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WNY PRISM is pleased to welcome its seasonal employees who focus on Slender False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), including two Survey Technicians, Amanda Gabryszak and Kathleen McCormick, and one GIS Technician, Melissa Boglioli. Amanda and Kathleen will survey sites within WNY PRISM’s region to find new populations of slender false brome while Melissa will continue her work from last summer to incorporate slender false brome data into GIS models.

Most of the 2019 Slender False Brome staff (from left to right) Brittany Hernon, Kathleen McCormick and Amanda Gabryszak.

Amanda Gabryszak recently received her MS in Environmental Science from SUNY ESF, where she focused on One Health – particularly the intersections between wildlife health, environmental health, and communication. She is a NYS licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and Rabies Vector Species Assistant, and currently studies Veterinary Technology at Medaille College in Rochester. Last year, she worked as a Disease Ecology Project Assistant for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in the Hudson Valley, where she surveyed neighborhoods and evaluated small mammals for ticks. She has also worked as a Naturalist at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana, and as an Intern Wildlife Rehabber at the Center for Wildlife in Maine. By working for WNY PRISM, Amanda hopes to further her understanding of invasive species’ impacts on ecosystem health. She likes to play guitar and hang out with her dog in her spare time.

Kathleen McCormick joined WNY PRISM in June 2018. This is her second season on the team that focuses on management of slender false brome within New York State and the Great Lakes Basin. She came to WNY PRISM from the Western New York Land Conservancy where she was responsible for conserving land, monitoring conservation easements and managing nature preserves. She has a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.A. in Ecological Landscape Design and Planning from the Conway School and a B.S. in Biology from the University of California-Irvine. Kathleen’s training and experience has taught her that healthy land means healthy people. She is delighted to be part an organization that is enhancing the health of western New York’s lands.

Melissa Boglioli is a graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources. She has used GIS to analyze species distribution of gopher tortoises as part of her Master of Science in Zoology and Wildlife Science from Auburn University, as well as in her work doing impact analyses as an Environmental Consultant on Long Island. Melissa has worked as an analyst in the field of GIS for over 8 years in the Buffalo area. She completed a habitat suitability model for the Slender False Brome in 2018 that guides efforts to locate and contain the spread of this species on public lands in western New York. Melissa is looking forward to continuing her work this summer by incorporating additional information into the model and providing more insight into the distribution, habitat suitability and potential pattern of spread for this invasive species.

Most of the 2019 Slender False Brome staff (from left to right) Brittany Hernon, Melissa Boglioli and Amanda Gabryszak.