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WNY PRISM Welcomes its 2019 Summer Crew

WNY PRISM is excited to welcome its 2019 Summer Crew! This year we are welcoming our three Invasive Species Management Assistants, Derek Claus, Ryan Elliott, and Payton Hanssen, as well as our Education and Outreach Assistant, Ashley Carmichael.

Derek, Ryan and Payton will be working in the field on many different projects across our region. They will survey for invasive species, manage infestations, control several early detection priority species and help with habitat restoration projects. Ashley will help plan and organize education and outreach events. Reach out to her at [email protected] to partner with WNY PRISM on invasive species awareness projects including trainings, presentations, displays and more!

2019 Summer Crew – Ashley Carmichael, Derek Claus, Payton Hanssen and Ryan Elliott

Ashley Carmichael

Ashley is a graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Management. Last year, Ashley worked as an Environmental Education Intern at Grafton Lakes State Park. Outside of work, Ashley likes to woodwork and backpack. She is excited to continue working with the public as a part of WNY PRISM. 

Derek Claus

Derek Claus is a recent graduate from SUNY University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geosciences. Last fall, Derek worked on a watershed remediation program focused on the Cattaraugus Creek. This program aimed to mitigate erosion problems by modeling highly eroded sections of the creek. These models were used to create a plan using erosion control structures to minimize soil and sediment transport downstream. This program partnered with stakeholders including the Army Corp of Engineers, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper and the Seneca Nation of Indians. Derek is excited to join the WNY PRISM team and he looks forward to learning about management strategies for aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.

Ryan Elliott

Ryan Elliott recently finished graduate school at SUNY College at Oneonta where he studied Lake Management. As part of his graduate work, Ryan surveyed aquatic plant communities and worked with stakeholders to manage invasive plants like Eurasian watermilfoil. Last year, he worked for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation as a Fish and Wildlife Technician. As a technician he interviewed anglers, assessed fishing pressure and participated in electrofishing surveys to provide data that will be used to devise management strategies for the salmonid populations in the West Branch of the Delaware River. Ryan hopes that working with WNY PRISM will allow him to learn more about terrestrial invasive species while allowing him to employ his aquatic plant management skills.

Payton Hanssen

Payton Hanssen is a graduate from The College at Brockport with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, concentrating in aquatic ecology. In the past, Payton worked for the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland monitoring project assessing wetland health through fish surveys. In her free time, Payton enjoys fly fishing and riding horses. She is very excited to start her position at WNY PRISM as an Invasive Species Management Assistant and looks forward to learning more about invasive species management. 

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