Colleges’ FLI Celebrates 5th Anniversary – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Colleges’ FLI Celebrates 5th Anniversary

The Finger Lakes Institute will host a conference on water quality, invite a Biofuel expert to speak, recruit volunteers for a beach cleanup and more in recognition of its 5th anniversary.

With traditional ribbon-cutting fanfare on Oct. 18, 2004, the doors of the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ campus opened, making it the first facility to be dedicated to the promotion of environmental research and education about the 11 Finger Lakes and surrounding environments.

The FLI, located at 601 S. Main St., will commemorate five years of dedicated environmental research and education to the region with a variety of outreach events throughout the month of October.

On Saturday, Oct. 3, the FLI, Seneca Lake State Park and the City of Geneva will sponsor a cleanup of the Seneca Lake shoreline. To observe the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the FLI has coordinated its community coastal cleanup event in Geneva, N.Y.  All participants will split into teams and be provided with trash bags and data sheets to record the specific types and quantities of lake debris found. The data collected will be used to better identify sources of pollution and help find solutions for preventing it. In 2008, volunteers from the Colleges and the Geneva community collected more than 250 pounds of litter and debris from the shores of Seneca Lake.  

The 3rd Annual My Place in the Finger Lakes Conference will also be held on Saturday, Oct. 3 at the FLI. This year’s theme is the flora and fauna of the Finger Lakes and opportunities to conduct field science in the region. In addition to HWS faculty and staff, professors from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Finger Lakes Community College, and more will present. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, the FLI and Women of Water (WOW) will sponsor “Pollinator Garden Work Day” at the High Acres Landfill Pollinator Garden, as part of the FLI’s Greening for the Greater Good environmental stewardship and public service program. The pollinator garden incorporates a diversity of flowers to attract pollinators, such as bees, tiny wasps, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, hummingbirds and bats.  WOW, a young club of professional women who work in the professions of water resources, adopted the pollinator garden to beautify the area surrounding High Acres Landfill in Fairport, N.Y. Volunteers are needed to help plant and maintain the garden.

Biofuel expert and Founder and President of Hunt Green, LLC, Suzanne Hunt will speak at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7 in Albright Auditorium.  Based in Washington D.C., Hunt works on policy and investment regarding energy, climate/environment, food/agricultural and international development. Hunt’s interest in biofuels began when she initiated biodiesel production and use at her family’s farm and winery, Hunt Country Vineyards in Branchport, N.Y. Her most recent initiatives include work on the role of agriculture in climate change, renewable energy and green buildings in South America, and the use of Web 2.0 and Global Information Systems technologies to build the “information infrastructure” needed to accelerate the successful deployment of climate change solutions.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the United States Geological Survey, in partnership with the Finger Lakes -Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance and the FLI, will sponsor a conference titled “Techniques for Evaluating Water Resources in the Finger Lakes” to highlight techniques for evaluating water resources in the Finger Lakes and to provide opportunities to share data and experiences with peers. This one-day conference will bring together people who are interested in and/or working to protect watersheds and water resources to discuss new issues and directions in watershed management programs; emerging techniques in watershed monitoring, analysis, and management practices; ways of improving information and technology transfer to improve our efficiency and effectiveness; and opportunities for partnerships to creatively address shared problems.

Public tours of the FLI building will be held from 1 until 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 and 24 in conjunction with HWS Family Weekend activities. Tours will highlight the building’s green features including geothermal, solar and wind energy sources. There are also a number of other components of the building interior and exterior which make it earth friendly, such as choice of building material, furniture, landscaping and office equipment. Visitors can also enjoy an exhibit “Collection Fever and Scientific Adventurers: Historical Records of the Finger Lakes,” a compilation of photographs and research documented by some of the area’s leading scientists from the 19th and 20th centuries.

For more information about the FLI’s events this fall, and for ways to get involved, check out their events page.