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WNY PRISM has begun training our 2022 seasonal Crew! Join us in welcoming our three Invasive Species Management Assistants, Brianna Saylor, Melanie Donofrio, and William Walston, as well as welcoming back our Education and Outreach Assistant, John Montgomery.

Brianna, Melanie and William 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 trainings, designing new outreach materials and updating our website.


Brianna Saylor, Invasive Species Management Assistant

Brianna graduated from SUNY Buffalo State in the Fall of 2020 with a major in Biology under the Aquatic concentration and a minor in Environmental Science. During her senior year, she interned as a boat steward for WNY PRISM over the summer where she learned just how important creating public awareness of invasive species is. Through that position, she volunteered to hand pull invasive species from state parks and rivers which further fueled her passion for environmental work. During her last semester of school, she continued working with PRISM, doing data analysis as a Phenology Research Assistant, tracking the life cycles of terrestrial invasives to aid in future best management practices. Brianna has been working as a lead line cook for 3 years and is really looking forward to getting hands-on experience in the field and learning more about invasive species. In her free time, she continues her line cook work, enjoys snuggling up with her three kitties, over-caring for her houseplants, and finding some way to soak up the sun with her friends.


Melanie Donofrio, Invasive Species Management Assistant

Melanie relocated from Youngstown, Ohio to the Buffalo region to study English literature at the University at Buffalo. After graduation, she began traveling with a company that manages trash, compost, and recycling for music festivals. She then spent two years as an apprentice with IUPAT Local 43, learning industrial and historic painting techniques, but ultimately found that her passion was pulling her toward permaculture. She made the leap into ecology in 2020, working with Buffalo Olmsted Parks where she was given the gift of a good foundation in WNY native plants. She continues to volunteer with the Land Conservancy, Tifft Nature Preserve, and as a “cat lady” on Buffalo’s West Side, helping local animal shelters with Trap Neuter Release. Mel enjoys trail running, going to the library, and her small collection of rescue succulents. Occasionally, she still writes poems.


William Walston, Invasive Species Management Assistant

William is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ecology and Environmental Biology. While in school, Will spent his time working on a biodynamic farm in the Black Mountains and hiking through Pisgah National Forest. After college, Will relocated to the Buffalo area for an AmeriCorps position with NYS Parks as an invasive steward. In his free time Will enjoys yoga, skateboarding, playing music, and cooking. Will is excited for another season in the field and seeing more spring ephemeral wildflowers.


John Montgomery, Education and Outreach Assistant

John is returning to PRISM for a second season as the Education and Outreach Assistant. He is looking forward to building on what he learned last year to further the accomplishments of the organization. John graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s in Environmental Health and Geography, where he completed an internship with the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, working on a project to restore riparian corridors along Ohio streams and rivers. John was also a Communications Intern with Rural Action’s Zero Waste Program, creating outreach materials for various waste reduction initiatives in southeast Ohio. There, he discovered his passion for environmental outreach, and recently earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. In his free time, he likes to cook, play music and ride his bike.