Meet the Stewards

Russ Chappell
Russ Chappell

Russell Chappell spent his first three semesters of undergraduate school attending Paul Smith’s College, and is currently finishing elective courses at Cayuga Community College in Auburn. He plans on finishing his Natural Resource Management degree at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Russell Chappell was born and raised in the Finger Lakes, and spent most of childhood growing up on Cayuga Lake. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, hunting, and boating. He is interested in the Finger Lakes Institute Watercraft Steward Program because he has developed a great passion for the Finger Lakes and has a desire to preserve them for future generations.

Anna Deats
Anna Deats

Anna Deats, a recent graduate from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Biology, is a native of Canadice, New York. She is also working towards becoming certified to teach Biology for grades 7-12.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, kayaking in the local lakes, and being outdoors. Her interest in biology brought her to the Finger Lakes Institute, as her connection to the local lakes sparked her interest in the program. She is looking forward to being out at the boat launches in the sunshine and talking with people about the lakes.

Alex Gatch
Alex Gatch

Alex Gatch is currently a sophomore at Hobart College pursuing a degree in Biology. He is from Trumansburg, NY. His interests include fly-fishing, hunting, and hiking. He is interested in the Finger Lakes Institute Watercraft Steward Program because he would like to stop the spread of invasive species in the lakes that he grew up on, as well as monitor the waterways he loves to fish on. He looks forward to being on the water this summer and fishing for Lake Trout.

Erich Grome
Erich Grome

Erich Grome just completed his first year at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Erich is an Economics and History major and plans to attend law school following graduation. He is familiar with the Finger Lakes region as he is a resident of Otisco Lake and an enthusiastic boater and water-skier. A native of Syracuse, Erich graduated from Westhill High School. Outside of school, Erich was an active member of the Onondaga County Youth Court, a law-related program that sought to put juvenile delinquents back on the right track. The incursion of invasive species into the lakes and waterways of New York hits home to Erich as he grew up on the water and has noticed gradual introductions throughout the years. He sees first-hand the incredible impact that can be made from boaters’ awareness of practices to prevent the spread of aquatic hitchhikers in all bodies of water.

Maggie Hanafin
Maggie Hanafin

Maggie Hanafin is a recent graduate of Allegheny College with a degree in Environmental Science. Having grown up on Conesus Lake, she has a strong interest in freshwater ecology and a love for the Finger Lakes. When she is not stopping the spread of aquatic hitchhikers, she enjoys kayaking, traveling, and experimenting with new cooking recipes. This summer she is excited to talk to the public about their role in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Tim Lamendola
Tim Lamendola

Tim Lamendola is a junior majoring in Environmental Science, with a concentration in Ecosystems and Chemistry, at Binghamton University. He is from Lima, New York. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and playing board games. Through the Watercraft Steward program, he is hoping to make a positive impact on the local ecosystem and community. He is most looking forward to working outdoors and sharing what he has learned about invasive species to boaters.

Michael Marcotte
Michael Marcotte

Michael Marcotte will be a senior at SUNY Geneseo, where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. He is originally from Pittsford, New York. His academic interests include Pharmacology, Cell Biology, and Marine Biology. His hobbies are playing the guitar, skiing and tennis. He is interested in the Watercraft Steward Program because, as a native of the area, he has seen the effects of aquatic invasive species. This summer he looks forward to enjoying the weather while collecting data and informing the public about aquatic invasive species.

Cortni McGregor
Cortni McGregor

Cortni McGregor has attended the University of Tampa and Cornell University, where she has a Bachelor’s of Science in Marine Biology. She lives in Geneva, New York. She loves to scuba dive, cook healthy food and her favorite animal is the starfish, while always having a passion for the world beneath the waves. While she has primarily researched marine life, growing up in the Finger Lakes has given her a great appreciation for the area. Through her work in the Watercraft Steward Program, she is a positive impact on her local ecosystem. She looks forward to educating boaters and the public about what can be done to protect the ecology of the Finger Lakes so that future generations can enjoy them.

Mohamed Mounir
Mohamed Mounir

Mohamed Mounir is a 2013 graduate of Hobart College, earning two degrees in Environmental Science and Geology. He is from Meriden, Connecticut. Aside from academics, he is a big sports enthusiast. He enjoys learning new things and is an avid traveler. The Finger Lakes Institute Watercraft Steward serves as a great opportunity for him to enhance his knowledge of invasive species in our environment, while gaining valuable work experience for the future. Mohamed looks forward to spending the summer working on the Finger Lakes, increasing his knowledge of the region, and engaging in conversation with interesting people in the community.

Elle Piscitelli
Elle Piscitelli

Elle Piscitelli is a second year student in the Graduate Program for Environmental Science at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science working towards her Master’s in Professional Studies.  She is a native of Buffalo, NY but earned her Bachelor’s degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2010.  Her interests include hiking, gardening, reading, and working with children to create the next generation of environmentally-minded citizens.  The Finger Lakes Institute Steward Program interested her because of its goal to educate the public on invasive species and for what it could teach her about the Finger Lakes region that has become her new home.  This summer, Elle looks forward to learning and identifying the native and invasive plants and organisms in the area and getting to talk to boaters!

Joe Pitti
Joe Pitti

Joe Pitti is currently a student at State University of New York at Cortland, where he is a pursuing a degree in Biological Conservation with a minor in Chemistry. He is from Hilton, New York. He enjoys playing rugby, football, and camping. He was interested in the  Finger Lakes Institute’s Watercraft Steward Program because it provides him an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field of biology, along with making a difference in his community.

Sam Rodriguez
Sam Rodriguez

Sam Rodriguez is currently a senior at SUNY Brockport majoring in Environmental Science (Aquatic Ecology) with a minor in criminal justice. In his spare time, Sam enjoys long boarding, playing guitar, and soccer. He was interested in becoming a steward because of his knowledge of water bodies in NY. Having the chance to spread his knowledge about aquatic invasive species to save the Finger Lakes from invasive species is what he is looking forward to this summer!

Michael Rosato
Michael Rosato

Michael Rosato began his college career at Finger Lakes Community College where he earned an associates degree in Liberal Arts. After FLCC, he transferred to Hobart and William Smith Colleges and is currently working towards a degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Environmental Studies. He is a native of Geneva, NY.  Growing up in the Finger Lakes Region, Michael gained a passion for outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, gardening, and swimming. The aspect of the Watercraft Steward Program that interested him the most was helping to preserve the Finger Lakes so others can enjoy them. This summer he looks forward to educating boaters about aquatic invasive species as well as learning from them about their experiences on the Finger Lakes.

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