Bush signs bill sending $250,000 to Hobart and William Smith Colleges – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Bush signs bill sending $250,000 to Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Sponsored by Rep. James Walsh, the money is part of the 2004 Omnibus Appropriations bill for equipping the Finger Lakes Institute

(Feb. 1, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.– Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark D. Gearan announced that the Finger Lakes Institute will receive a quarter million dollars in federal funding for equipment for the Colleges' newly created Finger Lakes Institute. The federal funds were advanced by the legislative efforts of Congressman James Walsh (R-N.Y.) as part of the recently passed Omnibus Appropriations bill.

Gearan said the $250,000 grant will be a “critical building block” in the Colleges' efforts to create the Finger Lakes Institute on South Main Street in Geneva. The Institute was a key recommendation of the Colleges' strategic plan, HWS 2005.

The federal funds will enhance the Institute's mission for research, education and community programs focused on the Finger Lakes. Environmental science students will gain hands-on experience, conducting research projects in conjunction with local environmental groups. The Colleges have a respected environmental studies academic program and own a 65-foot research vessel, the William F. Scandling, which already monitors the ecology of Seneca Lake.

“I am thrilled that Hobart and William Smith Colleges are providing the critical leadership to protect and enhance this unique and beautiful region of our state,” Walsh said.

The recent federal grant follows a $1 million New York state grant to renovate property at 601 South Main Street in Geneva. State Senator Michael Nozzolio (R-Fayette) was instrumental in securing state funds as well as additional resources for environmental research and educational outreach.

“Congressman Walsh's dedication to preserving the beauty of the Finger Lakes is impressive,” Gearan said. “His hard work in gaining these critical funds means that our area will have important research on the ecology of the Finger Lakes and insure that planning is informed. Jim Walsh cares deeply about our area — and we are fortunate to have someone of his stature and leadership working on our behalf.”

Finger Lakes Institute (FLI)
The Finger Lakes Institute was established at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2002 to promote research, and education and community outreach for the 11 Finger Lakes.

Quick Facts
• A primary goal of FLI is to develop curricular materials and resources that support and extend existing programs such as Science on Seneca, a lake research program for area high school students.

• Research projects carried out by FLI faculty and collaborators are focused on issues relevant to the Finger Lakes region. Research projects provide background information and insights about the local environment, such as zebra mussels and their ecological impact, watershed/Limnology, hydrogeochemistry, and records of environmental and climatic change.

• Programs to achieve these goals include ongoing environmental monitoring of the Finger Lakes, summer science research fellowships for students, and operation of The William Scandling, the Colleges' research vessel.

• Collaborations with regional non-profit organizations, local and state government agencies, and other educational institutions allow the FLI to serve as a clearinghouse for information about the region. These collaborations will enable the development of a lecture series, annual research symposia, and publications.

FLI Web site: http://fli.hws.edu/index.asp

Photo: The FLI located at 601 S. Main St. is currently under renovation. http://campus.hws.edu/new/releases/hires/fli_jan04_hres.jpg

The Director: HWS Professor John Halfman, the director of the environmental science program and acting coordinator of the Finger Lakes Institute, says “The three-pronged mission of the FLI – research, education and community outreach throughout the Finger Lakes – will all be served through this generous grant. Our goal is to provide training and critical environmental information for the next generation of environmental researchers, educators and policy makers.” Halfman can be reached at halfman@hws.edu, (315) 781-3918, office; (315) 781-6371, home.

This story was published in the Feb. 1 Finger Lakes Times.