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Last week, WNY PRISM began training our seasonal Crew! Join us in welcoming our three Invasive Species Management Assistants, Lyndzie Vail, Jason Kappan, and Aubrey Franks, as well as our Education and Outreach Assistant, John Montgomery.

Lyndzie, Jason and Aubrey will work in the field to survey for invasive species, manage infestations and help with habitat restoration projects throughout western New York. John will join them on occasion, but much of his work will focus on hosting online trainings, designing new outreach materials and updating our website.

Lyndzie Vail, Invasive Species Management Assistant

Prior to working as an Invasive Species Management Assistant for WNY Prism, Lyndzie Vail received her B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University at Buffalo in the Spring of 2020. She also developed the highest rated environmental youth program for the Adirondack Experience Museum in the inaugural 2019 fellowship. She also participates annually in environmental volunteer work on the Tuscarora Reservation. Lyndzie resides in Lewiston, where she enjoys hiking with her dog.


John Montgomery, Education and Outreach Assistant

A newcomer to Buffalo, John Montgomery graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Environmental Health and Geography. During his last year there, he completed an internship with the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, working on a project to restore riparian corridors along Ohio streams and rivers. John was also a Communications Intern at Rural Action, a nonprofit committed to sustainable development in southeast Ohio. He recently earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. John is excited to learn more about invasive species, how they affect our ecosystems, and to contribute to such a wonderful organization. In his free time, he loves to cook, play music, and explore the immense hiking opportunities western New York has to offer.

Jason Kappan, Invasive Species Management Assistant

Jason Kappan is a graduate from SUNY University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a focus in Environmental Resources and Management. During Jason’s last summer in college, he completed an internship with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This internship included fieldwork with endangered and sensitive avian species such as the peregrine falcon, pied-billed grebe and common tern. Jason has also done work with the New York State Parks’ Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship (FORCES) Program on bird surveys and worked with WNY PRISM as a Boat Steward and Invasive Species Management Assistant in the past. This will be Jason’s 3rd year with WNY PRISM. In the Fall of 2021, he will also be attending graduate school at Buffalo State College in the Great Lakes Environmental Science program. Jason is thrilled to be coming back to work with WNY PRISM this year to learn new strategies and skills to help manage terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.

Aubrey Franks, Invasive Species Management Assistant

Aubrey Franks is a recent graduate of SUNY Brockport with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a concentration in aquatic ecology. For the past two summers, Aubrey was a research aide at SUNY Brockport managing slender false brome in Bergen Swamp. Through this job, he learned the importance of invasive species management and grew to love wetland ecology. In his free time, Aubrey likes to cook, play tabletop games, fail to keep house plants alive, and read science fiction. Aubrey is excited for the field season to start and can’t wait to learn more about invasive management.