Dr. Lisa Cleckner
Phone: (315) 781-4381
- 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
Associate Director of Invasive Species Programs, Finger Lakes PRISM Coordinator
- 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.
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).
Terrestrial Invasive Species Program Manager
- 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.
Professor of Geolimnology and Hydrogeochemistry
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.
Associate Director for Educational Programs
Phone: (315) 781-4386
- 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.
FLI Laboratory Technical Leader
- 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.
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, FLI Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies
Phone: (315) 781-3913
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.
FLI Lab Manager
- 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.
Aquatic Invasive Species Program Field Coordinator
- 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.
Cayuga Lake Watershed Manager
- Works on behalf of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization to protect and remediate water quality concerns in Cayuga Lake and its surrounding watershed.
- Erin works with area partners to develop and deliver projects to promote, monitor, protect and restore water quality in the Cayuga Lake watershed; preserving the watershed for its multiple uses for present and future generations.
- Erin is a Rochester, NY area native with a B.S. in Meteorology and M.S. in Emergency Management, and has worked in state government and private nonprofit sectors over the past several years, focusing on disaster-related projects and grants.
Aquatic Invasive Species Program Manager
- 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.
Seneca Watershed Steward
- 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.
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.