Growing up in Apalachin, a hamlet in the Town of Owego, Tioga County, located in the Susquehanna River valley, our home was in a new subdivision that would eventually include over 100 homes. With my dog, I spent many hours wandering through the woodlands in the hills above our home. There were streams to explore, and some even had small waterfalls. As the subdivision expanded, many changes occurred to those woodlands, streams, and waterfalls. Along with several of my fellow Board members, I believe that these experiences had a lot to do with my future interests.
In 1969 I graduated with a degree in Biological Science from SUNY Oneonta, where I was first introduced to Entomology in general and specifically aquatic insects. I spent 2 years in the U.S. Army, then returned to college and received a Master’s Degree in Education at SUNY Binghamton. My graduate studies included investigating the use of aquatic invertebrates as indicators of water quality in the Susquehanna River.
My career has included positions as a Public Health Sanitarian for the Broome County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division and as an Environmental Analyst for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in the Region 8 Headquarters Office. Before retiring, my last position at the NYSDEC was supervising the Environmental Permits Office as the Regional Permit Administrator.
Since retiring, I have shared my knowledge and experiences by volunteering with various academic institutions and organizations. For example, I have assisted in the Aquatic Invertebrate lab at SUNY-Brockport and helped the Finger Lakes Institute with aquatic invertebrate ID training for teachers in the Stream Monitoring Program. I have also participated in NYSDEC’s citizen science WAVE (Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators) program and the Genesee County Envirothon, where I was the Aquatics Instructor.
However, most of my volunteer time has been devoted to two non-profit organizations, both of which are devoted to making improvements in water quality. Since 2011 I have volunteered with the Oatka Creek Watershed Committee (OCWC) and have been the Chair since 2012. The Committee’s work includes educational outreach, both at community events (e.g., tree planting and festivals) and presentations to municipal boards. We provide information on areas of concern and the current status of the water resources in the watershed, as well as implementation of recommendations and strategies found in the Oatka Creek Watershed Management Plan.
In 2012 I started my first term on the Board of Directors for the Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) – now known as Genesee RiverWatch. I have served on and chaired several committees, have been involved with our field work on riverbank stabilization projects, and have organized volunteers for planting events. In addition, I am one of the volunteers who monitors collecting turbidity and orthophosphate data from major tributaries to the Genesee River.
I feel good about being able to share whatever knowledge and experience I may have that is relative to the missions and activities of both OCWC and GRW. Our family moved to the Caledonia area in 1987, where we still live today.