including Science on Seneca, the Finger Lakes Regional Stream Monitoring Network, Finger Lakes Youth Climate Summit, Geneva 2030, Finger Lakes PRISM and professional development for educators. In addition to programs for students, Harvieux coordinates community education and citizen science with regional partners and lake associations.

With a BA in Geology from Hamilton College and a Master’s in science education from Seattle University, Harvieux has been designing innovative, field-based environmental education programs in the Finger Lakes region throughout her career. Harvieux worked in the Department of Environmental Conservation at Finger Lakes Community College as the K-12 Conservation Program Coordinator at Muller Field Station on Honeoye Lake and as an Environmental Science Adjunct Instructor. She also co-founded a successful K-12 watershed-based education program for the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association, served on their board of directors from 2007-2020 and helped launch several ongoing citizen science initiatives to engage volunteers in water quality work. Harvieux credits growing up on Canandaigua Lake for sparking her interest in stewardship, education, and protection of the Finger Lakes.

Evan Helming

E-Mail: helming@hws.edu

As a chemist at the FLI’s Baker Water Quality Laboratory, Evan is responsible for running and maintaining the analytical instruments including the Lachat flow injection analyzer. The Lachat is used to measure concentrations of nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrate and ammonia in lakes and streams. Evan has developed FLI standard operating procedures and a quality assurance/quality control system for all analyses. Prior to this, Evan was a member of the Water Chestnut strike team in 2017 where he helped with removal of water chestnut infestations across the Finger Lakes region.

Evan graduated from the College of St. Rose in 2015 with a B.S. in Biology: Concentration in Ecology and Evolution. While at college, Evan conducted undergraduate research monitoring stream health in the Five Rivers basin by determining the population density of select invertebrate species. His research also took him to Cape Cod where he was engaged in maritime forest research and volunteering for community service projects including restoring habitats for local box turtles at the Wellfleet Bay Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary.

Evan grew up locally in Canandaigua, NY and graduated from Canandaigua Academy in 2011. Evan’s passion and drive for maintaining the integrity of the Finger Lakes comes from a lifetime spent on Canandaigua Lake.

Beth Kinne

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, FLI Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies
Phone: (315) 781-3913
E-mail: kinne@hws.edu

An Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Beth Kinne currently holds a three-year endowed position: Environmental Studies chair at the Finger Lakes Institute. In this position she is making efforts to increase collaboration between the Finger Lakes Institute and HWS students and faculty more broadly. She is also the head of the Year of Water project.

Prior to joining the faculty and Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Beth Kinne was a water rights attorney and municipal attorney in the state of Colorado. She also has experience writing about water governance and energy governance, particularly at the state and local levels.

Professor Kinne is responsible for starting and overseeing the Year of Water project. Beginning as a way to celebrate the FLI’s fifteen-year anniversary, the year-long endeavor is meant to be an indicator of the Institute’s expansion to increasingly interdisciplinary work. The project intends to combine the various people doing water-related work at HWS under a single umbrella, foster community engagement with people who aren’t already involved and educate them on threats to the watershed, and encourage interdisciplinary cooperation among people who are willing to work together on issues related to water.

Trevor Massey

FLI Lab Manager
E-mail: massey@hws.edu

As the FLI’s lab manager, Trevor is responsible for maintaining the analytical instrumentation including the Milestone DMA total mercury analyzer and Brooks Rand MERX-X methyl mercury systems Trevor also supports and troubleshoots all field instrumentation and equipment at the FLI including the Fluoroprobe, YSI water quality meter, and boats. In his role, Trevor works with many HWS students on summer projects and supervises both field and laboratory activities associated with FLI research projects.

Trevor completed his bachelor of science from the University of Cincinnati in biological sciences and is pursuing a master of science in environmental policy and management focusing on fish and wildlife management. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio he previously worked as a conservation specialist with Five Rivers Metroparks in southwest Ohio where he was was involved in researching, monitoring, and the management of wildlife and natural habitats to better adapt conservation practices in response to changing needs within the park system. Trevor’s motivation to work in the environmental field comes from a lifetime of enjoyment being outside fishing, hunting, hiking, and enjoying the natural world. The opportunity to work toward bettering our understanding of the how we are influencing change in the environment is something that strongly appealed to me when deciding on a career path.

Ian Smith

Seneca Watershed Steward
Email: ismith@hws.edu

Ian Smith serves as the first Seneca Lake Watershed Steward. He works on behalf of the Seneca Watershed Intermunicpal Organization which was formed in 2015 to preserve, protect and remediate ecological and water quality concerns in Seneca Lake and its surrounding watershed. Such an endeavor requires an “all of the above” approach which Smith pursues through the development of educational, scientific, engineering, economic, and policy based projects. Working out of the Finger Lakes Institute, he is able to draw from the diverse range of knowledge and capabilities of fellow staff members to help accomplish these goals.

Smith credits his interest in aquatic resources to his time growing up on a small mountain lake in the central Appalachian Highlands. After obtaining a BS and MS in environmental science, he spent nearly 10 years working with or for mining, forestry, agricultural, educational, government and non-profit conservation groups to study, remediate and manage aquatic resources around the world. He brings his diverse experience and expertise to initially help manage development of the Seneca Lake Watershed Nine Element Plan; a multi-year project headed up by a group of watershed stakeholders and funded through the NYS Department of State. The plan uses a combination of scientific evidence and community feedback to identify pollution sources and the means to address them. Smith is simultaneously working with other area partners on a wide range of environmental projects with the same end goal in mind; preserving Seneca Lake and its watershed for present and future generations.

Affiliated Faculty

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

For the Finger Lakes Partnership for Invasive Species Management (PRISM) team, please visit the PRISM staff webpage.