Dr. Lisa Cleckner

Phone: (315) 781-4381
E-mail: cleckner@hws.edu
Full Bio/Publications

  • Leads FLI’s core business functions including strategic planning, budgeting, operations, and business development working with multiple stakeholder groups including campus, community, funders, non-profits, businesses, municipal officials, and government agencies
  • Develops research, education, and outreach projects in nuisance and harmful algal blooms, aquatic invasive species, trace metals, and watershed stewardship in the Finger Lake region resulting in over $7M in new funding from federal and state government agencies, foundations, and non-profit organizations

Sam Beck-Andersen

Associate Director of Invasive Species Programs, Finger Lakes PRISM Coordinator
Phone: 315-781-4388
E-mail: beck-andersen@hws.edu

  • Oversees, develops, and administers invasive species programs across the 17 county Finger Lakes PRISM region as the Coordinator for the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM).
  • Works with local and state agencies such as NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Parks, and local partners to coordinate management, research, prevention, and monitoring of priority invasive species infestations.
  • Sam is from the Finger Lakes, and studied natural resources management at SUNY ESF, ultimately focusing his studies on human dimensions of natural resources management.

Bill Brown

Program Assessment Manager
E-mail: wbrown@hws.edu

  • Responsible for statistical analysis of long-term data sets related to the Watercraft Inspection Steward program, the Early Detection / Rapid Response program, and related data.
  • Applies analytical results to improve efficiencies in data collection, management of boat launches in the Finger Lakes region, and understanding of macrophyte phenology and detection probabilities.
  • Prepares grants, presentations, and written products in support of program initiatives.

Camille Caceci

Invasive Species Project Coordinator
E-mail: caceci@hws.edu

  • Assists terrestrial and aquatic invasive species program managers with planning of fieldwork, reporting, management, volunteer programs, and education.
  • Communicates with partner organizations to coordinate invasive species management efforts and public outreach.
  • Conducts field surveys and data collection activities related to invasive species monitoring.
  • Camille graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Environmental Science and has been with the Finger Lakes Institute since 2023.

Susan Cushman

Faculty Liaison
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).

Matt Gallo

Terrestrial Invasive Species Program Manager
E-mail: gallo@hws.edu

  • Manages the Finger Lakes PRISM's terrestrial invasive species programming, including early detection, rapid response, treatment, volunteer programming, education, and outreach to the 17 county PRISM region.
  • Serves as a regional authority on terrestrial invasive species, assisting partner organizations with terrestrial invasive species management decisions and training.
  • Assists in maintaining the PRISM's social media outlets and the PRISM website.
  • Matt graduated with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Native Peoples and The Environment from SUNY ESF in 2019. Originally from Long Island, Matt now calls the Finger Lakes home. In his free time, Matt enjoys hiking, camping, and working with stained glass.

John Halfman

Professor of Geolimnology and Hydrogeochemistry, Past FLI Environmental Studies Chair
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

  • Leads environmental and watershed-focused education programs for a wide range of diverse audiences.
  • 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.
  • Coordinates community education and citizen science with regional partners and lake associations.

Evan Helming

FLI Laboratory Technical Leader
E-Mail: helming@hws.edu

  • Technical lead of Baker Water Quality Laboratory for nutrients in surface waters using a Lachat flow injection analyzer and algal toxins using ELISA
  • Develops documentation of laboratory operations to ensure data quality and integrity that provide the quality of results required for NYS ELAP certification.
  • Supervises entire sample handling process from intake to final data reporting for a wide variety of stakeholders including students, faculty and staff plus watershed association members, environmental professional staff and others.

Ben Kelley

Data Manager
E-Mail: kelley@hws.edu

  • Designs and maintains essential data infrastructure for FLI projects
  • Utilizes the R programing language to develop tools for data analysis, streamline the distribution of project outcomes, and create applications that assist partner organizations in data storage, analysis, and visualization.
  • Ben received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester in 2023. He has been with the FLI since March 2023

Beth Kinne

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Past FLI Environmental Studies Chair
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

  • Responsible for maintaining analytical instrumentation including the Milestone DMA total mercury analyzer, Brooks Rand MERX-X methyl mercury systems.
  • Manages field instrumentation and equipment including Fluoroprobes, YSI water quality meters, and boats.
  • Supports and coordinates HWS summer research students conducting both lab and field research.

Josh Neff

Aquatic Invasive Species Program Field Coordinator
E-mail: neff@hws.edu

  • Coordinates fieldwork in support of various projects focused on aquatic invasive species across the Finger Lakes Region.
  • Plans and directs a field team on survey, mechanical removal, and data collection of aquatic invasive species in the Finger Lakes PRISM.
  • Josh is a graduate of SUNY Brockport with a Bachelor’s in aquatic ecology and has been with the Finger Lakes Institute since 2019.

Devin Prine

Watercraft Steward Program Coordinator
E-mail: prine@hws.edu

  • Coordinates various aspects of the watercraft steward program, from site selection and training to steward outreach and data analysis/reporting.
  • Assists with education and outreach for various programs at the Finger Lakes Institute.
  • Assists in maintaining the FLI and PRISM social media.
  • Devin graduated with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies from SUNY Geneseo in the spring of 2023. Devin is a finger lakes region native and in his free time enjoys playing live music, hiking, and fishing.

Amy Slentz

Aquatic Invasive Species Program Manager
E-mail: aslentz@hws.edu

  • Manages the Finger Lakes PRISM's aquatic invasive species programming, including early detection, rapid response, treatment, volunteer programming, education, and outreach to the 17 county PRISM region.
  • Serves as a regional authority on aquatic invasive species, assisting partner organizations with management decisions and training.
  • Amy received a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013; and an AS Environmental Science from Finger Lakes Community College in 2022. Amy is from the Finger Lakes, and her interests include wetland ecology, ornithology, and herpetology.

Ian Smith

Seneca Watershed Steward
Email: ismith@hws.edu

  • Works on behalf of the Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization to protect and remediate ecological water quality concerns in Seneca Lake and its surrounding watershed.
  • With support of the IO, Ian develops and delivers education, scientific, engineering, and economic projects to promote water quality in the Seneca Lake watershed.

Isaac Walker

Cayuga Lake Watershed Manager
Email: iwalker@hws.edu

  • Works on behalf of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization to help monitor, protect and restore water quality throughout the watershed.
  • With support from CWIO, Isaac provides assistance to all 57 municipalities within the watershed to help them further water quality improvement through educational, scientific, engineering and economic projects.
  • Isaac has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science with a minor in watershed management from Mansfield University. Previously he worked in PA as an Agricultural Resource Specialist for the Bradford County Conservation District.

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.