Team Members

AWI Team

The Adirondack Watershed Institute has permanent staff members, several Paul Smith's College faculty affiliates, and numerous seasonal staff. Under the guidance of the Executive Director, each team member brings their expertise and energy to accomplish the mission and achieve the vision of the AWI.

Dan Kelting
Executive Director of Adirondack Watershed Institute
1999 Ph.D. Forest Soils, Virginia Tech

As Executive Director, Dan is an officer of Paul Smith's College and has primary responsibility for managing and coordinating AWI programs, for obtaining grants and contracts for AWI activities, for developing collaborations with external organizations, and for representing the Institute to various stakeholders. He also directs the research program and participates in most AWI research projects. Dan is also a Professor of Environmental Sciences and teaches Forest Soils and mentors students in undergraduate research. Learn more about Dan Kelting.

Office: (518) 327-6213
Cell: (518) 524-1029

Zoë Smith
Deputy Director

Working to protect the Adirondacks requires knowledge about the physical environment and a familiarity with the human landscape. Zoë's conservation approach includes safeguarding both the natural resources and local communities in the Adirondacks. Zoë's role as Deputy Director at Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute is to build strategic partnerships and cultivate opportunities to apply community-based conservation strategies to advance AWI's conservation goals. She is currently a board member for the Adirondack Park Agency, a co-Regional Director for the Adirondack Lakes Alliance, and a core team member of the Adirondack Common Ground Alliance. Before joining AWI, Zoë was the Director of the Adirondack Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society for 17 years. In her free time, Zoë is outdoors with her kids and husband, paddling, skiing, and enjoying living in one of the greatest places on earth.

Tel: (518) 327-6276

Michale Glennon
Science Director
2002 Ph.D. Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY ESF

Michale Glennon serves as the Science Director of the Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute. She is interested in the effects of land use management on wildlife populations in the Adirondacks and is engaged in research ranging from issues of residential development to recreation ecology to climate change. She is an ecologist and previously spent 15 years as the Director of Science for the Adirondack Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society. At AWI, Michale works to support and help shape the scientific research program, provide high quality research opportunities for students, and distribute and champion AWI's work in order to enhance the use of science in the management and stewardship of the natural resources of the Adirondack Park. She also serves as adjunct faculty for the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and on several technical advisory boards. Michale obtained her B.S. in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental and Forest Biology from SUNY-ESF. She grew up in Lake Placid, NY and lives in Ray Brook with her husband, Scott and their two children.

Tel: (518) 327-6475

Brendan Wiltse
Senior Research Scientist
2014 Ph.D. Limnology, Queen’s University

Brendan joined AWI in 2020, serving as Water Quality Director with a cross-appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Masters of Natural Resource Conservation program at Paul Smith's College. At AWI, he leads our water quality monitoring and inventory program and oversees research that informs the conservation of freshwater ecosystems. He has a broad range of interests in the field of limnology, ranging from the use of paleolimnological approaches to reconstruct ecosystem response to recent climate change to using environmental-DNA to map the distribution of brook trout in the Adirondacks. Brendan previously served as the Science & Stewardship Director at the Ausable River Association. He led work to understand and address road salt pollution in the Ausable River watershed, specifically Mirror Lake, in the Village of Lake Placid. Brendan currently serves as the Associate Director of the Adirondack Lakes Alliance and Vice-President of The Waterman Fund. He earned his B.Sc. in Field Biology from Paul Smith's College and has served as an adjunct faculty at the college since 2014. Brendan lives in Saranac Lake with his partner, Shelly, and their dog, Nico. When not at work, Brendan is often out photographing nature to build connections between people and the natural world.

Eric Paul
Stewardship Program Director
2012 B.S. Natural Resources Management and Policy, Paul Smith's College

Eric Paul started as a Watershed Steward in Cranberry Lake for AWI in 2010. He remained a steward in Cranberry Lake until 2013. In 2016 he returned to AWI as a Regional Supervisor in the Southwest Region. Eric has a prior degree from Clarkson University in Business and Technology Management. He enjoys combining his educational and work experience to manage staff in the environmental field.

Tel: (518) 327-6271

Elizabeth Yerger
Research Associate and Environmental Research Laboratory Manager
2010 B.S. General Biology. B.A. Environmental Science, Paul Smith’s College

Elizabeth started working for the AWI in 2010 as a Research Technician. She now holds the position of Research Associate and serves as the laboratory manager for the AWI's Environmental Research Lab. Elizabeth conducts a wide array of lab and field work in support of AWI research projects and contracted work. Elizabeth is also responsible for overseeing the day to day logistics of the Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) and is the Site Operator for the NYSDEC Air Monitoring Station and the National Atmospheric Deposition Monitoring Station located at Paul Smith's College.

Tel: (518) 327-6174

Lija Treibergs
Research Technician
2015 M.S. Oceanography, University of Connecticut

Lija joined the AWI in the Spring of 2020 as a research technician and works in the lab and field on the Institute's water quality monitoring programs and environmental research projects. Prior to joining the AWI she worked as a lab manager for an aquatic geochemistry group at the University of Michigan researching carbon cycling in tundra watersheds of northern Alaska and as a technician for a marine nitrogen biogeochemistry lab at the University of Connecticut. She is interested in the biogeochemistry of aquatic and marine systems and particularly enjoys working with long term environmental data sets to understand how human activities can alter biogeochemical cycles and impact water quality. Lija is excited to explore the abundant beauty of the Adirondacks by foot, ski, and kayak and is happy to finally live in a place with real winter.

Heather Coleates
Program Manager
2014 B.A. Environmental Studies, Paul Smith's College

Heather joined the team in 2015 to provide administrative support to the Adirondack Watershed Institute. She is currently performing the role of Program Manager. In her free time, she can be found hiking, skiing, and paddling - any excuse to get out and enjoy the Adirondacks.

Brett Wimsatt
Decontamination Program Manager
2017 B.S. Natural Resource Management and Policy, Paul Smith's College

Brett started working for AWI in the summer of 2015 as a diver on the AIS management team. In 2017 he became the team leader of the AIS management team and now serves as Decontamination Program Manager. Brett has a strong interest in many areas of outdoor recreation that include, scuba diving, boating, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, and hiking....the complete ADK experience! He lives in Black Brook, NY with his wife Colleen, golden retriever and cat. 

"There are few experiences out there that rival the enjoyment I receive when launching my great-grandfathers '62 Penn Yan on a secluded north country trout lake. Sun still behind the mountains, water glassy calm, and the untold fish stories still swimming in the depths. I feel very fortunate to call this region my home and to have these kinds of recreational opportunities out my back door!" -Brett Wimsatt 

Tel: (518) 327-6271

Sue O'Reilly
Operations Manager
2009 B.S. Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans

Sue began as an AWI steward in 2014 and continued as weekend supervisor and science supervisor in 2015. She is a Saranac Inn native and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Since 2001 she has worked twelve seasons at research stations in Antarctica, so she is very happy to be back home and working to protect our beautiful Adirondacks.

Erin Tuthill
Human Resource Program Assistant

Erin joined the AWI program in 2021 as a human resource assistant. She is a native to the Saranac Lake area and loves all it has to offer. In her free time, Erin enjoys exploring the outdoors whether it be hiking, boating, camping, fishing, or snowmobiling. Erin and her two boys have completed the Saranac Lake 6'er and Tupper Lake Triad hiking programs. She loves to go on an adventure and enjoys all that has to offer right outside our back door.

Office: 518-327-6075

Corey Laxson
Associate Professor of Ecology and Aquatic Sciences
2002 M.S. Aquatic Ecology, SUNY Brockport

Corey is a broadly trained limnologist with expertise in food web ecology, invasion biology, aquatic invertebrates, water quality analysis, aquatic plants, and taxonomy. Corey helped build AWI's water quality and limnology programs starting in 2005. In 2020 Corey transitioned back to full time faculty for Paul Smith's College teaching Limnology, Ecology, Fisheries Techniques, Ichthyology and Mammalogy. Corey continues to work closely with AWI on several limnology and water quality research and monitoring projects across the Adirondacks. View Corey's resume.

Tel: (518) 327-6101

Seasonal Staff

The Adirondack Watershed Institute employs numerous seasonal personnel to assist with aquatic invasive species management, water quality monitoring, and related science projects.

Watershed Stewards

​More than 150 seasonal stewards ​work across 70+ Adirondack boat launches to educate the public about aquatic invasive species prevention and implement spread prevention measures including boat inspection​s, ​boat washing, and decontamination.

AWI Research Technicians

​AWI's Seasonal Research Technician​s assist with field and laboratory work in support of AWI research and monitoring projects throughout the Adirondack region. ​This includes aquatic plant surveys and mapping, gathering stream hydrologic data, collecting, processing and chemical analysis of water samples, data entry, and equipment maintenance. They are also responsible for the day-to-day logistics of Adirondack Lakes Assessment Program, which includes coordinating sample pickup and delivery, and arranging for and conducting lake visits for sample collection and volunteer training, among other duties.

A look into the AWI
Stewardship Program Report

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) continue to be a great concern all across the Adirondack region, demanding increasing attention and resources from communities and agencies far and wide. The Adirondack Watershed Institute Stewardship Program is part of coordinated efforts at the local, regional and statewide levels to arrest the spread of AIS. The AWI works year-round with partner organizations, communities and government agencies to understand and manage a range of environmental quality issues through research and education. 2018 was the nineteenth field season for the AWI's Stewardship Program. View our 2018 report for program highlights, accomplishments, and future plans.

2018 Program Report
News & Events

Earn a Certificate in Invasive Species Spread Prevention from Paul Smith's College and help protect clean water. Self-guided...


Celebrate the second Adirondack Water Week on August 22 - 28, 2021. The weeklong regional event is a collaborative celebration...

Join now! Enter your contact information below to receive news and updates about the Adirondack Watershed Institute.

The mission of the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith's College is to protect clean water, conserve habitat, and support the health and well-being of people in the Adirondacks through science, collaboration, and real world experiences for students.

Adirondack Watershed Institute
Paul Smith's College
P.O. Box 265, Paul Smiths, NY 12970-0244
Tel: 518-327-6213
Fax: 518-327-6369