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Watershed Agricultural Council
Street: 33195 State Highway 10
Phone: (607) 865-7790 ext. 112
Where were you born and raised? Greencastle, PA
What is your educational background? I earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from Juniata College with an emphasis in water quality assessment and monitoring; an M.S. in Renewable Natural Resources from Louisiana State University where I examined the effects of forest harvesting with and without water quality best management practices (BMPs) on hydrology, water quality, and aquatic insects; and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech where I researched the effectiveness of BMPs, such as gravel, mulch and slash cover, and water bars, to reduce erosion and sediment delivery at forest road-stream crossings. I worked in New Zealand for 3.5 years as a lecturer and researcher at the School of Forestry at the University of Canterbury. I taught Forest Transportation and Road Design and performed applied research related to BMP effectiveness and the viability of woodlot harvesting from the perspective of the landowner and logger.
Briefly describe your home life. I live in Hamden with my partner Jess and our cat Beatrice. Jess and I enjoy travelling together and cooking, although we rarely follow the recipe yet often complain at the results.
How long have your worked for WAC? And what office do you work from? I started in late-July 2018 and I work with the Forestry Program team at the Hamden Office.
What is your job at WAC? Briefly describe your typical day. I am the Forestry Program Research and Evaluation Specialist. My main role is to do research that provides insights about the reach and effectiveness of various WAC Forestry Program components, such as sharing the cost of implementing BMPs with loggers or helping them to track their harvesting costs. There are no typical days, which I think is great! I could be rubbing elbows with loggers at a bridge mat workshop or chainsaw safety training, crafting a survey about landowner satisfaction with a recent timber harvest, determining how many timber harvests occurred in the New York City Watershed from 2017-2018, scheduling and creating content for My Woodlot, or monitoring ash tree health and evidence of emerald ash borer at one of our Model Forests.
What are your favorite MWL Interests? Pests; Nature and Wildlife
What are your favorite MWL Activities? Estimate My Woodlot’s Deer Population; How to Convert Your Old Log Landing into a Wildlife Food Plot
Describe your favorite experience in the woods (preferably with a family forest owner). During my first weeks with WAC, I worked with Stefni Krutz and Emily Paye to visit a sample population of woodlots that were harvested between 2013 and 2015 within the NYC Watershed. We assessed water quality BMP implementations on skid trails that were harvested with and without WAC involvement (i.e. through the BMP cost-share program). On one site visit, the landowner came along with us to the field. Not only was he helpful with providing important details and photos of the harvest, his woodlot was a treasure trove of memories that he held dear. They included his first car – a 1949-something that he plans to get running again in his retirement – and a sawmill that he built and used to cut lumber for remodeling his home. I got the impression that this guy had a passion for learning how to do just about anything and for helping people. Oh yeah, and he was fit as a fiddle in his 70s, just zipping up the steep terrain and aiding our data collection. In summary, I walked away with a better understanding about landowner values for their woodlots, as well as some new life goals.