Thanks to funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service given to the Finger Lakes Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance, the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) at Hobart and William Smith has added Emily Staychock to its staff. Staychock will serve as Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Coordinator.
“It’s has been fantastic doing work related to aquatics in the Finger Lakes region, where so much of economy and lifestyle depends on lakes themselves,” says Staychock, who joined the FLI’s team in September. She is tasked with developing and promoting educational and outreach events and materials appropriate to the Finger Lakes, and providing support for data analysis and reporting.
With an eye toward educating and connecting the local community, she is also responsible for recruiting and training volunteers for citizen science invasive species projects and establishing a monitoring network for early detection of such invasive species. This summer, she will manage the watercraft steward program and supervise a summer coordinator and a seasonal field staff of stewards.
“At this point, we’re looking back at last summer, analyzing data, and planning for next summer,” she says. “I’m looking forward to engaging with people who live in the communities around the Finger Lakes and helping them understand how they can get involved in protecting our lakes.”
In addition to her responsibilities at the FLI, she serves as aquatic invasive species and watershed educator at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Yates County through a contract with the Keuka Lake Association.
“It’s all interrelated,” she says, noting the other work she does with Finger Lakes regional watershed groups to support aquatic invasive species management through education and management of a small subcontract program.
With the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (FL-PRISM) — a cooperative partnership of diverse stakeholders from throughout the central New York — Staychock helps increase the capacity of the FLI and the FL-PRISM to deliver quality tools and increased capability to fight against invasive species in the region.
Staychock holds an M.S. in forest sciences from Colorado State University and a B.S. in psychology from SUNY Geneseo.
The FLI is dedicated to the promotion of environmental research and education about the Finger Lakes and surrounding environments. In collaboration with regional environmental partners and state and local government offices, the Institute fosters environmentally-sound development practices throughout the region, and disseminates the accumulated knowledge to the general public.