Biodiversity, Conservation,
 and Policy

Current Students

The students currently in our program come from diverse backgrounds and have a variety of interests and research topics. These students are also bery active in the University and within the local albany community.

Some of our current students

Current Master's Degree Students in the Biodiversity Program
Name Lisa Cassidy
Information Lisa Cassidy is currently pursuing her master's degree in the BCP program. Her research interest include promoting shared landscapes between humans and wildlife. Her specific research focus involves 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. Upon arriving at UAlbany she obtained a position as Grounds Chair on the Sustainability council. As such she helped establish a Heritage Garden on campus and cofounded both an undergraduate and graduate group to provide support for the garden to ensure that it is sustained into the future. She was rewarded with the Terra award and President's Award in Sustainability for her work.
Name Cassidy Drasser

Cassidy Drasser is entering her third year in the Biodiversity Conservation and Policy Master’s Program, and is studying the effect of repetitive flooding of the Mohawk River has on the sustainability, biodiversity, and policy implications in the town of Schenectady, NY. She received her BS in Biology at UAlbany as well and has been involved in the development and advancement of the sustainability movement here for the last 6 years. Since her sophomore year, she has helped implement various alternative transportation initiatives on campus as the Alternate Transportation Chair on the Student Sustainability Advisory Council. As a chair on this council, she partnered with a working group comprised of students dedicated to gauge student interest in sustainability and outline a strategic vision for the University at Albany from the student’s perspective. 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 her active involvement and leadership in promoting sustainability at UAlbany. She is currently a graduate assistant in the Office of Environmental Sustainability.

Name Erin Sanderson
Information Erin is entering her second year in our program. She received her B.A. in Biology from SUNY Oswego in 2009, graduating Magna cum Laude. Her research interests are in predator management, public perception of predators, and the impact of agriculture on predator populations. After joining the program, Erin quickly became active in the sustainability movement on campus. She is currently the president of UAlbany Graduate Students for Sustainability, after serving as secretary in the group. She works closely with the office of environmental sustainability and the sustainability council. Erin is part of an effort, through the graduate student association, to expand the role of sustainbaility in the University President's strategic plan. She was part of the committee that held a national leadership summit for graduate students on sustainable leadership at SUNY Albany in the Summer of 2015. She has served as a member of the judicial board within the graduate student association and remains active within the organization. Currently, Erin is working as assistant to Dr. George Robinson.
Name Alyson Kelly
Information Alyson joined the Biodiversity Conservation & Policy program in January 2012. She graduated from Fordham University in 2008 with a B.A. in International Political Economy. She then worked in the non-profit sector doing Fair Trade education and outreach on behalf of farmers in the developing world. Through her work in Fair Trade, she developed an interest in studying sustainable agricultural systems and community-based food networks. Her Master’s research will focus on the economic and environmental impacts made by young and beginning farmers and ranchers who employ sustainable agricultural practices. Alyson works as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand(D-NY) in the Washington D.C.
Name Katherine La Creta
Information Katie graduated in 2008 with a B.S. degree in marine science from Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, ME. She worked with Project Puffin along coastal Maine as a field intern measuring productivity of seabirds for two summers, and spent an additional two summers educating guests at the Project Puffin Visitor Center based in Rockland, ME. Although her interests are diverse, she is particularly interested in predators, invasive species, and wetlands.
Name William Valleau
Information Bill Valleau received his bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from The University at Albany. He worked as a Graduate Assistant for the Sustainability Council at UAlbany. His interests are in sustainable agricultural systems and conservation practices in general.
Name Jillian (Bonitatibus) Pritchett
Information Jillian graduated in 2011 with a B.S. degree in Environmental Science and Marine and Aquatic Science from Albright College in Reading PA. She is currently working towards a Masters Degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy studying vernal pools in Rhinebeck NY. Her interests include wetlands, and amphibian conservation. In her free time, Jillian is an animal care volunteer at the Albany Pine Bush, and loves to be active outdoors.