Biodiversity, Conservation,
 and Policy

Alumni Profiles

Graduates of the Biodiversity Conservation & Policy Program find employment opportunities locally and nationally, in state and federal agencies, and in the non-governmental sector.

Our alumni include program heads and directors at the NY Department of State, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Hudson River Estuary Program and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Some of our graduates work for the US Environmental Protection Agency, the NY State Department of Transportation, the Maine Department of Transportation and the Hudson River Greenway Program. Others currently or have worked for The Nature Conservancy, the Land Trust Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, the Wildlife Conservation Society and other major conservation organizations. Several of our graduates have gone on to Ph.D. programs at institutions including Cornell University, Michigan Tech, Boston University and the University at Albany.

We are constantly adapting the Biodiversity Conservation & Policy Program to meet the challenges of a changing job market.

Some of our Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy Alumni

Name Jeffrey D. Zappieri
Graduated 1998
Thesis "An Evaluation of New York State's Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat Programs"
Information Jeff is now the chief of regulatory review with the NYS Coastal Management Program, after working as a coastal ecologist with the program. He works with ecological restoration projects and the development of coastal natural resource management plans. Jeff's projects include saltmarsh restoration and riverine corridors. Jeff regularly teaches a graduate level class here at UAlbany titled "Principles and Practices of Coastal Zone Management".
Name Suzanne M. Hohn
Graduated 1999
Thesis "Does the Pet Trade Threaten New York State's Amphibian and Reptile Species?"
Information Suzanne has joined the Peace Corps in Malawi, Southeast Africa. She is a Parks and Wildlife Community Extension Officer who is working to improve the relationship between local communities and the parks. Her goals in this project are to increase community involvement with the national parks and help communities benefit from the parks.
Name Michael Messere
Graduated 1999
Thesis "Impact of Forest Gaps on Northern Redback Salamander Abundance"
Name Karen (Frolich) Strong
Graduated 2000
Thesis "The Influence of Acid Deposition and Nutrient Enrichment on the Community Structure of Odonate Dragonfly and Damselfly"
Information Karen is a biodiversity specialist at the New York State Biodiversity Research Institute in Albany, NY. Her thesis research was on dragonflies and damselflies communities (Insecta: Odonata) in eastern New York State.
  Name Catherine (Pratt) Traina
Graduated 2000
Thesis "The InterAmerican Tropical Tuna Commission as a Model of Management for the International Whaling Commission"
Information Catherine is currently working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the Division of Water where she is the grant administrator for the Water Quality Improvement Project gran t program.
Name Joshua Drew
Graduated 2000
Thesis "Marine Reserves as an Alternative Fisheries Management Technique for the Bahamas"
Information Josh is currently the director of the Conservation Biology M.A. program as well as a lecturer in the ecology department for the evolution and environmental biology program at Columbia University. He previously worked as a researcher at the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo. His work focused on two conservation efforts 1) an ocean giants campaign working to save large pelagic fish and 2) a seascape conservation campaign, looking at large scale marine conservation using a suite of 'seascape' creatures. Josh's thesis was based on an internship with the American Museum of Natural History at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.
Name Lori Quillen
Graduated 2000
Thesis "Improving Pollinator Policy: Current Obstacles and Future Solutions"
Information Lori is a graduate of the program and is now working for the Invasive Plant Council. She is also interested in the role that Chiropterans play in pollination and the decline of native pollinators within the US. Since embarking on her thesis writing, she has also become interested in the role that information exchange effects public awareness and policy formation. Lori now works at the Institute for Ecosystem Studies as a public information specialist on the educational staff. The photo is from a summer internship at a Chiropteran rehabilitation and education center in Mineral Wells, Texas (1998).
Name Krista (Zantopp) Loffredo
Graduated 2000
Thesis "History of Land Use and Protection in the Albany Pine Bush"
Information Krista's thesis examined the public policy history of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. While working for an environmental consulting firm on Long Island, she monitored the habitats of threatened and endangered species such as the Piping Plover on Fire Island National Seashore and worked on a number of shoreline restoration projects. Krista is currently working in food service at a local school district. She also volunteers her time at a ranch in Berne, NY, helping raise lamb and facilitate "Farm to Table"
Name Dan Tierney
Graduated 2001
Thesis "Vernal Pools in Practice and Policy"
Information Dan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maine in Orono with a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology. He has worked on field projects determining life history characteristics of wood turtles and the effect of disturbance on old growth forest in northern Maine. Dan is a recent graduate and wrote his thesis on the effect of land use practices on the abundance and diversity of amphibians in the Wilton Nature Preserve.He taught at Colby College upon graduating from the program. He is now a biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service and farming with his wife Hanne in Maine at Cornerstone Farm.
Name Abbe (Miller) Martin
Graduated 2001
Thesis "Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs): Policy Alternatives to Minimize Negative Impacts on Human and Biological Systems"
Information Abbe graduated from the school of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, with a B.S. in Animal Science. She also studied natural resources while at Cornell. Abbe studied marine biology while abroad at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, Australia for six months. She is an advanced certified SCUBA diver, and spent time diving and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and in the Cayman Islands. Abbe's thesis focused on harmful algal blooms (HAB's) developing policy directives to minimize the negative impacts of HAB's on human and biological systems. Abbe is now working as the Conservation Program Manager for Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District.
  Name Joyce (Lyons) Levy
Graduated 2001
Thesis "Analysis of the Long Island Habitat of the Eastern Tiger SalamanderAmbystoma tiginum"
Name Anna Hartwell
Graduated 2001
Thesis "Biocriteria and Land Use Assessment for Monitoring Emergent Marsh Wetlands in New York State"
Information Anna earned a B.S. in Environmental Science and Economics from Nazareth College and a B.S. in Biology from Oswego State University. Anna has worked with the Nature Conservancy of Georgia and Alabama through a Student Conservation Association internship. She has also worked for the Environmental Research Center at Oswego State University studying Volitilization of PCBs in the Southern Great Lakes Basin. Anna is currently a PhD student in the EEB program at SUNY Albany. She is working with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on a wetlands monitoring project.
  Name Elizabeth (Demers) Campochiaro
Graduated 2002
Thesis "Dam Removal for Ecological Restoration and Anadromous Fish Passage: A National Overview and Formative New York State Policy"
Information Beth is currently working for the Hudson River National Heritage Area as the Trails and Community Outreach Director.
Name Patricia Riexinger
Graduated 2002
Information Patricia Riexinger is the Director of the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.  She has a B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from Cornell University, and a M.S. degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Policy from the University of Albany. She began her career at DEC in 1976 in the Waterfowl Management Unit, and then spent four years in the Endangered Species Unit as the reptile and amphibian specialist.  In 1983, she took responsibility for coordinating and leading the Freshwater Wetlands Program, and along the path added responsibility for stream protection, the NY Natural Heritage Program, and sundry other conservation issues.  She was appointed to the Director's position in September 2008.  Pat is an avid outdoorsperson who loves to watch birds, snorkel, and travel. 
Name Brian Beachy (1977-2008)
Graduated 2002
Thesis "Invading Trees and Breeding Birds in the Albany Pine Bush"
Name Amielle DeWan
Graduated 2002
Thesis "The Ecological Effects of Carnivores on Small Mammals and Seed Predation in the Albany Pine Bush"
Information Amielle is currently working as a Senior Scientist at the International Fund for Animal Welfare
Name Joanne Taylor
Graduated 2003
Thesis "All Terrain Vehicle Use on Protected Land: Is there a way for Land Trust to Control Illegal Riding?"
Information Joanne has worked as the development and communications coordinator for the Lake George Land Conservancy, the Marketing and Communications manager for Heart House Dallas, and now owns her own business. She is the co-owner and Sales and Marketing Director of North American Paintless Dent Repair.
Name Cris Winters
Graduated 2003
Thesis "Effects of Invasive Plants on North American Birds: What do we really know?"
Information Cris's thesis work involved a review of our current knowledge of the relationships between invasive plants and birds. Currently, Cris is the Invasive Plant Specialist for the New York State office of the Nature Conservancy. In the past, she worked in the field of wetlands science and has conducted field research and surveys in ornithology and botany. She is involved in bird conservation with the Delaware Working Group of Partner In Flight and was elected a Fellow of the Delmarva Ornithological Society. Cris earned a B.A. in Biology from SUNY Potsdam and did graduate work in ecology at the University of Delaware. Cris is also working toward a certificate in Natural Science Illustration from the Institute for Ecosystem Studies and has had her work published in Blue Line, Delmarva Ornithologist and Coastlines.
Name Crystal Jones
Graduated 2004
Thesis "Biodiversity Education in New York State: An Assessment of Current Curricula"
Information Crystal graduated summa cum laude from Illinois State University in May of 2002 with a degree in Biological Sciences. Her thesis was a project that assess the quality of biodiversity education in New York State. She hopes to use the results to make recommendations on how to improve biodiversity education for students and teachers alike. She now works at an educational museum in the Chicago area.
Name Karen Trainor
Graduated 2004
Thesis :"Group Size, Energy Budgets, and Population Dynamic Complexity"
Information Karen received a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from SUNY Purchase in 2001. She received her M.S. from our program in 2004. After that she went to Cornell University and received her D.V.M. Karen was then associated with the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and completed an Anatomical Pathology residency at Texas A & M university. She is now a Research Assistant Professor Postdoctoral in the Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Department of Texas A & M University
Name Laura Audette
Graduated 2004
Thesis "The Ecological Restoration of an Urban Stream Corridor Patroon Creek, Albany, NY"
Information Laura graduated from Cornell University in 1998 with a Natural Resources/Animal Science major. She has volunteered for the Americorps National Civilian community Corps all along the west coast. She has also worked for the United States Forest Service as a Wildland Firefighter in Arizona and California. After receiving her master's degree, Laura worked as an environmental consultant in California. She has returned to school, and is currently a Student in Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University
Name Benjamin Dittbrenner
Graduated 2004
Thesis "Variability of Structural Attributes within Forested Wetlands of the Hudson River Valley"
Information Ben graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2001 with degrees in Biology, Environmental Science and Conservation. He has worked on a number of field projects ranging from wetland restoration to coal refuse phytoremediation. After a year of traveling throughout Europe, Canada and the Intermountain West he found his way to Albany and finished up his M.S. here before moving to California to work for an environmental consulting firm. He is currently working towardfs a Ph.D. in aquatic and landscape ecology at the university of Washington's school of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Ben is also the director of Beavers Northwest, a nonprofit dedicated to ecological restoration and reducing conflicts with wildlife.
Name Rebecca Shirer
Graduated 2004
Thesis "Effects of Landscape Disturbance on Freshwater Emergent Wetlands in the Hudson River Valley, New York"
Information Becky is a 2001 graduate from Penn State University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Statistics. Before coming to Albany she worked in central Pennsylvania monitoring streams for the Spring Creek Watershed Community, an experience which helped her appreciate the need to understand policy in conservation. Before graduating Becky secured a job with the Nature Conservancy's Troy, New York Office. She is still working with the Nature Conservancy, as a Senior Conservation Scientist in Albany.
Name Cori Drummond
Graduated 2004
Thesis "The Ecological Impacts of Habitat Fragmentation on Deer Ticks (Ixodes scapularis)"
Information Cori is a graduate of Siena College, where she played basketball and earned a B.S. in Marketing/Management and a Certificate in Environmental Studies.She volunteered with the Albany Pine Bush Commission and the New York State Museum, and is now working as a High School Teacher at Ichabod Crane High School, where she teaches Biology, Environmental Science, and Advanced Biology.
Name Sean Madden
Graduated 2004
Thesis "Landscape Patterns and Water Quality in a Rural Watershed Tenmile Creek, Rensselaerville, NY"
Information Sean graduated from the University of Vermont in 1996 with a degree in Wildlife Biology. After dabbling in some research jobs and stints teaching in the public schools around his hometown of Marshfiled, Massachusetts, Sean moved out to New York and instantly fell in love with the Hudson Valley. Since then, he has focused on learning as much as possible about the Hudson Estuary as an educator and a naturalist for environmental organizations, including Riverkeeper and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. His experience in the biodiversity program is another tool Sean uses to excite people about the wonders of the natural world. After graduating Sean received a teaching appointment at Hudson Valley Community College, teaching General Zoology. He also became a local recording artist with some of his songs appearing on a CD called Decaffein8ed. Sean loves hiking, singing, song writing, mucking around the riverside, and sturgeon.
Name Amanda Stein
Graduated 2005
Thesis Biodiversity and New York State Parks
Information Amanda is now working as a biologist for the National Park Service at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Name David Newman
Graduated 2005
Thesis Remote Sensing of Invasive Wetland Plants and the Impacts of Invasive Plants on Macroinvertebrate Diversity
Information David is currently working as an Environmental Program Specialist for the Lake Monitoring ans Assessment section, in the division of water, for the New York State Deopartment of Environmental Conservation. David is an avid runner and Enjoys participating in triathalons
Name Lynn (Schnurr) Bogan
Graduated 2006
Thesis Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Ditributions in a Complex, Human Dominated Landscape
Information Lynn is now working as the Environmental Stewardship Coordinator with the New York State office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
Name Andrew Allstadt
Graduated 2007
Thesis Interference Competition and Invasion: Spatial Structure, Novel Weapons,and Resistance Zones.
Information Andrew is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is researchingspatial and temporal changes in populations dynamics due to trophic interactions, differences in habitat, and variability in weather and climate. Andrew is an avid outdoorsmen, as well as a runner.
Name Melissa C. Peterson
Graduated 2007
Thesis Twenty-years of trends in avian biodiversity
in the Hudson River Valley Ecozone
Information Melissa is currently a consultant for renewable energy projects. She works for a small consulting company she started called Sol del Sur Consulting in Santiago, Chile. Previous to moving to Chile, she lived with her husband in Charlottesville, VA.
  Name Christopher Tran
Graduated 2007
Name John B. Davis
Graduated 2007
Thesis "A Geographic Model to Assess and Limit Cumulative Ecological Degradation from Marcellus Shale Exploitation in New York, USA"
Information John is currently working for the New York department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, as well as working as a visiting scientist in the Biology Department at Suny Albany.
Name Rebecca (Pratt) Miller
Graduated 2007
Information Rebecca is currently working as an Environmental Analyst for the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation Small Business Assistance Program. She helps small businesses in New York State to comply with state and federal air regulations.Rebecca is also a volunteer firefighter in Waterford, New York.
Name Hilary (Oles) Smith
Graduated 2009
Thesis "Is Restoration Necessary Following Management of Three Invasive Plants in the Adirondack Park?"
Information Hilary is currently working as the Invasive Species Coordinator and Policy Liason on the National Invasive Species Council under the United States Department of the Interior. She graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Biology. Hilary previously worked for the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy where she directed the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program. Her professional experience includes ecological monitoring, environmental education, and conservation program development.
  Name John Wimbush
Graduated 2009
Information John is a Coastal Resources Specialist with the New York State Department of State.
Name Melissa Kalvestrand
Graduated 2009
Thesis Impact of Land Use on Water Quality
Information Melissa graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 2001 with a B.S. in biology with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology. As an undergraduate, she worked in a freshwater ecology lab and participated in a summer internship at the Cornell Biological Field Station to examine the influence of groundwater on Oneida Lake. After graduating, Melissa worked as a wetland consultant for six years, first at an engineering firm in Boston, MA and then at one in Glens Falls, NY. She is now a Review manager for the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in Saratoga, New York.
Name Andrea Indelicato
Graduated 2010
Information Andrea is the Citizen Participation Specialist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Bureau of Public Outreach. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Animal Science: Preveterinary Medicine and a minor in Zoology in May 2005. She is interested in endangered species and urban sprawl, and in her free time enjoys cooking, movies and being outdoors.
Name Emily Starr (1983-2012)
Graduated 2010
Thesis "Secondary Succession in a Mosaic of Unmanaged Conifer Plantations and Former Old Fields"
Information Emily Starr graduated from Hamilton with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. At Hamilton, she completed a senior fellowship, working on an independent research project in microbial ecology. After graduation, she worked for the Institute of Ecosystem Studies as a project assistant for a long-term monitoring project regarding acid rain and nutrient leaching at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Emily then worked at Darrow School for a year, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and ESL Environmental Science to ninth-grade students. After receiving her master's. She worked as a Marketing Associate for Fraunhofer USA - Center for Sustainable Energy Systems. While she worked she was a communications volunteer for the Conservation Law Foundation, and was a member of the Waltham Energy Action Committee. Everyone who worked with her enjoyed her pleasant demeanor and admired her determination, which showed through her ability to get a job done with calm and patience in the face of Obstacles.
Name Ted J. Lawrence
Graduated 2011
Thesis "Reckoning Perverse Outcomes of Resource Conservation Policies using the Ecological Footprint"
Information Ted is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University in Natural Resources. His research investigates how the resilience of social-ecological systems and ensuing biodiversity is affected by different natural resource management regimes (communal versus private property-based). His research sites are in Yucatan Mexico, which is the part of the Mesoamerican forests, the 3rd largest among the world's hotspots for biodiversity and tropical deforestation. His research question is "how do measured outcomes (i.e., spatial pattern and scale of development, land use, land cover, and agriculture) differ across Yucatan, Mexico between Mayan communities with communal versus private natural resource management regimes when both types of communities are exposed to similar external shocks (e.g., structural changes in the global to regional economic, political, socio-cultural and ecological systems)?"
Name Lauren (Jorgensen) Townley
Graduated 2011
Thesis "Habitat and Occupancy Modeling of Secretive Marsh Birds in the Hudson Valley Region"
Information Lauren is currently working as a Senior Sanitarian, a type of environmental health specialist, for the New York State Department of Health. She enjoys spending tim eoutdoors with her husband and young daughter.
Name Caroline Girard
Graduated 2011
Thesis "Intensive Rotational Targeted Grazing of Romney Sheep as a control for the Spread of Persicaria perfoliata (mile-a-minute)"
Information Caroline graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and an emphasis on organismal/environmental biology. In the past, she has worked with wildlife in a variety of capacities including as a naturalist for an environmental outreach program, an educator for the Wildlife Conservation Society and a wildlife rehabilitator for the SPCA of Monterey County. Caroline is now a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program at Suny Albany. She and her husband recently welcomed their first child into the world.
Name Christine Vanderlan
Graduated 2011
Information Christine returned to school after ten years working in environmental policy, mostly focused on the problem of global warming and policies to promote the use of wind, solar, and biomass for clean energy. She started her career in 1995 working for an environmental think tank in Washington , DC , where she participated in policy development, research, and analysis related to global warming, renewable energy and transportation. Looking to gain a new perspective on the U.S. (and her life), Christine then traveled to Guatemala as a volunteer with the Peace Corps, spending two years there serving as an agroforesty extensionist. She returned to New York State and began working with the non-profit group Environmental Advocates of New York based in Albany . As a program manager, Christine led a coalition of grassroots and regional groups within the state in a successful campaign that brought about the state's adoption of regulations to reduce emissions of global warming pollution from power plants. Christine has a bachelor's degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University. Christine is currently working as the Community Projects Manager for the Columbia Land Conservancy.
Name Cornelia Harris
Graduated 2011
Thesis "The Ecology of Wrack: Decomposition and Use by Invertbrates on Natural and Engineered Shorelines of the Hudson River"
Information Cornelia Harris (aka 'Lia') received a BA in Biology from Vassar College in 2000. After college, she participated in the Teach for America program as a middle school science teacher in Baltimore, where she received her MA in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University in 2002. After teaching in Baltimore, she spent several years abroad teaching in a variety of countries, including Kenya, Japan, and Germany. While pursuing her master's degree at Suny Albany,Cornelia was the Changing Hudson Project Coordinator at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY. She now works as the Ecology Program Leader at eh Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies.
  Name Elizabeth Wolfe
Graduated 2011
Thesis "Managing Parking Lot Stormwater with Trees"
Name Anne Duperault
Graduated 2011
Information Anne Duperault graduated from New York University in 2002 with a B.A. in Politics. As an undergraduate she worked at the New York League of Conservation Voters. She also had the opportunity to go to the small Greek island of Psara and published an updated survey of its reptiles and
amphibians. While she was pursuing her master's degree she worked for the New York State Museum in the Biodiversity Research Institute. After receiving her master's degree, Anne moved to California and worked for the Nature Conservancy. She is now a Senior Consultant at ACF Solutions, an information technology and services company, where she is a certified Salesforce administrator.
Name Andrea Chaloux
Graduated 2011
Thesis "Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) in Saratoga County, New York: Survey Methods, Spatial Ecology and Conservation"
Information Andrea is currently and Environmental Review Specialist for the New York Natural Heritage Program. She is also developing her skills as a wildlife rehabilitator, and plans on becoming licensed as a reptile and amphibian rehabilitator.Andrea has also been an active advocate for more bicycle-friendly cities. Andrea graduated from Cornell University in 2003 with a B.S. in Soils Science. As an undergrad she worked at Cornell’s Arnot Forest, studying the relative abundance of reptile and amphibian species in forest plots with different management histories.
Name Tara Salerno
Graduated 2011
Thesis "Evaluating how New York Natural Heritage Program Information Affects Development Projects in New York State"
Information Tara is currently a Geographic Information System Specialist for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, in Kingston, New York. She and her husband have also started their own beekeeping business called Urban Apis, where they sell hive products.
Name Julianna (Hunt) Potter
Graduated 2012
Information Julianna is currently workin gas a full-time mother. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 2002 with a B.S. in Organismal and Environmental Biology. While in college, she spent time working for the National Park Service at Cape Hatteras National Seashore doing sea turtle and endangered shore bird conservation. At New Paltz, she had the honor of working with Dr. Heinz Meng.
Name Elizabeth Coffey
Graduated 2012
Thesis "The Effects of Stress-Induced Plant Responses on Leaf and Soil Composition"
Information Elizabeth is currently working as Quality Manager for a local business, Ecovative Design, where she develops and implements quality assurance and control procedures for several novel biocomposite products and associated manufacturing processes and optimizes growth ecology and parameters for various mushroom-based products. She received her B.S. in Biology from LeMoyne College in 2006. She is interested in activism in a variety of areas including sustainability and conservation.
Name Shannon Rausch
Graduated 2013
Information Shannon graduated from the University at Albany with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Geography. As an undergraduate, she worked on a research project with Dr. Kleppel studying the effects of land use on wetland ecosystems. Shannon worked for the Department of Environmental Conservation in the Program Management Office where she helped with various projects related to the Brownfield and Groundwater Program.
Name Lisa Pipino
Graduated 2014
Thesis "Herpetofaunal Distributions and Associations with Habitat and Landscape Features within the Albany Pine Bush Preserve"
Information Lisa is currently working as a Canid Technician for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife, as well as working as a Science Technician at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Lisa graduated from Russell Sage College in 2010 with a B.A. in Biology.
Name Spencer Bruce
Graduated 2014
Thesis "Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontanalis) in a Remote Adirondack Watershed"
Information Spencer completed his thesis in 2014 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology here at SUNY Albany. He is also a research assistant with the New York State Museum's ichtyology department. Spencer graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in Biology and also holds a B.A. in Art History from Buffalo State College. He worked with the American Museum of Natural History helping to both maintain the Ichthyology collection, and develop materials for the National Center for Science Literacy, Education and Technology’s graduate seminar series
Name Jamie Zaccaria
Graduated 2014
Thesis "Conservation Solutions to Shark Finning: Insights from Past Efforts"
Information Jamie is currently working as the Outreach coordinator for Sierra Club New Jersey.
Name Anna Christie-Carnicella
Graduated 2014
Thesis "Community Forests: A Study of New Hampshire's Town-Owned Forests"
Information Since her graduation from the program in 2014, Anna is now working as a conservation professional in Maine. Anna received her B.A. in Biology with a minor in French in 2006 from Hanover College. After a year of graduate school in secondary education and teaching high school in southern Indiana, she relocated with her husband to Albany in 2008. Anna’s research interests include ecological economics and using interdisciplinary approaches to address issues in environmental policy, especially landscape conservation. Anna spent the 2010 spring semester at an internship with the Land Trust Alliance’s New York program, completing a program evaluation of its Conservation Partnership Program that provides grants to New York land trusts.
Name Samantha Hoff
Graduated 2014
Information Samantha is currently working as a Wildlife Technician for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. She was the Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff Conservation Policy Intern with Audubon New York while pursuing her master's degree. Samantha graduated from Siena College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Spanish. Her interests include mycology, sustainable agriculture, and climate change policy and in her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, going to concerts and hiking with her dog.
Name Christina Chiappetta
Graduated 2015
Thesis "Using Storm-Watersheds for Conservation and Restoration"
Information Christina Chiappetta graduated from Siena College in 2008 with a B.S. in Biology and a certificate in Environmental Studies. While at Siena, she worked in Trinidad on her project regarding the biological control of mosquitoes using the Trinidadian killifish. Christina now works as a Stormwater Program technician for the Stormwater Coalition of Albany.
Name Christina McLaughlin
Graduated 2015
Thesis "Landowner Knowledge and Opinions of Invasive Species Around a Suburban Nature Preserve"
Information Christina is the Conservation and Outreach Coordinator for the Huyck preserve in Rensselaerville, New York.Originally from Rochester, Christina graduated SUNY Oswego summa cum laude with a B.S. in Zoology. After a few years in a chemistry research lab, she returned to biology to seek her master’s in the Biodiversity Conservation & Policy program. She and her husband just returned from an exciting trip to Peru.
Name William Valleau

William graduated with a B.S. degree in Environmental Science w/ Geology concentration from The University at Albany. William's thesis examined the interaction between land use and the success of an invasive plant species; Japanese knotweed. William has worked as an Environmental Scientist at a consulting firm in NYS and is currently working as an Energy/Commissioning Engineer for a design engineering firm in NYC.

Name Lisa Cassidy
Information Lisa Cassidy completed her Master's degree in 2017. Her research interest include promoting shared landscapes between humans and wildlife. Her specific research focused on determining how grazed pastures managed in different ways impacts grassland bird habitat. Lisa obtained her B.S. in Biology from Suny Oswego with a minor in sustainability. She currently works as a Lecturer teaching at Paul Smiths College and Adirondack Community College.
Name Jillian (Bonitatibus) Pritchett
Information Jillian received her M.S. degree in 2017, with a research focus on vernal pool conservation in the Lower Hudson Valley. She graduated in 2011 with a B.S. degree in Environmental Science and Marine and Aquatic Science from Albright College in Reading PA. Her interests include wetlands, and amphibian conservation.
Name Cassidy Drasser

Cassidy received her BS in Biology at UAlbany, and completed her M.S. degree in 2018. Her research focused on metrics of camus sustainability. She has served as the President for UAlbany Students for Sustainability and is the past President and co-founder for UAlbany Graduate Students for Sustainability. Cassidy is the recipient of the President’s Leadership Award in Sustainability and the Terra Award for leadership. She currently works as Assistant Director of the UAlbany Office of Environmental Sustainability.